Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

In the last two posts we started filling our anxiety busting toolbox and we are now down to our final three tools.*

Thank you to all the bloggers who added their own personal tools that work. They are most helpful and are incorporated into our toolbox. Choose any tool(s) that might work for you, and discard any/all that are not a good fit. Add more of your own resources that work. Adapt your toolbox to suit yourself. The most important thing, regardless of the specific tools, is to have tools in your awareness, to improve your mood, and ease your anxiety, when bad things happen.

Here is our toolbox:


Self Talk Reframing (Cognitive Therapy)

Guided Imagination/Visualization

Exposure Management

Progressive Relaxation

Distraction in Action

Self Soothing

Second Voice

Spiritual Meditation/Prayer

Exercise, Diet & Good Health Practices


Carl Jung emphasized the importance of paying attention to our inward self and inner voice and felt that, “engagement with the inner voice is pursued not as a form of inner housekeeping, but rather in the humble service of the development of a relationship with an intelligence present within us but greater than our own. Committing to that service means relating more deeply to our inner nature; its only end-goal is the whole-bodied, whole-hearted, full blossoming of who we really are.”

I wait for, seek out, and listen to my ‘second’ voice, which is often corrective, more helpful, and more calming to me, than my first immediate thought. If this makes any sense to you, try it. When an event occurs, and you have an immediate thought about it, pause, ask yourself, “is this right?” Your second voice may well chime in giving you a more helpful and accurate option. The more you practice listening for your second, more rational thought, rather than accepting your first immediate impulsive thought, the better you get at doing it. Jung felt that our inner voice was direct communication with the collective unconscious, hence the Divine.


Taking time each day to clear your mind of worries and concerns by focusing your attention on the bigger picture is immensely helpful. There are many ways to do this. Prayer and spiritual meditation are methods for connecting ourselves to the greater whole which is profoundly comforting. This spiritual connection can be reached through independent or group prayer, formal or informal meditation, religious or spiritual practice and study. Immersing oneself in nature helps us feel comforted, part of a grander design. Exercising creative pursuits and talents help us feel spiritually connected. The idea is to take time daily for spiritual retreat and connection, eliminating all the noise, chaos, and negativity of the temporal world.

These practices encourage us to fully live in the moment and feel gratitude for being alive. In times of serious stress like a pandemic, turning inward spiritually, connects us outward, bringing calm and comfort. And now that most of us are isolated, finding a way, remotely to be of service and help to others, could never be more important.


We all know the importance of exercise, a healthy diet, hydration, plenty of sleep and rest, in maintaining our physical health. These practices boost our immune system and improve our emotional and psychological health. This becomes more important when we are under sustained and serious stress. As part of your health plan don’t forget to have fun. Be creative about fun, include daily relaxing, distracting, and fun activities, that you have more time for now that you are home. Don’t forget to enjoy life, after all, it is passing, and you are living, now.

  • I tried to upload new photos specifically for this post but wasn’t able to. It seems my wifi is overwhelmed. So I reluctantly include prior posted photos.

Cheers & calm to you, from me, at The Holler~

330 thoughts on “Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

  1. Cindy, your recent posts are helpful for many people I believe. There are so much news and rumors about the situation around the World. It is really depressive for huge amount of the people.
    I do not know if it is appropriate to joke in such a situation but one said: “After full day news I have to watch horror movie to relax.” Unfortunately, we have to be in a circle and know what is going on around but not all of us can stay calm and behave accordingly. I see it all around my place. Many people don’t care and if it was bad only for them, who cares. But they put the others in a trouble.
    Ah… people!

    1. So many of your points resonate Alexander. Selfishness during times like this especially, hurts everyone, including the selfish person. Selfishness is not adaptive. People who are selfish tend to be disliked and people are thus less willing to help them when they need it. Watching a scary movie to feel better, yes, this can work! It is almost like, “This horror movie is way worse than what it happening to me,” and paradoxically this can bring relief. Take good care my friend & thank you for your thoughtful comment. ♡♡

  2. Thank you for sharing this Cindy. Such difficult times for so many people. Your words and your photos are a breath or fresh air in such troubling times💕

  3. I just had a “second voice” moment after reading a headline a friend had posted on FB. It’s like it was a headline written to create more fear rather than anything constructive. I’m so glad you “reluctantly” posted photos from your archive. They’re so beautiful and serene. They bring much pleasure and delight to the eyes! God bless you and yours and stay safe!

