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)?