Worry Spirals

Have you ever experienced a worry spiral?

It can last a few minutes or a few hours.

For me, it was several days.

Last Friday, I woke up with an itchy nose and couldn’t stop sneezing. By Saturday afternoon, I was experiencing throat sensitivity, chills and fatigue. Although my symptoms felt like the onset of a cold, I panicked.

I thought about people who had few symptoms that were now fighting for their lives or had passed due to coronavirus. I thought about hospitals’ morgues overflowing.

Cue the spiral.

What if I have it? Do I need to get tested? I don’t want to die. I can’t leave my family. They can’t afford a funeral. I can’t abandon my sister. I’m not finished with life I’m just getting started.

These dark thoughts led to paranoia. I was afraid to fall asleep.

I don’t have the coronavirus. I just need more rest and suffer from pollen allergies.

When I discussed it with my therapist, she recommended I recite what’s happening around me to be present. For example, “It’s 11:40 pm EST April 23, 2020. I’m laying in my bed with the lights out. I should be sleep but am typing this post. I can breathe. I am resting my head on my pillow. It’s relatively quiet. I hear my father snoring in the next room.”

Being present can break worry spirals. For specific strategies, check out this Shine article.

How do you manage your worry spirals?

Back to the Basics

Good Morning!

Some of you may be wondering how to keep yourself occupied during the quarantine. When I realized my entire family would be together 24/7 for the next several weeks, I felt trapped and anxious.

How can I keep myself sane? 

I thought about my childhood. There was something adventurous, carefree, and wholesome about 90s/early 2000s series and films. It was an era of feel-good content.

Here are some ways to combat feelings of anxiety, fear and entrapment during the pandemic.


  1. Childhood TV Shows

During first grade, there was a blizzard in Brentwood, Long Island. Due to harsh weather conditions, schools were closed so I stayed home.

I remember sitting in my basement drinking marshmallow-filled hot chocolate and eating vanilla Stella D’oro Marguerite cookies. Sometimes, I would dip my cookie into the hot chocolate. I sat comfortably in my pink cotton nightgown, pajama bottoms, white robe, and pink fuzzy slippers watching one of my favorite television shows, Dragon Tales. I was relaxed and at peace.


Cartoons: Hey Arnold, Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, Foster’s Home of Imaginary Friends, Regular Show, and Dragon Ball Z are available on Hulu.

2. Board Games


Board games are the perfect combination of competition, challenge, fun, and spending quality time with your loved ones. If you still have them, whip out that old board game and dust it off.


3. Favorite Childhood Films

I enjoyed classics like Prince of Egypt, Anastasia, and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

More Films: Prince of Egypt is available on Hulu. Most Disney films are available on Disney+ under a 7-day free trial. Otherwise, check Netflix and Hulu.


4.  More Content to Consider

Childhood series: Maggie & the Ferocious Beast, Little Bear, Oswald, Cousin Skeeter, and As Told by Ginger.

Card games: 21, War, Spit, Spades, Pitty-pat, and Goldfish.

Puzzles: If you don’t have one, buy one. It will force you to use your critical thinking skills to complete the puzzle.

Whatever your favorite childhood hobbies were, revisit them.

What are you doing to keep yourself occupied?


Managing My Worries

Last weekend, I promised everyone I would post three times this week. I’m keeping my promise so excuse the random time postings. Life happened.

After a series of arguments regarding how to pay bills for October (which I will discuss in multiple posts), my previous weekend ended in mental and emotional exhaustion. I started this week overwhelmed and feeling out of myself. Trapped. Striving to build a better life and career while figuring out how to pay rent. I never had to worry about eviction before.

Historically, I responded to stressful situations by shutting down mentally and emotionally, binge-eating and binge-watching. My immediate reaction was to numb the pain.

As I brainstormed how to generate money quickly, I realized I wasn’t in a head space to write authentically. My energy was focused on solving an urgent problem by applying for numerous part-time jobs at a local mall and several full-time jobs in sales and customer service positions.

Continue reading “Managing My Worries”