How Anxiety Pushed Me to Find Community in a Pandemic
My coping skills for anxiety used to consist of immersing myself in my community or visiting a friend. I would frequently mix and mingle with my community to lighten the burden anxiety would put on my shoulders. We are now six months into a pandemic that calls for us to isolate and distance ourselves from those who keep us grounded. This lockdown led me to find creative ways to search out my community as I needed new coping skills for my anxiety.
Lack of Community and Abundance of Anxiety
I am what the world would call an extroverted individual. I thrive on human interaction and connection. I feel most alive and at peace when amongst those in my community who are friends and acquaintances alike. When I am isolated or alone for an extended period of time, I begin to panic. My worries turn to anxiety quickly and leave me scrambling for coping skills that can calm me at the moment.
This lockdown has taken away my, and maybe some of your, usual ways of connecting with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, etc. (LGBTQIA+) community. We can no longer mingle at a bar, drink coffee at a bookstore, share stories in a group at our local pride center, or connect for events like concerts or sports. Our LGBTQIA+ community was ground down and molded into something new and virtual quicker than my psyche could keep up at times.
The LGBTQIA+ Community Connections for the Win
I began getting creative in the way I searched for my community. I made more phone calls and text message efforts to friends and acquaintances in my LGBTQIA+ community. I searched out online Zoom meetings relating to LGBTQIA+ interests. Small steps of reaching out reminded me of how therapeutic human interaction is for my anxiety.
I am still learning to make space for loneliness and quiet time as the pandemic goes on. My anxiety still visits me but has accepted that it is not welcome as often. The most important coping skill that I learned is to continue reminding myself that my community is still there for me. Your community is still there for you as well.
What does your anxiety look like? What creative ways have you found to connect with your community? Leave your thoughts and comments in the box below. One individual's skill mastery could be another first day on the job with it.
Next week, I will be demonstrating a short meditation technique called a body scan. Come back next Monday to learn how to use this valuable meditation when anxiety rears its ugly head.
Nolasco, M. (2020, September 21). How Anxiety Pushed Me to Find Community in a Pandemic, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/thelifelgbt/2020/9/how-anxiety-pushed-me-to-find-community-in-a-pandemic