The Anxious Scroll

I saw a thing on a Vlogbrothers video recently, where Hank was making his usual Friday video for John and it was 2am and he was doing a lot of what he called “the anxious scroll“. I feel that so hard right now. I’m an anxious bunny on the best of occasions (it’s one of the reasons I identify so much with bunnies – all bunnies are, as prey animals, a little on the hypervigilant side).

But recently I find myself staring aimlessly at the computer, scrolling through but not really actually absorbing anything, simply feeding and amplifying the weird cognitive dissonance that stretches between the fact that my day-to-day life is really largely the same today as it was a month ago, and yet also that there is this unmitigated global emergency going on, and it’s affecting people I know. I have a coworker in the ICU in New York. Hell, the telehealth line says I had the stupid virus myself (and that sucked a lot, even if I did bounce back from it).

This is going to be part of my lexicon from now on, because it really does talk to how I’m feeling and how I’m (badly) coping with everything.

Are you doing the anxious scroll too?

Skills and Stress

As evidenced by a high blood pressure reading at my most recent doctors appointment(s), I’m stressed. This is nothing a) new or b) abnormal, especially with a job in a corporate office. I’m working on my stress-relieving/coping skills, and finding that they’re pretty limited.

I take showers. (This is not very good for the environment, and I feel a little guilty about taking wanton showers that I don’t need, but it DOES help me de-stress)

I go for walks. (When it’s not dark. And when my joints cooperate. Also, I need new shoes.)

I try to meditate. (I’ve been learning various kinds of mindfulness meditation for the last year and a half, though I’m admittedly not very good at it. Still, focused breathing, even if I can’t get to focused, non attached thinking, helps)

But I kinda need some more tools in the box. When I’m really anxious, eating a snack helps, but that doesn’t really help with stress – and depending on the availability of gluten free snacks, can be a stressor instead of a de-stressor.

I’m open to trying some new things to help me manage this. So what do you do to manage stress?