I am out of work like 16 million other Americans at this time. I don’t feel alone, but I am scared. I don’t know how long this will last and whether will there even be a job to return to when this mess is over? Nothing is certain, except the bills I have to pay. Any suggestions on how to handle this type of stress? I am glad to be one of many, but I am scared to death wondering if I will make it?
Sincerely, Frightened Along With Everyone Else
It is a terribly bleak situation. The numbers have gone through the roof for people and small businesses applying for government benefits that will sustain them during this time of crisis. That’s the first place one must put her energy – filing for unemployment, applying for small business loans and grants, and waiting on your check from the government to help ease the pain of today.
However, I also hear your concern over the unknown facts of when will this even be over and when it is over will there be your old job to return to or will that job be gone? Those are two huge uncertain elements for everyone at this time. We cannot yet know when the orders to “shelter in place” will be officially lifted, then what businesses will reopen, and how the public responds to business being back to normal, if in fact this is the plan that is happening.
The unknowns are the worst in a situation like this and that drives anxiety. Collectively, I think American society is on edge not only out of concern for our health, but also the financial cost of the crisis that is impacting so many people like yourself.
Grounding yourself in the moment with what you do know is one of the best courses of action for now. You and I both don’t know the answers to some of these major questions. We can focus on what we don’t know or we can be in the moment right now and take care of what needs to be taken care of in the here and now. It may be difficult, but just navigating the applications alone for assistance will take up a large chunk of time. Not only will you feel like you are moving forward by completing those tasks, your energy will also be focused.
Breathing in four counts through your nose and four counts out of your mouth four to five times can also aid in slowing down and grounding in the here and now. Although this is a terribly anxious time, we can find ways to soothe and calm our worries in the here and now and I encourage you to do so.