3 Strategies To Help You Find Comfort In Chaos

If you ask a friend or colleague how they’re feeling right now, chances are you’ll hear words like anxious, worried, scared, or tired. The start of this year brought a string of stressful situations for people all over the world in a very short amount of time. Most of us have now reached the two or three-month month mark of being in lockdown due to COVID-19 and the result is emotional exhaustion. 

While some people have tried to use this time as an opportunity to reflect and be productive, it’s not that simple when you’re placed in survival mode and have to manage work, school, finances, family responsibilities, or all of the extra safety precautions in place (I never thought that washing my hands frequently would feel this exhausting).

Everyone experiences stress and anxiety from time to time, but when survival mode becomes your constant way of being, it can lead to patterns such as eating more or less, inability to sleep, loss of motivation, racing thoughts or constant feelings of panic. As a therapist, I’m seeing this on a day-to-day basis. 

If you’re currently feeling like this, you are absolutely not alone and there are healthy ways to manage this new reality. Here are three science-based strategies to help you cope better. 

It helps to practice becoming more comfortable with uncertainty.

During moments of anxiety or fear, your instinct might be to find a quick way to “get rid of” the negative feeling. Whether that consists of reaching for junk food, obsessively checking the news, or calling a friend because you need an immediate answer, these behaviors prevent us from building up a tolerance for uncertainty. Instead, allow yourself to acknowledge the way you’re feeling and then release the negative emotion in a constructive way (e.g., take deep breaths, go for a walk, meditate, listen to calming music).

Use objective evidence to challenge negative thoughts.

There will be moments when you question your ability to get through difficult periods. Interestingly enough, people tend to underestimate how resilient they really are. If this happens to you, take a few minutes to reflect on a challenging experience you managed to get through in the past. Focus on the skills you demonstrated and remind yourself that they are always a part of you.

Ask for help.

This one is so important. Asking for help when you need is a sign of strength and not weakness. Next time you feel overwhelmed, write down a list of things you need help with and who could assist you with it. For example, if you’re having a difficult time balancing work projects, reach out to your boss and ask for appropriate adjustments. Remind yourself that it has nothing to do with your capabilities because everyone needs additional support sometimes. Reach out to a trusted family member, close friend, religious or spiritual advisor, or a professional counselor when you need to.

Next time you feel helpless, try using one of these strategies and remind yourself that all difficult times pass. You got this!

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

My Cart Close (×)

Your cart is empty
Browse Shop