Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress. We are still doing distance learning, so that causes some stress. Not knowing if our children will be safe when we do return, more stress. We can’t see our family in Spain again for the second summer in a row: stress. The list goes on, sadly.
I suppose like everyone else during this pandemic year, I have been able to manage my anxiety in a relatively adequate manner. I have been reading, cooking or baking, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, working on puzzles… I have even gone for walks and exercised a little, something I feel lazy about doing every time I think about it.
However, the thing that has very much reduced my anxiety more than anything else is going for drives with my camera in the front passenger seat. Sometimes they are long drives to a specific place (ie. San Francisco, about 50 miles from San Jose, where I live) or drives around town. I put some music on the radio or a short podcast and I just drive around, looking for things to photograph.
I suppose the act of focusing on the streets I see, as well as on my driving, slows my mind down. It feels like driving without an agenda is freeing in some way; my mind is distracted from all the stress around me while I focus on the beauty I see around me when I am on the road.
So, you see, when we think of relieving anxiety and stress, we always think of the obvious activities but I challenge you to look closely at other not so obvious habits you might do throughout your day that may bring you some peace of mind. You may not be aware that they do that but, when you do, they will definitely bring more clarity and help you maintain that feeling of calm we need so much lately.
Stay calm and healthy,