Paranoia. Anxiety. Fear.
It’s normal for us to feel these things when a threat is nearby. I know many are feeling this with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
I’ve got a secret that may help, and it stems from my being diagnosed as “Hypervigilant“.
Hypervigilance put simply means that I am overly aware of everything around me at all times. In a restaurant, for example, I will be listening to multiple conversations, watching people come and go, seeing what other tables are ordering, doing, etc. It can be exhausting to filter this much information. But there are ways to cope. Ways that may be of use in these pandemic times.
First and foremost is the realization that no single person can ever be completely “safe”. It’s a hard reality to face. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions. Knowing where the line between “being cautious” and “being paranoid” can be tough to find.
So… here’s how it works for me:
- Do what you can: keep your hands clean, and don’t touch your face; Practice social distancing.
- Realize others don’t have the same view of the world; what you see, they may be completely oblivious to.
- Help who you can: for loved ones, family and friends, give advice when appropriate to keep them safe – but don’t nag.
- Let it go: sometimes you have to realize it’s your own bias and let it go… everyone has to live their own lives – nobody’s perfect, and that includes you.
- Stay connected: although it can be hard when you’re aware of all the flaws, it’s important to stay emotionally connected to the world – we all need support sometimes.
Making peace with the world outside of ourselves is an individual journey. But when we become obsessed with others’ actions, as Shakespeare’s King Lear said:
“O, that way madness lies; let me shun that; No more of that.”
Stay safe, sane and healthy, my friends,
All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com