Being Aware Vs. Being Anxious: Finding Balance

June is National Safety Month. It’s a time when we boost awareness of common risks in our day-to-day environment to reduce death and injury from accidents at home, in the car, and in the workplace. 

While June typically marks the start of summer, too, it feels different than any summer we’ve had. Coupled with the fact that COVID-19 has dominated our thoughts in recent months, we can feel a little overwhelmed with how much risk there is out in the world. 

For the sake of our mental health, there is a balance that you have to make in order to keep your head up and continue to support your family, neighbors, and friends. You must find a balance between awareness and anxiety while making safe decisions. 

Look to the experts

The risks present in our day-to-day lives have been present for as long as humans have existed. The advantage of this is that these risks have been studied by researchers and scientists for a very long time. Even new dilemmas like COVID-19 have experts who are familiar with similar subjects that they can share highly detailed information. Their information will help you weigh the risks in an informed way. 

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce the negative effects of anxiety on people’s daily lives. What is mindfulness? It’s an exercise in being present in the moment, and acknowledging your feelings. It doesn’t require you to suppress the negative emotions. Instead, you start to understand them better. This helps you process your emotions more effectively. You learn how to maneuver through your day-to-day tasks while experiencing your emotions in a healthy way. Mindfulness can include activities like journaling, deep breathing exercises, and meditation. 

Focus on What You Can Control

A lot of anxiety comes from feeling like you don’t have control of things affecting your life. This takes up a lot of mental energy.  Start to reclaim your mental energy by focusing on what you CAN control in your life, and make decisions based around those things. If you are required to do something that makes you anxious, come up with a plan of how you will minimize your own personal risk in the situation. Use expert guidance, talk with supervisors, and share with your family. There’s a lot we can’t control, but we do have the power to take care of ourselves no matter where we are. 

Resources

COVID-19: Balancing Public Health and Mental Health