There have always been tense times in our world. War, disease, economic depression, terrorism, etc. have been present for hundreds and thousands of years. The current national crisis in which we find ourselves has peoplke more anxious and worried than during any time in our recent history. What can we do to stop worrying so much?

Although you may be physically unharmed, the mental stress of constant fear and worry can and will take a toll on your mental health. During this short piece, we will focus on a few activities that are available to all people, regardless of ages or sex. We will also stress the importance of being both physically and mentally engaged.

Worrying Destress

The Mind and the Body

Before we dive into the specifics of certain activities, it is important to lay the groundwork. When it comes to fighting off or immunizing ourselves from worry and mental depression, we must understand the mind and the body are meant to work in concert.

It is also true that no one, single, activity, hobby or distraction is the perfect answer or solution. Our best hope for success is to engage in several different activities. Given the time, the reader should come out of the current government generated crisis with more knowledge and information in their minds, a more strong or fit body, and, potentially, more skill than they had when they began.

Here’s some things you can do that are better than worrying about things completely out of your control.

Play an Instrument to Stop Worrying About the World

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, particularly YouTube, the amount of step-by-step tutorials available to the end user is nearly limitless. This situation is especially true when it comes to playing a musical instrument.

Yes, it is true that a student can learn much faster if they have a live teacher to demonstrate, coach, and correct mistakes. That perfect world scenario is not always an option. If you have ever wanted to learn to play an instrument, but thought you did not have enough time, now is your opportunity.

Perhaps you used to enjoy playing an instrument, but found yourself overwhelmed with family and work responsibilities. Now is a great time to go to the closet and pull out that guitar, saxophone, trumpet, or whatever else you might have stashed away.

Playing and practicing a musical instrument requires both mental and physical focus and attention. When you are playing, you don’t have time to be worrying about other things going on in the world. Instead, all of your focus goes into producing music.

Also, and this aspect should not be sold short, when you do learn to master a song or several songs, a genuine sense of accomplishment comes along with this. That feeling of having achieved a goal cannot be bought with money. It can only be acquired with mental and physical dedication.

Plant a Garden

Worrying Garden

As these typed words go to digital paper, it is springtime in the United States of America. Now is a great time to focus on putting in your garden. Again, if you have never planted a garden, go to the Internet for tips and how-to videos. As you occupy your mind and body with an alternate activity, you’ll find it much easier to stop worrying.

Gardening requires physical effort to be sure, but it also requires mental focus. You must plan out which plants are going where. You need to consider sunlight, moisture, fertilizer, and many other aspects. Some plants should be started indoors in little containers. Other plants can simply begin from seeds in the freshly tilled earth.

The process of gardening also puts you in direct contact with nature and helps you to focus on something other than yourself. It is during the initial growing phase that your plants are the most delicate and require the most care and attention; kind of like kids. You must remember to water your garden if you don’t have rain, you need to cover the seedlings if a late season frost is predicted, and you will have to get down in the dirt and pluck out the weeds that threaten to steal nutrients from your flowers or vegetables.

As with the musical instrument, when your garden does successfully grow and bring forth healthy plants, you will have a genuine sense of accomplishment because your efforts made it happen.

For those of you who are saying, “I don’t have anywhere to plant a garden.” You can set up and grow an herb garden in your house or apartment with a very modest investment in money. All an herb garden really takes is your desire to make it happen.


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Creative Writing

As you recall at the outset, we wanted to engage in activities that involved mental and physical dedication. This next one is an exception to that rule, sort of.

By creative writing, I mean that I want you to put your creative mind to work. This could manifest itself in many ways. Perhaps you always wanted to write a children’s book. Do you like poetry? Go online and research the proper structure and form for poetry. Write a haiku, or several if you feel motivated. Are you a fan of science fiction? Now might be the time for you to work on that science fiction novel you have been thinking about for years.

Do not hinder yourself with the thought of publishing or selling your work. This is the time to be creative. Make up a story and fill it with fictional characters. Write a plot and several subplots with which to keep your characters busy. If you can find those characters something to worry about, you’ll find it much easier to stop worrying so much yourself.

Remember the point of the exercise is to free your mind from worry or anxiety. If you truly throw yourself into the writing process, you will not have the time and inclination to fret over other things.

Reading fiction novels is a good way to pass time and distract yourself from worry. The creative process of writing is even more involved than simply reading. Your mind will be challenged and your brain more stimulated more than ever before.

Lagniappe: A Little Something Extra to Stop Worrying So Much.

You know me, I always like to give you a lagniappe or a bonus. In addition to all of the above suggestions, do not neglect your physical fitness. Sitting around the house all day can and will make you lethargic and tired. Lethargy will not help you stop worrying, it’ll just make the fear and uncertainty worse.

Make a plan to engage in deliberate physical activity. No, getting up off of the couch to walk to the kitchen does not count as physical activity. Nice try, Mr. “Ice in my Coke counts as water intake”.

If you have home fitness equipment, now is the time to un-bury it and stop using it as a coat rack. If you do not have any fitness equipment, you can use a kitchen chair, gravity and your body weight to be active and stave off lethargy. You can lay on the living room rug and sit up, push up, plank, leg lift and much more. What you need more than equipment is a willingness to park your excuses and get it done.

Worrying never got anyone anywhere.

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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