Simple practices to stay balanced, healthy, and effective in the pandemonium of this pandemic and the isolation of quarantine.

The breathing patterns in Part One will be like your “Break Glass in Case of Emergency.”  The breath practices aren’t meant to be a permanent solution, just something to get you back on track. This, Part Two, will give you more tools that you can practice every day to help you manage.

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Overview of the Steps:

There are five steps in this part of the program. Read them through and then watch the video(link) that corresponds to your fear pattern. You will be able to use this when you are in the thick of it but it would be better to prepare for that now and get familiar with the steps before it becomes overwhelming or you become a person you don’t want to be.

Simple things work! These practices will give your subconscious mind what it is looking for and it will stop sending anxiety, stress, panic, and overwhelm signals.

Here is a simple flow chart of Staying Upbeat in a Lockdown – Part Two.


Acknowledge you are unsettled Identify what you are feeling Determine the type of fear Perform indulgent movementGive yourself a task Allow yourself to tolerate, adapt, and grow Repeat as needed

Step One – Acknowledge and Identify

The first step is to acknowledge that you are reactive, on edge, out of sorts, unsettled or completely unbalanced. Your reaction might show up as anxiety, stress, frustration, overwhelm, anger, depression, OCD, distraction, or a desire for conflict. You might be overthinking, tense, or emotionally volatile. You may be completely freaked out. You may withdraw into lethargy or stubbornness.

The virus and lockdown may be the biggest mental, physical, and emotional event in your lifetime. Let yourself feel that influence. What comes up? What thoughts, emotions, or phrases arise?

Give the thoughts and emotions some room to grow and then identify what state you are in. You may get a different answer every time you do this. Work with what is coming up in the moment not what you think you should feel or what you felt yesterday.

Acknowledge and accept that you are not optimal. Get clear on how that feels or the labels you are placing on it.

Make a sentence and say it out loud, “I am ___________.”

Here are a few examples: I am totally distracted by this virus. I am frustrated that all my activities have been canceled. I am furious I can’t find a single roll of toilet paper for sale. I am terrified I won’t have money to buy food or pay for housing. I am incredibly scared I or my loved ones might die. I am feeling overwhelmed by all the changes this virus is causing. I am a walking ball of tight muscles because I am so worried about this virus. I am so incredibly grateful for teachers, but homeschooling is frazzling every nerve in my body. I am afraid I will get sick and won’t be able to get help. I am afraid being alone will make me suicidal. I’m afraid my job won’t be there when this lockdown ends.

Some people have never had to limit their activity. It will be hard. I see this in beginning meditators. Sitting quietly for five minutes feels like a lifetime to them. Being confined to your house for days or weeks will probably overwhelm your ability to cope sooner or later. Acknowledge and identify what is going on for you.

If you are an essential worker dealing with the public and your job involves coming in contact with people, lacking the normal feelings of safety will produce strong reactions that can overwhelm and stress your entire system. To all of you in this position, thank you. Being in proximity to people who may have the virus is a huge risk. Your system will try to help you manage that risk by overworking your adrenals and the other bodily systems that help you manage threat.

The first step for you will be to acknowledge the position you are in. Your sentence may be something like one of these: I am afraid I am going to contract the virus from every person I deal with. I am incredibly resentful that I am in this position. I am doing something vital, but it totally stresses me out. I am incredibly scared my loved ones might die and that I might be the one to get them sick. I am not worried about getting sick, but I am worried about my family. I am not in your position; it may be that what you are feeling is much more apocalyptic than what I have described.

You may have found a coping mechanism to get you through your shift(s). This program will help. Acknowledging and identifying your relationship with your situation will be a healthy first step in reducing your tension and managing your stress.

Step Two – Determine Your Fear Pattern

The second step is to determine which of the five fears below matches the feeling behind your sentence from the first step.

If you are in Fight mode, you will want to find or create conflict. Anger, frustration, hostility, bitterness, outrage, hateful, and contemptuous are all fight patterns. Fight will feel like you want to push things away.

It is hard to fight a virus or a government decree. You might find yourself generating frustration, hostility, or conflict toward the consequences of the virus – like store closings, being confined, misbehaving kids, being laid off, not being able to eat at your favorite restaurant, putting yourself and family at risk.

If you are in Flight mode, you will want to move away or create distance. Confusion, grief, alienation, revulsion, distraction, and feelings of being rejected are flight fears.

It might feel easy to run from the virus. Social Distancing is one of the primary suggestions. Watch for how you might be unnecessarily distancing mentally and emotionally. Feel for the ways you want to move away from someone or something. Being confined or dealing with people may bring up feelings of claustrophobia that heightens your desire to flee.

If you are in Freeze mode, you will feel the need to stop people, things, and situations from changing. Freeze patterns include feeling stubborn, tense, disillusioned, cautious, numb, hurt, indifferent, or without options.

This virus might feel omnipresent, unseen and everywhere. It may feel like it is saturating your world. Compressing your thoughts and emotions might seem prudent. You may find yourself with a ton of physical tension. Lockdown may feel like it is going to last forever. It may be hard to be open-mind and objective. You mind find yourself thinking in absolutes, shutting down mentally or emotionally holding back. You may find yourself hardening to any new options or possibilities.

If you are in Fix mode, you will try to organize and control things, find compromises, or manipulate things toward something that feels more comfortable to you. Coercion, seduction, over-talking, intimidation, bullying, interrupting, changing the subject, finding a middle ground, or needing to be the referee are all fix fears. Fix fears will be those things that look to regulate and stabilize.

This virus will probably leave you feeling out of control so you might want to become more controlling. You might start making more demands of your spouse, family, friends, or neighbors. You may get intolerant, impatient, and frustrate easily. Your range of acceptability may narrow. You may get bossy, raise your voice, and try to wrangle those around you like a sheep dog.

