Tyler N. Tolson
Tools for Relief Now: Master Checklist of Anxiety/Stress Relief
If you are in the Czech Republic, you have learned as of late last evening that we have to adapt to quarantine measures, which has sparked most of our nervous systems into some variation of fight, flight, or freeze reactions. Though we can recognize that taking proper precautions is necessary for everyone, it can be particularly difficult to adjust and cope with sudden social isolation, economic upheaval, and even fearing of one's life or the thousands of lives affected by the pandemic. Though COVID-19 is nothing to take lightly, we have a duty to ourselves and others to manage our emotions in a way that is effective to cope with sudden change, restriction, and biological threat as much as we may have an instinct to stockpile resources or go into panic mode from all of the ways our brain will catastrophize what may happen next.
"Though COVID-19 is nothing to take lightly, we have a duty to ourselves and others to manage our emotions in a way that is effective to cope..."
And that's where my Master Checklist of Anxiety/Stress Relief comes in. By completing the full checklist and keeping it as a resource, you may have a better idea of how to locate and navigate from points of anxiety and stress. I have included here the brief version, and the PDF version is available at the bottom.
This list is not exhaustive, but it is a checklist that touches on major points of stress and anxiety relief in a logical order that you can follow and refer to when you are experiencing overwhelming feelings. This is a list that works best with regular sessions with a mental health professional + Emotional Regulation work, though it is effective in some capacity for anyone at any stage of their psychological progress.
Note: It is important to keep in mind that anxiety and stress are different, though their symptoms are quite similar. There is no substitute for changing or leaving a toxic/difficult environment or situation, but there are ways to improve how we respond to distressing situations.
____ 1. Have I met my basic physical needs?
Enough healthy/nutritious food, water, exercise, and clothing that keeps us warm/cool enough?
If I don’t feel well, have I received treatment or have I taken medications regularly on time?
Have I taken care of personal hygiene?
____ 2. Am I feeling safe?
Am I (and my family) physically and emotionally safe from harm?
Is my employment or financial situation secure?
Is my status of residency or is my home secure?
Do I have enough resources to access the health services?
____ 3. Am I feeling loved?
Do I have loved ones who empathetically and actively listen and connect to me?
Am I receiving the level of sexual and/or emotional intimacy that I require?
Do I feel valued by the family members and friends in my life?
____ 4. Do I feel connected with my sense of self-worth?
Do I have proper boundaries in place that allow me to live the life I want to be living?
Do I feel respected by those I allow to be close to me?
Am I making decisions that are leading me to the success and progress I want to make for myself? Am I giving adequate time and space to myself?
____ 5. Am I thriving or only surviving?
Do I feel connected to a sense of justice, creativity, and acceptance in my life?
Have I claimed my power?
Do I approach tasks with ambition and desire to solve problems?
Am I being kind to myself?
Do I accept what happens and how I feel?
It’s important that we recognize that not everyone can check off all, or sometimes any, of these numbers. It just means that we have to do the work and practice what we’ve learned to address and achieve the balance we need.
Full checklist available here
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