First Aid for Frazzled NervesFirst Aid for Frazzled Nerves

When we first heard about a new virus emerging in Wuhan, few of us realized the impact it would have on our lives, and some of us are dealing with heightened emotions in healthier ways than others. Few of us have previous experience in dealing with an ongoing, invisible threat so it is only natural that we turn to self-soothing behavior to turn off the alarm bells that are ringing in our heads.  

When we examine how we are managing our feelings in a new reality, we realize that access to digital devices makes it possible to channel some of our angst into positive learning and skill-building that we can use as tools to expand our horizons. We can also distract ourselves with positive activities like games or puzzles, but we might find ourselves calming our feelings with excessive amounts of food or drink, and the choice is ours. 

Body/mind/spirit techniques are also soothing. If meditation isn’t your thing, try relaxing your shoulders, closing your eyes, and taking a few slow breaths. Or dance, sing, or pray! When you are feeling uptight, step back for a moment and give one of these practices a try—they are very simple to implement, and they really do work!

A clean, neat home is calming and keeping to a regular schedule can help. Going outside and breathing fresh air is refreshing, while paying attention to spring blossoms and bird song is a reminder us that the cycle of life continues. Taking a daily neighborhood walk can help burn off excess anxiety, if that option is available to us, or we could climb stairs or exercise indoors—we just have to commit to doing it, every day and with intention.

If we notice that we are veering off toward unhealthy coping behaviors, it is time for us to stop, reconsider, and redirect. We all need healthy outlets for managing frazzled nerves. Maintaining emotional equilibrium during trying times is difficult and the challenges are many, but if we make healthy choices and take proper care of ourselves, we will be in a better position to help the people around us.



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June 2020

Volume 18, Number 6

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