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Top 5 Tips for Productive Worrying

COVID-19 has a grip on us all. In some way, stress and worrying are entering our minds frequently.

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Overnight, you might have had to become a teacher, distant learning student, remote employee, full-time stay at home parent/caretaker, and/or you might be a full-time medical worker. And all our exterior outlets have been shut down. So, what can we do? I have been doing some research that allows us to be productive in our worrying.

Worried worker

Here are my top 5 tips for handling worrying:

  1. Add a ‘Worry’ block of time daily to your routine. According to helpguide.org, they suggest that you schedule a block of time to worry. In that time period, write down your worries both big and small for that day. Once they are written, take the rest of the time to mull them over. If you find that your list of worries seems small and don’t need any more time, then move on.
  2. Challenge your anxious thoughts. You can do this by asking yourself these questions from helpguide.org:
    1. What’s the evidence that the thought is true? That it’s not true?
    2. Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
    3. What’s the probability that what I’m scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
    4. Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
    5. What would I say to a friend who had this worry?
  3. Make changes to disrupt the worry cycle. Get up and move. You can go for a run or do an online home workout including a yoga class. Or if you can get away or move from your workspace stop and take 5 deep breathes. I like to use my hand on my abdomen to know if I have taken a deep enough breath.
  4. Talk about your worries. Find a family member or friend who will listen and not judge. There are also a lot of clinicians that are offering online at a reduced or free rate for anyone who wants to talk.
  5. Be mindful and acknowledge your worries, let your worries go - like watching a cloud sail through the sky, and focus on the present. Repeat the practice as needed.

I hope that these tips can help you and your love ones manage the worry in your life and know that you are not alone. Namaste.

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