"We’re in it for the long run, so it’s very important we don’t let the state of the world rob us of our sense of control."
Don’t let Coronavirus trigger your anxiety
Not another blog post on mental health during the pandemic, I hear you thinking. I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to avoid all the, frankly disheartening, stories and stats on depression or anxiety since coronavirus broke out. We have been inundated but it’s justified, there’s no denying that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our wellbeing as a nation.
We’re in it for the long run, so it’s very important we don’t let the state of the world rob us of our sense of control. Ultimately, that is what is leading to a lot of our anxieties. The lockdown and the subsequent ‘new normal’ have derailed our plans and got in the way of our timelines. We’ve lost count of how many weddings, social gatherings and in the worst of cases, medical treatments like chemotherapy, have had to be rescheduled. Whether we like it or not, and as frustrating or even terrible as it can be in some cases, it’s completely out of our hands. What do we need to do when we have no control over a situation? Surrender.
It’s easier said than done, I know. I don’t mean ‘do nothing’, bear with me and my trust in positive psychology. Acknowledge that anxiety is a (valid!) feeling, and all feelings are caused by our thoughts, in this case around the loss of control. How does this help us? Because feelings are hard to tackle head on, but thoughts can easily be managed. If we accept that there’s going to be uncertainty and get comfortable with the fact that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic so we’re going to have to be flexible with some of our plans, we’re making space in our minds and lives to focus on other goals. Once you’ve managed that, you’ll feel ‘unstuck’, a lot more grounded and will be able to achieve far more than you would expect to.
Remember that huge and ambitious goals are not helpful if they keep you in a state of ‘analysis paralysis’, where your perfectionism holds you back from taking steps forward. Break down your big dreams into a series of small goals that you’re confident you’ll be able to accomplish in the short term. The sense of achievement and progress that you will get from working on them will make you feel calmer and happier.
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