How to Deal with Things We Cannot Control
January 9, 2020, the World Health Organization announces that COVID-19, a new virus is ravaging the world.
February 5, 2020, former President Trump faces an impeachment trial leaving the future of American politics in the balance.
March 9, 2020, the stock market plummets, rattling the economy and our sense of financial security
May 25, 2020, the death of George Floyd incites mass outrage and protests that sweep the nation
August 2020, wildfires ignite all over the west coast, devastating the homes of residents and and displacing many
September 18, 2020, Ruth Bader Ginsberg dies creating instability and grief among those who cherish her legacy
Yikes! It’s no wonder so many of us have anxiety! A small glimpse into last year and my chest tenses as I am typing this blog entry.
How can we ignore these major events that threaten the way we live our lives? How can we go on with blinders as though the world as we know it is not crumbling? How do we balance the daunting realities of modern society with preserving a healthy mental balance?
In working with clients who are prone to anxiety, I have noticed that feeling tends to be of panic, despair, powerlessness. The common sentiment that everything is going to the dumps and there’s nothing we can do about it. These feelings are normal when we are constantly confronted with how small we are in the face of massive interruptions.
Here are some steps you can take to claim your mind back:
1.Take a break from watching the news.
GASP! I know this sounds appalling to some of you. But yes, you can benefit from not turning to the new stations daily. Although it may be challenging to interrupt a deeply ingrained routine of binge watching bad news, you may see immediate benefits to taking a mental break. Go ahead, log off the computer, take some time away from social media, turn the TV channel to cartoons. You will be thankful you did.
2.Focus on what you can control.
Many of the events that stress us, are not things we can actually control. The political turmoil and the stock market are both colossal issues an average human being can do little to affect. So choose your battles and be realistic about what you do. If it’s exercising your right to vote, do that. If it’s investing in a company you believe in, do that. But please don’t carry the weight of the world on your feeble shoulders.
3.Get serious about your self care.
In my previous post, I discussed the definition of and various methods to practice self-care. You may find inspiration there. Or you may already have a routine that keeps you balanced, but may need to rev it up a bit. If running is your thing, run longer or take a different path. If meditation is your go-to, switch to a different guided meditation, add some incense or sit in the sun while you do it.
It’s undeniably difficult not to get sucked into the negativity that surrounds us, but we don’t have to be at its mercy. Claim your power back!