    1. Awww, God Bless you Linda & thank you for your kindness my friend. I wish the fear mongering headlines would just stop. So much of it is projection, this or that terrible thing “may happen.” Flowers encourage us to bloom and not worry. Love to you my friend. ♡♡

  4. A calming and uplifting post, Cindy…Walking is normally my saviour or outlet and that is severely restricted at the moment…Reading this has given me lots of ideas and your beautiful images always make me feel joyous…Stay well 🙂 x

  5. Thank you so much, Cinty for sharing your expertise during this difficult and stressful time.
    These beautiful wildflower images are very comforting. 🙂 X

  6. Thank you Cindy. The “second voice” is something I have relied on for many years (but I didn’t know the name). I spend a lot of time calming my employees ( we have been deemed essential an so there are no job loss worries, but still lots of anxiety) and your tips are really helpful. And, I love those flowers 🙂

  7. Thanks for the continuation of your toolbox, Cindy — and I’ve got to say, I don’t mind one bit that you had to re-post these glorious photos!

  8. Cindy, you are a gift. Thank you for sharing all of these ideas and resources. I’ve been stretching every morning and that helps set my day. Your photographs uplift today and always, and only you would know these aren’t new photos. I’m finally on both feet again after a long recovery, so time in the garden will be a balm once again. Arms around you as we get through this together. Alys

  9. I am finding this to be my most creative time! When we look back we will remember that being within a fixed location does not mean isolation! And speaking of meditation this is the one I have chosen today!!! “Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together,but do so with all your heart.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

  10. Excellent advice, Cindy. I’m not sure if this counts, but I continue to binge my old favorite BBC mysteries that I’ve already seen once. Pure escapism, I know, but Pretty keeps me inside for caution’s sake. Love the flowers and the words today!

    1. The BBC being masters in creating ‘who done-its’ and ITV also not ding bad, have lots of series to bring suspense again in the house. Also, their comedies are worthwhile to take from the cupboard and to be but back in the video recorder or in the cd-player.
      Ideal time also to see some costume drama’s or to watch some ballets and/or opera’s.

      Action = re-action ~~ tention + excitment = relaxation.

      Enjoy your binch-watching and do not forget to have some laughing in between as well.

        1. We enjoy them very much. We prefer to record them (before we see them) to be able to see them in one go, so that we do not have to wait one week before we know what happens next. “Binch watching” was known in our household already many years before the corona crisis.

  11. Lovely pictures and uplifting thoughts! Mother Nature may be indignant right now but she is the only one who provides solace with her waterfalls and flowers. She has given this time to people to connect with their inner self, introspect and let her heal herself. Stay blessed Cindy and keep inspiring.

    1. I love your words and meanings my friend. “She has given this time to people to connect with their inner self, introspect and let her heal herself.” It resonates so truthfully. Stay blessed and safe. ♡♡

  12. Thanks, Cindy, for the info and bright colors.

    A friend of mine sent me a photo today of one of his flower beds. It’s beautiful. Looking at cheerful colors helps, I think, with this awful situation that the world is in.

  13. Lovely ranunculus blossoms! Doesn’t matter if they are this year’s or not. 🙂
    Good tools, Cindy. I’ve been getting much more sleep because there is no reason to arise early these days. 🙂 Lazy days, not too bad.
    I’ve also signed on for an online tapping class (EFT). Seems like a good time to try it.
    Hope you and yours are well during this trying time. We’ll get through this!

