This week I reflected on the fact that I haven’t spent time on any of my hobbies. You might think that during a lockdown I would have ample time to pursue all my favorite hobbies like playing music, developing recipes, gardening, writing, meditating, and hiking on trails next to my house. There are so many things I love to do and there is absolutely no excuse for not doing them even during a pandemic.
Suddenly I realized that my new hobby was worrying about the coronavirus and checking the news several times a day. I also developed what I called a “hypochondriacal corona cough.” But for the past three weeks, I never associated feeling preoccupied, overwhelmed, or abandoning my hobbies with worry. It was only after noticing the changes in my behavior and sitting with my feelings did I realize how much worrying was dominating my free time. In this way, worrying about the coronavirus became my new hobby.
Today, I decided to take ownership of this new hobby. When I realized that worrying was my new hobby, I decided not to participate in this hobby any longer. For some reason it was hard for me to identify my worry as worry. Being in the grip of a pandemic is new territory for all of us so I thought my emotional state and behaviors were normal. But I am here to tell you worrying about the coronavirus and the effect it is having on our lives is NOT OKAY and we DO NOT have to do it.
Remember that worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose. Yes, we MUST take action to protect and care for ourselves and others, but we DO NOT have to worry to take action or to empathize with the suffering of others!
If you or your family are not sick or in financial ruin, choose to enjoy this time and engage in the hobbies you love. Remember it is okay to still enjoy life even in a pandemic! However, if you are struggling with illness or finances, you will need to find ways to cope with this intense distress. Check out my article SufferWell for helpful strategies.
It is very easy to fall prey to worrying about the coronavirus. It is a like a dark cloud looming over our heads. It has affected all aspects of our life and has changed life as we know it. But we cannot let these changes steal our joy or ruin our mental and emotional state. If you do not have any hobbies then take some time to figure out what brings you joy and start doing it! Consider learning a new language, making a scrapbook, building a garden, going on a diet or starting a new online exercise program. We cannot let this pandemic stop us from enjoying our everyday life or taking care of ourselves.
Make a decision today to give up the hobby of worry!
Contact me: If you would like coaching on how to manage worry, please contact me through my website to schedule an appointment.