Written By: Meghan Beck, LMSW
“Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere,” – Erma Bombeck, American Columnist.
Does this quote resonate with any of you? In my experience working as an EAP Clinician and Licensed Social Worker during the COVID-19 Pandemic, I have seen first hand the impact anxiety and worry can have on people’s mental health and well-being. During times of uncertainty, we must ask ourselves: “What can I do to control my current circumstances?” Consider: Do you have total control over the pandemic? The short answer to that is – no. However, we do have control over our mindset. Your attitude is your choice. When you experience fear, anxiety, and worry about the uncertainty of our nation weighing heavy on you, ask yourself: “Is it worth the worry? Will this matter a month from now? A year from now?” Call yourself to action. Take charge of your current circumstances.
How can you find the silver lining in a time filled with so much despair? First, I encourage you all to extend a bit of self-compassion toward yourself. Be kind to yourself – with your words and with your actions. Find time to thrive in the face of adversity. Quiet your inner critic and summon your inner champion. Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend who is suffering. Challenge your negative-self talk and try to avoid being critical of yourself. You are deserving of compassion – you are worthy of happiness and success – ACT LIKE IT!
If you find yourself wondering how you can do that – the first step is make time for self-care. Speak kindly to yourself and remember: we are all human and we are all going through this together. Be empathetic to those around you. Make time for rest and relaxation. Ask for help if you are struggling. Practice mindfulness, connect with those around you (virtually, of course), exercise, sleep well, and find time to engage in things important to your personal and professional growth and well-being.
Finally, I leave you with a few words of encouragement to help you thrive in 2021 and be the best version of yourself:
- Find opportunity in the face of adversity – obstacles help foster growth. Although you may not recognize it now – you WILL grow from this. It’s up to you to figure out how!
- Step outside your thoughts – Be aware of your thoughts instead of being imprisoned by them. Figure out what needs to be changed – start with your attitude. Take stock of the positive aspects of your life and find positive role models in your life and nurture those relationships.
- Acknowledge your fear and the fear of others – Hold these feelings with a compassionate heart. Seek help if you are struggling.
- Practice gratitude – As Brene Brown would say: “Gratitude invites joy into our lives.”