Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit. Today I want to share with you the five thoughts you need to watch out for during COVID-19. I know we are in a stage right now where we are all trying to adapt to our new normal. Over the past week, I have noticed a few thoughts that have come up with clients about our current situation that I want to share with you.
Here we go. These are the 5 thoughts you need to watch out for during COVID-19.
1. “I cannot handle this.” This is really important because if you are telling yourself that you cannot handle it then chances are you probably won’t. What I would love for you to say instead is, "I can do hard things.” You don't have to do it perfectly, but you absolutely can handle it.
2. “I am going crazy indoors." It is easy to start feeling claustrophobic if you are constantly reminding yourself that you are indoors or cooped up. Instead try switching this statement to “It’s hard for me to be indoors.” I also think it is really important if you are in a place where it is safe and you are able to try and get outdoors every day. Even if it means just standing outside your front door. Getting outdoors at least once a day is so important for our mental health.
3. “When will it end?” This one is really, really hard. If you are spending a lot of time trying to answer this question then you are probably going to end up frustrated, disappointed and more anxious because nobody has the answer. Instead, I would encourage you to try and stay in the present moment. Try focusing on the present day only, not what might happen next week or next month.
4. “Life will never be the same.” Another one that is really hard because there is a lot of grieving happening right now. You may be grieving that your life looks and feels so different. If we keep telling ourselves that life will never be the same, we end up creating a lot more anxiety and ultimately a lot more grief. I think it is so important to give yourself a lot of compassion if this thought is coming up for you.
5. “I should” statements. These look like “I should be handling this better. I should be cleaning my house. I should be learning a new language.” No, we are in the midst of a pandemic. You may not have the energy, bandwidth or mental space to be doing any of those things and that is absolutely OK. I would encourage you to shift your language from “I should” to “I could.” Instead of saying “I should be handling this better.” say “I could be handling this better, but I am doing the best I can with what I have.”
So these are the five thoughts I want you to watch out for during COVID-19. Some of them you may be thinking a lot, some not at all, but I really felt it was important to address these five because it can be so easy to fall into some of these traps!
ERP School, BFRB School, and Mindfulness School for OCD are all now open for purchase. If you feel you would benefit, please go to cbtschool.com
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