  14. Great suggestions, Cindy. I’ve always believed in my inner voice. Not listening to it inevitably gets me in trouble. 🙂
    And so what if you have included flowers from the past. They are as beautiful as ever. –Curt

  15. I don’t think I’ve seen these flowers before so they are magic to the eye Cindy, thank you 😀
    And I have found a distraction, I’m slowly cleaning out a couple of rooms with their cupboards full of ‘whatever’ that I had kept putting off since I moved into this unit. And I must admit, the discoveries I have made have been amazing. Things that I had been looking for forever have been found and even a 70’s cassette tape that I found I couldn’t play because all I had now was dvd and cd players. I had somehow moved into the 20th century without realising it 😂 🤣

    1. How wonderful! Makes me smile. Reminds me of going shopping in your closets! Its amazing what you’ll find in there!!! And what bargains to boot! Stay well & cheers დ

  16. I SO love Poppies. You could put those on every post and I wouldn’t protest.

    That second voice…Chris Thomas would say that, that was your higher self.

    We are on shelter-in-place lockdown as of 6p EDT. We’ve been in the 70s so, many were out walking and enjoying it. I was walking around in my yard, grounding. I also did some needed Giveaways and burned them. I have more garbage and heavy emotions to dig out.

    I find that all of this worldwide hysteria is wearing me out. I’m needing more sleep.

    Hope all is well with you.

    1. Yes, the stress wears away at you like slow dripping water in a canyon. I am glad you are spending time in your garden. Stay safe and well my friend and take all the sleep you can get. It is nature’s restorative დ

  17. Such exquisite photos Cindy. There can *never* be too many flowers. Are they some kind of multi-petaled tulips, or are they peonies? Or multi-petaled poppies? No matter. Their beauty fills my heart.
    These days I’m mostly amused, and/or amazed at the stories the mind makes up. And rarely take it seriously. It’s very freeing.
    Alison xo

    1. They are ranunculus! They grow in massive fields this time of year near The Holler. I was just blissing out over your flowers Alison. I was responding to another blogger trying to remember the quote about flower power, and it came to me, “The violets in the mountains have broken the rock.” Tennessee Williams. He said it all, for us დ

    1. I use a modified version of it many times a week. I have more than 1200 acres of nature reserve with no people in it adjacent to my home, which I silently walk and explore regularly. Even when I travel, I am out in nature silently walking and observing, the more remote the better.

  18. Beautiful eye candies you have that are good ease your mind. Again, those are good tools to help lessen the anxiety during this crisis. Please stay safe and hope you and your family are well.

  19. Thank you Cindy. I love your tools and photos. I especially liked Carl Jung’s take on second voice. I’ve heard many ideas on inner voice and communication, but this resonates as the most useful. I’ll add it to my toolbox! Take good care of yourself. Hugs and blessings….💝

    1. I am glad it makes sense to you Brad. I adapted it from Jung and have used it for years and it works for me amazingly well. Often now my second voice is a short, “HA!” letting me know how off the mark my first thought really was. I love this. It makes me smile. Take good care Brad ❣

      1. Thank you! Our beautiful province (British Columbia) is leading the way in slightly flattening the curve, we have to remain strong and vigilant so we can “plank” the curve over the next few weeks!
        Be well and continue to stay safe…

  20. Good day Cindy, how are you?

    I’m always a sucker for colourful, vibrant blooms: these beautiful images have delighted and excited my eye, and offered a pleasurable distraction from reminders of global chaos, doom and gloom.

    Also enjoyed your dip into Jung and suggestion of listening to that second inner voice. During the coming weeks and months I am sure a consideration of this will prove necessary…quite possibly we’ll all fall foul of unwittingly projecting our concerns and anxieties upon another. These are indeed unprecedented times.

    Nature lovers will already know how liberating Gaia’s embrace can be when seamless with her Love.

    I trust y’all well and safe and taking great care in all ways. Keep smiling!


    1. As always, a wonderful comment to read Dewin and thoughtful thought provoking as well. We we went hiking today in the blessedly empty Holler and all was lush and green and full of spring flowers. The embrace of Mother Gaia is indeed the most comforting during times like these. Take good care my friend & thank you for your kindness ❣

      1. Thank you Cindy. We – family, friends, and our local community – continue to act responsibly knowing that we’ve an obligation to adhere to the rules and increasing restrictions both for the benefit of ourselves and just as importantly for others. A recent U.K government press conference hints towards a lengthy period of lockdown, although no specific time frame has been given (possibly between 1-6 months), which some will find difficult to deal with.

