Social Distancing From Anxiety

coronavirus, social distancing, humor, Modern PhilosopherI know times are changing because of the Coronavirus outbreak, Modern Philosophers, but some things can still remain the same.

Sunday mornings are for long runs.  I’m well aware that we are supposed to be practicing social distancing, but my neighborhood has been like a ghost town lately, so I knew I wasn’t likely to run into anyone along the road.

Just to be sure, I wore my gloves and cowl.  It was a cold, windy morning, so it made sense for me to have a facemask on anyway.

I wasn’t going to be stupid.  If I saw a large group of people that looked intent on surrounding me and forcing me to shake hands, I would run back to the safety of The House on the Hill.

I needed to get out of the house and do something healthy.  Even though I excel at social distancing, I do tend to watch TV once I get tired of reading and worn out from writing.

And when the TV is on, it’s hard to avoid all the news about the horrors of the pandemic.  It’s natural to want to watch and absorb facts, but after awhile, fact gathering morphs into absorbing anxiety.  And then falling down the rabbit hole.

coronavirus, social distancing, humor, Modern PhilosopherI will confess that there was a point last night when I panicked about there not being any food on the shelves the next time I go grocery shopping.  From the sound of things, people are buying everything like it’s the end of days, and I’m worried that if I remain calm and rational, I will starve to death as a result.

That was why I needed to go for a run this morning.  I had to turn off the TV, distract my inner thoughts, and do something healthy.

Essentially, I needed to practice some social distancing from anxiety.

Like I said, it was a cold and windy morning, but uncoupling my car from the Coronavirus Anxiety Train was too important to let the weather derail my plans.

Unlike yesterday, there were several people out on the river walk.  I kept my distance, and then put up my mask whenever I got close enough to say hello.  Once I felt I was safely out of the danger zone, I pulled down my mask again.

There is something very settling about the steady pace, the gorgeous view, and the increase of my heart rate for non-anxious reasons.  It was a relief to let Runner Guy take the controls, and temporarily shut off the parts of my brain that insist on sending stress levels skyrocketing through the stratosphere.

coronavirus, social distancing, humor, Modern PhilosopherOnce I got home, I settled in for a marathon of The Office on Comedy Central.  The gang at Dunder Mifflin may be many things, but they are not experts on global pandemics.  As a result, I didn’t have to think about what was going on in the world.  All I cared about was a paper company office in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

I’m aware that everything will change tomorrow when I have to leave the safety of The House on the Hill to return to the workforce.  It will be impossible to avoid talk of the Coronavirus and COVID 19, but maybe I will handle the stress a little better because I made time today for some social distancing from anxiety.

Are you practicing social distancing?  Have you changed your routine?  Has your work/school been closed because of the virus?  What are you doing to maintain a positive outlook?

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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11 Responses to Social Distancing From Anxiety

  1. Bryntin says:

    I live on the coast, so cliffs and beach walks are a daily occurrence, and my cycling achieves the same as your running I think Austin. A clear unstressed mind is the result and it’s easier to make that last just long enough at work until you can then dwell and daydream about the next run/walk /bike opportunity coming up soon!

  2. grannyK says:

    I haven’t really changed my routine. I work and am at home and rarely go anyplace lol. Except, unfortunately, last week I had to see a doctor and this week a dentist, so I will be out more than normal. I also need to find a store here with actual food lol. Empty shelves are everywhere right now.

  3. alesiablogs says:

    times are rough …..hard to tell what the next few weeks have in store for us.

  4. beth says:

    my school is closed and we will be tele-teaching. i’m visiting my sister and will return home tomorrow. everything feels different

  5. I haven’t changed my routine much, except I am watching the news more. I live a Keto/IF lifestyle, so I only eat one meal a day. Just glad I’ve been doing this for years because as we all are beginning to learn how it’s critically important to keep yourself healthy. Keto/IF keeps my immune system running at peak performance. Not too mention, my grocery bill is lower. I live in Southern California and my neighborhood stores are empty but, not with the type of food I consume.

    • Austin says:

      I went to the grocery when it opened this morning, and was able to stock up on essentials, and stock away some food in the freezer for a rainy day.

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