Breaking Out of the Worry Cycle

Breaking Out of the Worry Cycle

Will I get my dream job? 

Will my loan be approved?

Will my appraisals come out great so I can get the promotion?

Really, there’s just so much to worry about. Sometimes, it could seem like everything is spinning out of your control, and you’re barely keeping your head above water. Through the different responsibilities and realities of living as a woman of colour,  it’s okay to feel tired and worried about the different possible outcomes.  

So, what do you do when you just can’t stop worrying over something? 

The first step is to ask yourself this: is this a situation I have any sort of influence over? 

If the answer to the question is yes, then it means you can go ahead and create an action plan that possibly guides you through any practical steps you should take. 

If you ask yourself the question and realize you have no control over the situation, then you need to understand that worrying about it only makes you stressed. You can go ahead to focus on other situations that you have some degree of control over.

We’ll be the first to admit that it’s not just easy to “not worry” about situations you care about, but we’ve compiled some steps to make it easier to cope through those difficult times.

Make an “old-fashioned” list

Sometimes, it’s easier to have everything on one list. So, think about all the things you are anxious about and write them down from the most complicated to the simplest. This way, you can name each situation, and you don’t have to wonder if there’s something you can’t remember. 

Be conscious of any worry periods

The next step is to decide how long you want to worry about any situation. You could allow yourself 10 minutes or more, whatever makes you comfortable. When you catch yourself worrying over a problem for more time than you decided on, make a conscious effort to stop by picking up another activity. 

Stay close to your support system

As women of colour, we often need support and don’t always get enough of it. Your support system doesn’t have to be family; sometimes, friends and communities give the best support. So, identify such communities, friends, and family members who care about you and lean on them. It’s a sign of strength to ask for help and a helpful asset in stressful times.

Choose actions over “what ifs”

If there are times you’re unsure about what you need to do, look out for practical solutions instead of focusing on intrusive thoughts. This helps you centre yourself and keep moving

Breathe!

Take some time to take deep breaths, calm yourself, and just be you. Sometimes, we get so anxious that our bodies start to feel distressed. It’s okay to breathe; sometimes, the answers come at a time we don’t expect them to. If you’re into exercise, mindfulness, or meditation, go for it! If not, just take out time to be by yourself and take deep breaths. 

It’s almost impossible to live a life without some kind of worry, and that’s okay! One day at a time.

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