A loss of control can be very stressful as we want and need to feel in control of key aspects of our life, so the essential requirement to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic may make you feel like you have lost control over different areas of your life.
So how do you cope with this sudden change?
Here are 3 steps to help you lower your stress and anxiety levels. 1. Dump the worries that aren’t yours We seem to collect worries and carry them with us, pushing our stress levels up. This simple exercise will help you understand your worries and stressors.
Draw two circles like the ones in the diagram above.
The inner circle will contain all your worries that you can do something about, the ones you have control over, for example your habits, hobbies, spending, attitude, skills and education etc.
The outer circle will contain all the worries that are out of your control, for example the weather, politics, the economy, opinions of others etc.
Add all your worries to the sheet, putting them into the correct circle based on whether you have control over the issue or not. You may find yourself unpicking some of your worries to split the elements down to those you can or cannot control.
Once you have completed the exercise take a good look at the sheet. How many things are in the outer circle?
Now let go of everything in the outer circle. You have no control over these and worrying about them is a waste of your time and energy. Only focus on the issues that you can control and find ways to resolve or minimise these. 2. Smash your crystal ball We love to predict the future but when you are feeling stressed these thoughts are more likely to be negative. Smash your crystal ball, catastrophizing over the future isn’t any good for you, instead accept the current situation. 3. Plan to move on Accepting your current situation isn’t about bottling up your emotions. When something has upset or angered you it’s important to get those feelings out of your system. Vent your feelings in an appropriate way, whether it’s talking it over with someone or going for a run, whatever works for you. Just get those emotions out of your system.
Venting takes the raw emotion away so you can look more rationally at the issue and decide how you want to move forward.
You have two choices. a. Stay in your current situation and keep the problem alive b. Cut your losses, make a new plan and move forward When you are developing your new plan you must start from where you are now and with what you have got, this way every action you take builds success and motivation as you move towards your goal. Working backwards from your future goal can be demoralising and add to your stress as it reinforces how much you need to achieve to reach your goal. When managing stress you have to accept where you are now and the next step you need to take, this way you focus on the progress you have made and how far you have come.
In short... Be kind to yourself. Dump all worries and stressors that you have no control over, smash your crystal ball and make a plan that minimises or removes the issues so you can move forward. If you would like to find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org