Separate Out What You Can and Cannot Control
The human mind seeks certainty and control, yet these may be impossible in the current environment. Practice acceptance of your circumstances as well as the emotions you experience. Making peace with what is out of your control can create mental energy for you to plan more productively for what is within your power.
What kinds of things can I control during this uncertain time?
· Steps you take to stay healthy
· How you cope
· How you treat others
· What you eat and drink
· How much help/support you seek
· How much time you spend worrying
· How you support your community
· Amount of news you consume
Finding peace with what you can and cannot control
Worry often focuses our attention on the future: an unknown outcome or danger or distress that we anticipate. One way to manage these worries is to focus on one worry at a time and identify whether it is about something you can control or not. Once a worry is categorized, you can approach it more effectively:
1. Worries about things you can control can help motivate you to make a plan or take action.
2. Worries about things you cannot control are depleting. Use a coping skill to manage these worries instead.
Is this worry about something I can control?
· What resources are available to help me stay informed about risks, safety measures in place, and important updates?
· Who can I contact for logistical or practical help?
· Who can I contact for emotional support?
· What steps can I take right now, to help me prepare for this situation?
· Which coping skills will I use to help me relieve or tolerate my distress?
o relaxation, deep breathing
o meditation, mindfulness
o physical activity, getting outside
o music, hobbies, creative arts
o social support and connection
o distraction: books, movies, TV
· What can I do after this coping skill, to help me feel safe, supported, connected to others, or productive today?