We read encouraging news. The coronavirus crisis is retreating; shops and parks are opening all over the world. People go to work and try to live a normal life again. For some reason this is not obtained by everyone. “I’m afraid to live” is today one of the most popular requests for a doctor’s appointment. So why are many of us afraid to live?
The risk of getting coronavirus has not disappeared. Economic problems in the country are growing. Finally, we found ourselves face to face with a brave new world, which we must somehow adapt to: wear a mask even in the heat, sit at a considerable distance from others, arrange a pass for going about our business, constantly remember not to touch your face . And God forbid, sneezing somewhere in the store, because then the “epidemiological police” in the person of grandmothers-pensioners from the line at the checkout will go to you almost with a pitchfork and torches.
The first thing to do is honestly tell yourself: the crisis is not over yet. In a way, it has just begun. The rules of the game in this world have become more complicated, and there will be no turning back. For some, this means finding a new job, someone will need to change their qualifications; someone lost a loved one in a pandemic, for someone self-isolation ended in divorce.
The personal universe of many people is now in ruins. The first step is to acknowledge this fact. Then you can move on. What to do? To start, ask yourself a few questions.
“What do I want?”
These two months may have helped you to listen to yourself for the first time and understand that you do not live as you would like.
“What exactly am I afraid of?”
Behind the wording “I am afraid to live,” usually lies some kind of specific fear. This may be a fear of failure or a sense of the meaninglessness of being, a fear of doing something imperfect or receiving disapproval of others. Try to answer yourself honestly: what exactly are you afraid of?
“What can I change?”
We cannot influence the virulence of the coronavirus, therefore COVID-19 remains highly contagious, and there is nothing to be done about it. But we can read books, do physical education, call relatives, learn new things, send out resumes in search of a new job or … do nothing. Yes, sometimes it is necessary to do nothing in order to change something. If you feel confused and do not understand how to live on, take a short pause. If possible, arrange yourself a small digital detox, spend this time in silence without social networks and TV shows. Perhaps that is when the important answers come naturally.
How to deal with excessive anxiety
Here are a few simple food and life hacks to help your brain overcome a sense of fear and uncertainty:
Movement is the easiest way to “stir” your mind. Even a twenty-minute walk improves systemic circulation and gives a little dopamine, which means you will have motivation for some kind of business. Do not miss this moment and do something, it will help to start the dopamine reward cycle and distract from anxiety.
Make a decision
Often we cannot make a decision, we are afraid that it may turn out to be wrong. However, meeting the consequences of an unsuccessful step is better than suffering from inaction and suspense.
Just get started
Among yogis there is a well-known saying that the most difficult thing in yoga is to expand the mat, that is, to begin the practice. This is true for any business that causes fear. Sometimes you just need to start without thinking that the result may not suit you or that you cannot do enough. After all, a little is better than nothing. A negative result is a useful experience that will help you not to repeat mistakes in the future.
Use the principle of “two things a day”
Outline two small things to do during the day. Making a pie, helping a child with homework, doing a manicure, or editing your resume are examples of such small things. Avoid trying to do everything all at once, it easily causes frustration. While two small things will help you feel quite effective and not lose motivation for tomorrow’s affairs.
Contact a specialist
Sometimes it happens that the phrase “I’m afraid to live” hides serious problems. These may be thoughts of suicide against the background of a depressive disorder, the “do not live” attitude, received in childhood, sociophobia and much more. And here you can not do without consulting a psychiatrist, and sometimes a psychotherapist. Do not be afraid to seek professional help when necessary.
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