        Your period of daily exercise, hiking the Holler, sounds an absolute delight. I’m sure you already have an intimate knowledge of that area and will get to know it much better during the coming weeks. She, the Holler, will I hope continue to entertain and care for y’all.

        As a Nature lover, I thought this would raise a smile. The U.K’s nationwide lockdown is allowing animals to roam paths which they usually shy away from. As the Conservation Manager of one of the U.K’s largest national nature reserves said recently, “We have annual visitor numbers in excess of one million and suddenly, in the peak of breeding season, they are not going to be here. Nature is just going ‘ahhh, it’s all to ourselves now.”

        Stay well!


        1. Funny you should mention the animals enjoying the humans locked down for a change. We were supposed to go skiing, but we cancelled the trip due to the pandemic and then they shut down the mountain. For the first time in forever there weren’t a thousand skiers on the mountain, and look what happened! I swear this is a bear I saw in the summer. It actually made the UK papers:

          1. Nature will reclaim what is and has always rightfully been hers. Perhaps in the aftermath of COVID-19 we will learn to live symbiotically with Nature rather than seek dominion over it. Thank you for the link Cindy, it’ll not be the first or last Bear to extend its daily excursion by wandering into town.

            Sorry to hear of your cancelled ski-trip. There is always another time, the mountains aren’t going anywhere. Keep smiling.

            Take care,


  21. Your post is choc-full of antidotes to stress and anxiety, Cindy, thank you again for sharing your expertise and the lovely floral display. I’m intrigued by the second voice and really need to listen to it more. My first voice gets me in trouble, so this was really great to read and now have an actionable plan to move forward to positivity!

  22. These are sound professional advice that can reduce stress and anxiety. Many people are suffering from them. The pictures of the flowers are beautiful and soothing. Thank you for the info.

  23. Reblogged this on BOOK CHAT and commented:
    Once again Cindy Knoke shares her knowledge on how to deal with the pressures of this pandemic. This is part three. (You can scroll through my latest posts for links to parts 1 and 2). Besides her advice on staying sane through the Covid-19 pandemic, Cindy’s blog contains a plethora of entertaining posts with her own photos. Please stop by her blog often.

  24. I love this post and all the suggestions/advice. I meditate twice a day and find it SO helpful. First thing in the morning, to start the day calm and centered (and adding energy tapping), then before dinner to end the day releasing stress and anxiety.
    I also find NOT listening to the news too much helps. Half hour with the newspaper, and half hour national news is more than enough. ;-0 Thanks for this. xo

    1. You are living proof of how beneficial taking control of your stress actually is. It does take practice, but so does anything worthwhile. Thank you for sharing your impressive daily program and take good care დ

  25. What a beautiful and inspirinhg post!
    The concept of the second voice is not new to me, but I had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me 🙂 he colours of your photos are beautiful, warm and comforting. Thank you for this Inspiration.

  26. Thank you, Cindy, for this series of posts that remind us of things we so easily forget amid the noise, chaos and negativity. It’s now a daily effort to reset and move on. Thank God for Spring – and for your always gorgeous pictures! New York is a mess now, with bad news in the numbers every day. We are all half afraid to go to the stores in our masks and gloves, even for essentials. Though unnecessary travel is frowned upon, we sneak off to the the beach now and then just to drink in the view. Prayers appreciated as we head towards peak infection here. Other emerging hot spots will, I fear, suffer all summer long. Blessings on you and yours in these anxious days!

    1. Blessings and prayers back to you and Marion and your family Peter. I am prayerful that New York will reach it’s peak soon and have some so needed relief. Love to you my friend & stay safe ღ

  27. Such beautiful flowers. My second voice has always helped me, it is very easy to judge events or people otherwise. I do Yoga and Reiki early in the morning and of course exercise and diet are necessary. And I do not use the internet before 12.30, it is so distracting. Stay safe and healthy. Regards

  28. You took me right back to my childhood there for a moment… About that ‘second voice’ 🙂
    As a child, like many others, I had whole conversations with puppets, dolls and whatever came in handy – somtimes literally, my own 2 hands ;-). With the years the puppets went, the dolls went… but discussions with myself stayed and to this day, if I am nervous or trying to work out something, I ask myself and answer too, all on my own. And it certainly helps… 😀

