Here are 5 Things to do when you are really scared About the Future:
Taking a few deep breaths when you’re in the grips of anxiety, fear, or anger can help calm your nervous system and reorient you toward your values says Peter DiCaprio. The only way out is through! In other words: just keep breathing until you feel even a little bit better. With time and practice comes wisdom, so keep breathing until it starts to make sense.
2. Take Action
Take action NOW to do something about your concerns, no matter how small each step may seem at first. Just take a step in the right direction–any positive action will boost your confidence and give you hope for bigger things to come! Also remember that by taking some form of positive action, you are taking control over one aspect of your life–which is never a bad thing.
3. Get Out Of Your Head
For many people, this one can be hard to do alone; if you need the support of others around, make sure to ask for it! Share your concerns with someone you trust and see what their honest assessment is of the situation. If that person has nothing helpful or positive to say about what’s bothering you (and let’s face it, not all friends or family are good at receiving information without judging), find another person who will listen to what you have to say respectfully.
4. Take Care of Yourself
It may seem counter-intuitive when there is so much work left to be done, but taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is actually one of the best things you can do to take control over how you feel says Peter DiCaprio. Eat right, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and maintain healthy habits for both mind and body!
5. Keep Breathing!
Do you have any “go-to” techniques when you are anxious? Share them below with us!!
Remember that taking care of you is not selfish- it’s necessary if we want to help others around us.
Q: It feels like no matter what I do, everything will eventually plummet back into chaos. What should I do?
A: This is likely a by-product of your anxiety telling you that bad things are going to happen over and over again. If this keeps happening, research shows it’s because you’re focusing on the negative events in the future rather than what good could come out of them! Try to have faith that even if bad things are around the corner, they are temporary. Right now may not be great but tomorrow will be better so long as you keep breathing!!
Q: How can I face my fears when they tell me to avoid taking any action at all??
A: There are known ways to cope with anxiety, fear, and other types of negative emotions. One of the easiest ways is to break down what you’re scared of into smaller, more manageable goals–like the example above when the woman breaks down her fears about being a single mother into things that can be done immediately (find a babysitter for one day). Whenever possible, try to stay in the present moment by focusing on just this task at hand.
Q: Is it really okay to take time off from activism or social justice work?
A: My short answer is yes! Self-care is something we don’t hear enough about in activist circles. That’s not because it isn’t important – it absolutely is! But I think sometimes people choose activism over self-care without even thinking twice about it, perhaps because they see self-care as selfish or unnecessary. While it’s great to give our all to the causes we are passionate about, taking care of yourself should not be seen as an act of apathy toward the work you do. Some amazing organizations out there are working on making the movement more accessible to people explains Peter DiCaprio.
I hope this can help any of you who are struggling to feel like you have control over what’s happening in your life! I’m also hoping it will be helpful for those of us who experience depressive or anxious thoughts to remember how much power we do truly have. If all else, take solace in the fact that change starts one small step at a time–in your hands.