I have a friend who said to me recently, “This is a rough time to be a Type A person.” The ‘planners’ are suffering because every time they attempt to strategize about the future, the information they need to plot their next move changes. It’s torture, and although I am far from Type A, I feel their pain.
I know that a lot of my own anxiety symptoms come from the fact that I feel a sense of helplessness when it comes to even making loose plans, knowing that they could be canceled in a matter of days. I cannot begin to understand the agony that those of you who like to schedule and chart and color code are feeling!
There is not a better time to practice focusing on the present moment than right now (See what I did there?). Trying to figure out what’s next these days is the epitome of anxiety-inducing. The challenge to stay in the present moment can seem impossible for a myriad of reasons, but as we wonder what is going to happen tomorrow, or next week, or next month, and our anxiety symptoms begin to increase, we need to take a beat and focus on the here and now.
As the world around me collectively tries to get a grip, and I find it hard to see beyond the day, I am relying heavily on grounding techniques and meditation. As soon as I feel myself spinning, I take a beat and utilize one of the techniques I have learned in the last couple of years from Katy and Laura. Without fail, I am focusing on my breathing 2-3 times a day (on a good day) and meditating at least four times a week. Meditation has even become my go-to when I’m bored! Because of my consistency, I am able to tell when my symptoms are about to render me useless, and I gently bring myself back to the here and now. Listing things that I can see at that exact moment is the fastest and most effective way to get me into the present moment.
As we move through yet another month of uncertainty, working on the practice of mindfulness becomes that much more important. It is an easy and effective way to help quell our anxiety symptoms.