High-Functioning Anxiety During COVID-19

Best Phase Yet Business Entrepreneur Life Lessons Stacie Townsend

High-Functioning Anxiety During COVID-19 | Stacie Townsend | Champion in Sport and in Life

I recently came across a post on social media that defined what “high-functioning anxiety” is. It is not a recognized medical diagnosis, but I think it is certainly something that a lot of people can relate to, including myself. A person with high-functioning anxiety is someone who is detail-oriented, outgoing, active, super helpful, hardworking, loyal, and a strong performer under pressure. However, on the inside, this person overthinks, is people-pleasing, has an inability to slow down, trouble saying no, has a fear of failure, overplans, and has poor boundaries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to slow down and has even given us space and time to re-think - and maybe even overthink - areas of our lives. For me, it has also forced me to address some of this high-functioning anxiety in different ways, as my usual outlet of physical activity to handle my anxiety (notably, doubles pickleball) is not currently an option. Some recommended methods for addressing high-functioning anxiety include:

  • Recognize what triggers your anxiety to help gain perspective and understanding
  • If possible, remove or avoid your anxiety triggers
  • Refuse and diffuse your anxious or negative thoughts
  • Create small goals and stay productive on reaching those goals - they will add up to big achievements!
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Find a way to sweat
  • Practice breathing or even try meditation
  • Stay connected to those people in your trusted circle
  • Take small breaks, such as a coffee break outside or a dance break to your favorite tune
  • Reduce the inundated tasks on your plate with the following mantra - "if it is not a hell yes, then it is a no"

For those of you that relate, what are you doing (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic) to control your anxiety (whether high-functioning anxiety or something else)?

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