If you are in Familiar mode, you will want to do something you have done before, something habitual or routine. The Familiar pattern will have aspects of some or all the other fears. Familiar fears will include a longing, craving, urge, or compulsion to repeat an existing pattern, revisit an experience, or confirm an existing belief. Familiar fears replicate comfortable sensations, thoughts, or emotions. Overeating, drug and alcohol abuse, and OCD are familiar fears.

There is very little about this virus that is familiar. Most of us have never experienced anything on this scale. You might turn to unhealthy habits as a way to cope. Overeating, OCD, or indulging in things you wouldn’t normally allow yourself to do. Watch for places you are falling back in old patterns, especially the unhealthy ones. You will probably resist the new normal behaviors like social distancing, lack of physical contact, and grocery store protocols.

Step Three – Indulgent Movement

The third step will be to find a movement that indulges your fear and do it until the fear, anxiety, stress, overwhelm, anger, etc. dissipates, until you feel yourself resetting back to a healthy normal.

You are going to move in a way that satisfies and satiates your fear without reacting or succumbing to it. Your goal will be to consciously respond instead of unconsciously react. You are looking to indulge the fear without surrendering to it.

If you are in a Fight mode, do something physically challenging. Push-ups, squats, pull-ups, weightlifting, etc., things that exhaust you quickly. Search YouTube for bodyweight exercises. Find something hard that tests your current strength and fitness levels.

If you are in a Flight mode, find linear movements like walking or running. Anything aerobic that simulates creating distance. Bike riding, rollerblading (is that still a thing?), treadmill, etc. This will be tough if you are stuck indoors. Running in place, jumping jacks, or other calisthenics will work. Make sure what you chose feels vigorous enough to bleed off your anxious energy.

If you are in a Freeze mode, do isometric movements. Push or pull your palms vigorously together or apart in front of your chest. Strongly contract the muscles in your belly, legs, back, or chest. Push, pull, or squeeze some immovable object. Use enough force to exhaust yourself in less than a minute. If you don’t feel the reset, do it again.

If you are in a Fix mode, look for things to do that require balance. Standing on one foot, juggling, balancing on your toes or heels, or slow-motion lunges. Anything asymmetrical that requires you to engage your core muscles. If what you are doing feels too easy, try doing it with your eyes closed or while standing on something unstable like a firm pillow or Bosu Ball. Choose something that feels precarious and requires a good deal of focus. The more mentally and emotionally off-balance you feel, the more you need to challenge yourself.

If you are in a Familiar mode, find something that has a simple repeating pattern. Maybe something you did as a child, like Jumping Jacks or twisting toe touches. Find something physical with a memory attached. Do high steps (knee to chest) in a pattern (Do 5, pause, 3, pause, 1,3,5,3,1, etc.) YouTube dance moves, martial arts Katas, Tai Chi, Yoga asanas, or Maori war dances and then practice them repeatedly.

Whichever one of the fear modes you choose, do it long enough to vent, burn off, or exhaust the energy you are holding. If you do something and still feel the fear, try something more challenging or do what you did longer. If you do it and another type of fear pops up, follow that fear’s protocol.

You will know when you have done enough because you will feel your system reset. The more often you do this, the faster the reset will happen.

Simple things Work. Your subconscious mind is not sophisticated. It is looking for confirmation that you are addressing its concerns. Indulge it and then get on with your day.

The Next Step –

This two-part program will help you manage some of the anxiety, anguish, and angst that all of us are feeling. If you want to overcome your stress, anxiety, and overwhelm completely, check out the full version of this, The Anxiety Fix.

If you would like to connect weekly with a community and are curious about a new style of personal development, The Change Militia, is our subscription program that includes The Anxiety Fix and offers daily concepts, movements, and meditations to help you supercharge your capacity to love, connect, and succeed.

I am available for individual sessions. Go to to schedule an appointment. 

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The first is The Anxiety Fix program. The six steps and short videos will give you relief from your anxiety and teach you how to eliminate it permanently. There are also five additional videos – guided movements to help you regain your balance when you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, angry, worried, fearful, or irrational. The Five F’s Movement Solution videos target each of the five major types of fear and give you simple, easy to master, techniques to get you back on track.

This program will completely change your understanding of what anxiety is and how it controls you. The success rate for our clients and group members is 100% – and they are people like you who have tried all kinds of things and hadn’t been able to stop their anxiety. Click the image above to sign-up. (or The Anxiety Fix program is included with your subscription to The Change Militia)

Included in the program:

  • Anxiety Fix Program – A six-part video series with accompanying text and practices.
  • Navigating the Abyss – A way to redirect the energy of your anxiety.
  • The Five F’s Movement Solution – Specific practices for your particular anxiety trigger.
  • Email Support – Connect directly with the creator of the program with questions or concerns.

Our primary program is The Change Militia. It is a subscription-based program offering daily concepts, movements, meditations, and daily focuses to help you supercharge your personal growth.

It is an action-based personal development program with an amazing community of people. If offers a go-at-your-own-pace model to help you maximize your potential, increase your happiness, and find greater fulfillment. There is a group call every week to help you relate others’ experiences to your situation. The Anxiety Fix program is included with your subscription. Click the image above for more information and to sign-up.

Included in your subscription:

  • Anxiety Fix Program – A six-part video series with accompanying text and practices.
  • Daily concepts, movements, and things to focus on.
  • Over 100 videos of movements, meditations, and practices.
  • Weekly one-hour group video calls.
  • Meditation library.
  • Private Facebook page to connect with other members.
  • Email Support – Connect directly with the creator of the program with questions or concerns.



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