Sassy’s Blog (#4): Help or Harm
Sassy’s Blog is named for the very astute cat of WRC’s Clinical Director and Resource Coordination Counselor, Kai Qualls, M.A., LPC. The theme of the Blog is Resilience, which is especially timely given our shared uncertainty during the COVID-19 crisis. We hope you will enjoy and benefit from Sassy’s Blog, this month written by fellow member of the Resource Coordination and Counseling team, Rujuta Chincholkar-Mandelia, PhD, M.Ed.
We are in the thick of the pandemic. We have not taken a vacation or eaten inside a restaurant or perhaps hugged a loved one or met up with friends this year. It has been a conscious choice to be safe. We have kept our end of the bargain. It has taken a toll. We are fighting with our loved ones. We need our space. We need to be at the office. We work at home all day. We are over-stretched and over-whelmed. Research shows that our anxiety levels are way up. We are feeling depressed and lonely. We are in the throes of a mental health crisis.
What are we able to do? Here are some tips to help with the anxiety:
- Pre-Commitment: Before you make a commitment to your self-care practices, acknowledge that this is a difficult time for you. Make a conscious decision to allocate an appropriate amount of time for self-care and follow through.
- Allocation of Energy: Right now, our brains have an overload of information that is leading to immense anxiety. Make a commitment to how much and where you are able to allocate your energy.
- Is it harming me or helping me?: The question to contemplate is whether a thought or an action is harming us or helping us. When we are anxious, we make decisions based in fear.
- Focus on the here and now: Lastly, focus on what’s right in front of you. Put one step in front of the other, breathe and let the fog disappear.
The poet Rumi states, “As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” The present moment is a good time to start walking with the above four tools in your mental health toolbox.