April 11, 2020

Quarantine, Triggers & Attachments.

Anxious attachment styles might struggle more during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In times where social distancing and quarantine are the new norms, anxious attachment styles can find it more triggering.

When someone has an anxious attachment style, the physical distancing can induce extreme anxiety. The desire for connection, reassurance, and more time together, will be at an all-time high.

Depending on the person’s current situation, there are different solutions to their increased anxiety. They might have the urge to text more frequently, or need more phone calls and video chats. If an anxiously attached type is living with someone they might need more touching, affection, and together time—again, more reassurance.

In times like these, it is helpful for us to make specific requests. Explain it to others. Others might not find the need for closeness as much of a priority. Others might need more alone time than the anxious type and this can be triggering for them both.

The communication can be tough. Asking for what we need is often difficult, but a healthy example of this can sound like, “I’m feeling anxious right now with everything going on with the pandemic, it would calm me to have a hug, a kiss, or a phone call.”

There is nothing wrong with saying “I need a hug.” We do it at our house daily.

Also, make sure to do enough self-care. Take time to be alone, even when feeling anxious and needy for closeness. Often, anxious attachment styles will seek affection from others before tending to self-care. When anxious attachment styles do this it can come off as desperate. Watch out for that. It’s not wrong, but others might not understand it.

Try and bring independent energy back into the body—see if that helps with the anxiety. Also, ask others what they might be needing at this time. The primary focus might be toward our own anxiety, and that can seem selfish.

Try and respect what others need—they will find reciprocation a lot easier. Plus, it’s better than just trying to fill a “hole” through their attention and presence.

Remember to notice what is triggering during this time, and journal about it. Then, ask more clearly for what is needed (when it becomes known). This is how we don’t lose sight of ourselves.

Again, communicate to loved ones when feeling anxious and in need of reassurance.

As many people do, anxious attachment styles fear the unknown. Currently, it’s impossible to know what is going to happen next—in the world, with our health, and many other things. This is something we have to make some sort of peace with. No one knows the future. Right now, things feel unsafe and unpredictable—more so than usual. Try and work on being present to ease this fear of the unknown. Work on living every day to the fullest.

Here are some tools to help us anxious types (feel free to come up with some personalized options as well). Make sure to keep the list nearby because once our anxiety sets in we tend to forget about it:

>> Practice breathing deeply, more often. Anxiety makes us breathe shallowly.

>> Journal to find needs, calm fear, and express emotions.

>> Clearly describe a need. Try and use “I need” or “I want” phrases.

>> Use technology—virtual coffee dates or chats.

>> Get some alone time and do not expect others to fill the void.

>> Pets can give love and affection when humans can’t.

>> Respect other people’s need for alone time, and don’t take it personally.

>> Find things that help the anxiety and can be done alone.

>> Connect with nature.

>> Enjoy the small things in life.

>> Work on being present in the Now. Nothing is certain for tomorrow.

>> Watch movies or shows that help with attaining calm and connect to the heart (please note that violence usually makes us more anxious).

>> Watch for clingy and needy behaviors.

>> Write down what we need from others so we don’t forget to ask.

>> Make sure to exercise or do other activities that calm the nervous system.

>> Downtime is imperative to help the nervous system.

>> Try giving to others what we need for ourselves.

>> Be aware of vices that we use to cope.

>> Visualize hugs or affection when it isn’t possible in real life.

Own the anxiousness! I’ve found over the years that there is a sense of empowerment that comes from owning where we are, right now. Some even find that it works better than running from the anxiousness and trying to suppress it.

It’s a good time to learn more about what helps our anxious attachment style.



Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon
How to Enjoy Life Amidst the Coronavirus Fear: Your Go-To Guide from Books to Podcasts & Wellness Practices.
What the Coronavirus is Teaching Me: 5 Lessons from Uncertain Times.
The Artist’s Stay-at-Home & Stay Sane Guide.
10 Simple Ways to Boost your Immunity without Leaving the House.

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