    1. Yes. It is immensely helpful and I am glad you are aware of it and make use of it. I think it is a big shame that we are taught to lose our childhood selves. In so many ways, they are our best selves ღ

  29. Thank you for your wonderful support, to overcome the lockdown, Cindy. Looking at the images is really refreshing the mind, and the toolbox is great, too.
    Hope you all are well, and stay save. Best wishes, Michael

  30. Prior posted photos or not, they’re gorgeous, Cindy! And a much welcomed soothing to the eyes. Thank you for them, and for these wonderful suggestions. I have bookmarked this post to re-read them, and am looking forward to reading your earlier posts on other tools as anxiety busters. Thank you again. Cheers to you, my friend.

  31. Pushing out all the negativity on the news and that from others is something I try to avoid and look at all the positive, encouraging ways people are coming together and helping one another is what lifts me up and choosing joy in all the ways we can find strength. Getting out and walking my dog in the fresh air helps to relieve anxiety for me also, and above all, first and foremost; prayer and personal time with God and studying His word is what really feeds my soul and lifts my spirit knowing that he knows and controls all and holds it all in the palm of his hands.

    1. “Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” I am happy you have your spiritual center Joyce. Stay safe and well my friend დ

  32. Take this time out to talk to those you live with, I did and spoke to a lovely lady last night, found we had so much in common, music, food, books and travel, my Wife is really a lovely Lady.

  33. Pingback: Sunday Stills: The Power of Fantastic #Florals – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

  34. My toolbox is a bit different but a toolbox is essential. Imagining myself in your fields of flowers is a good tool. Mozart, Chopin and a host of other works of music take me out of myself. My A.D.D. mind is not conducive to meditation but painting seems to give me a similar escape. Of course one cannot go wrong with a walk in the hills here. Reading has always been a great comfort and refuge for me.
    Bisous et on santé xxx

                1. Good. I want to read, “The Empaths Guide to the Galaxy.”
                  You have to admit you created a brilliant concept.
                  I will still write one chapter.
                  Stay safe sweet lady ♡

                  1. I can’t even imagine where to begin, however, I am ordering a copy of Hitchiker’s Guide… for research as I’ve never actually read it.
                    You have certainly hyped up that tiny hamster who runs on the wheel in my grey matter as my head is spinning.
                    It would be a great honor to have you take part and perhaps even a bit more than a chapter, an introduction?
                    Bonne santé ❤

  35. What a lovely positive-energy post Cindy i appreciate the time you spent to share this.

    I have a meditation app which is quite good. I use YouTube Yoga classes and my regular pilate’s teacher is doing online class lessons to keep the charges down and it motivate us to participate. Facetime and Skype friends and elderly family members. I’m also getting prepared for an exam, learning new music and even Mary Kondo’d my cupboards.

  36. Sometimes distraction is also a good tool…
    Hubby and I just finished a different little card game.

    Be well, stay safe and sane, Hugs, Jules

  37. Thanks so much for the beauty and the suggestions in this post, Cindy! Your beautiful soul shines through and your willingness to offer this peace to your readers is a testament to your kind heart. I hope you are well. Keep creating…stay safe! <3

    1. Your so thoughtful comment is shining example of why I so love being part of this incredible blogging community. Thank you for your kindness Lorrie & stay safe my friend <3

        1. Yes. It is so interesting, isn’t it. While some research and media tend to report that online interaction is limited and problematic, I have found it to be just the opposite. Bloggers are creative souls, who want to meet someone who understands, which you and I do. I am super blessed by this community and by you. Thank you Lorrie and stay safe my friend. ♡

          1. Thank you, Cindy 😊 I agree 100%. I feel more authenticity with friends I’ve made here than with some in person relations.
            Stay well…keep creating from your soul💜

    1. Prayer is innately calming to me and has been since I was very young and I grew up in an atheistic family. The peace and calm from prayer, and from sitting in a cathedral praying, has only increased as I age. დ

      1. Donovan Carper

        That’s pretty amazing how u discovered that in spite of atheist family. We have several at our church who came from similar backgrounds but knew there had to be more to life then pure existentialism…that’s great!!

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