It’s nearing 5:00 pm on a Friday evening and I have just realized that not even one tiny morsel of food has made its way into my belly since the day first started. I decide to explore the outside dining situation of a restaurant I used to frequent, before Covid temporarily shut down their welcoming doors.
It looks like I am in luck. No other table is occupied at this make shift al fresco eatery with the socially distant tables, oak colored chairs and off-white linen tablecloths. I park my car and grab my journal to keep me company, just in case inspiration makes a mad dash to where I may be seated. I am escorted by the masked maître d' to my isolated little corner where he announces that there are no menus to review. The corners of my mouth, turn up ever so slightly under my protective face covering, because I secretly know this menu by heart.
As I think about what meal may entice me the most, I wonder if there is any way I can fill up my plate with a little less “worry”. How can I possibly make this negative feeling seem more like a side dish instead of an entree during a dining experience that may now be the new norm for an indefinite period of time?
I know we worry because it gives us temporary relief from the discomfort associated with feeling helpless. Nobody likes feeling anxious, but most of us, when faced with a choice, would gainfully implement a survival technique rather than admit that we truly don’t possess control in many facets of our lives.
So what can we do to alleviate some of our worry on a daily basis? I think that being aware of when worry becomes too intense or too unrelenting, is the first step in developing a plan of action. We can try to accept the things that we cannot change even though this is painstakingly difficult and tedious. Setting aside a small window of time, when we can give ourselves permission to worry and then letting it go, may also prove beneficial. And, equally important, is the ability to stay focused on the sensations of the present instead of reliving the past or assuming the worst for the future.
Well, I have made my choice. I will enjoy a scrumptious meal of roasted chicken with a pink peppercorn sauce, asparagus and mashed potatoes. For my dessert, which still remains undecided, I promise to choose one that will be guilt and worry free!