Life is filled with trials and tribulations. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by work, family, or social situations. Having OCD, I’ve found various ways of staying present. This has become second nature. After a while, you start utilizing these techniques without even realizing it. If you have anxiety or need a little help during the pandemic, here are some tips on how to stay present.
- Ground Yourself
Before you do anything, ground yourself. Bring yourself back to the present moment. Whether you find the rainbow, use your senses, or do 4-5-7 breathing take a moment to come back. Without grounding yourself, your mind will automatically be overwhelmed. Any attempts to interact or stay engaged might send you into overdrive.
- Ask questions
If you’re in a conversation, this is easy. Start to focus on what people are saying. Take in their answers and ask more questions. Keep your brain engaged in the conversation. If you’re not in a conversation, ask questions about your environment. Have a conversation with yourself. Notice your surroundings.
- Utilize Coping Skills
With OCD specifically, recognizing compulsions is the first step. It’s important to distance yourself from the intrusive thoughts. In general anxiety or even situational anxiety, this same concept applies. Recognize the thoughts or messages your brain is telling you. Try to understand where they are coming from and whether they’re rational or not. Anxiety can feel very real. Following the thought down to the core fear can help distinguish it’s validity.
All of these tips are an exercise of mindfulness. Keeping yourself present is all about bringing your mind back to the here and now. Grounding yourself, with deep breathing or any other form of grounding technique will start to calm your system. Asking questions will start to engage your brain with its surroundings. Utilizing coping skills will help keep anxiety at bay. The goal is not to ignore anxiety but let it be present with you. Acknowledge it, let it be there, but don’t let it make your decisions.
I really hope that this article gives you some ideas on how to stay present. Managing anxiety during Covid-19 can be extremely challenging. Remember that anxiety is not the enemy. It’s doing it’s best to keep you safe but it’s over compensating. Try to remind your brain that it’s okay to be scared but show it that there is no reason to be. Have a great day!