Readjusting Your Benchmarks
During times of major change, the goals you set for yourself may be readjusted or replaced with what takes precedence given the circumstance. In an ideal world, a person would achieve any goal they set for themselves; but even then, they might not achieve everything. If the same goals are set and expected of oneself during a pandemic, you are invalidating yourself and the hardship that you’re experiencing. Instead, reflect on what you would like to achieve while taking the circumstance into consideration, and then explore what is reasonable and feasible at this time.
Lighten Your Load
Given the new demands, responsibilities, and problem solving you’re doing, you might be experiencing mental and physical fatigue. You might notice how you’re tired more often or quicker than usual. This is natural and normal. Sometimes, there’s the desire to do what you’re already doing plus the new tasks from the pandemic. This might lead to extreme exhaustion. Re-evaluating your daily or weekly schedule, and not overburdening yourself, might be helpful. Or, handing some tasks to a person who can help can also lighten the load.
The Present Moment
Not only are individuals consumed with how they’re getting through their daily lives, mental energy is also being used to cope with the uncertainty of the future. Both of these take away from the present moment. Focusing on the present moment can include grounding exercises or mindfulness. These will not get rid of the difficulty and stress that’s experienced; instead, mindfulness will allow you to check in with your body, validate the hard work that you are doing, and allow you to explore how you can engage in self-care. I created a free audio to assist with this, CLICK HERE to listen.
Lower the Pressure
We are hardest on ourselves. The pressure or expectations that we have for ourselves leave little to no room for taking care of ourselves. Instead, the focus is on to-do lists, new and old tasks to be completed, taking care of others, etc. It’s okay to not do it all right now. In fact, it would be difficult to do so. This does not mean that you toss all expectations out the window, but instead, be realistic in what you can achieve during this time.
Minimize or Maneuver Through Triggers
Are there specific factors raising your distress or taking a toll? Take a moment to reflect on when your distress increases. What were you doing or what was happening at that moment? Some examples can include watching every news briefing by state and local officials, conversations with an individual you live with, a phone call from a family member, seeing images or videos of empty store shelves, taking on additional tasks at work, etc. Knowing what exact triggers are having an impact on your mood can be helpful when creating a game plan for what you will do when the triggers arise.
You don’t have to do this alone. If you are interested in receiving therapy with me, you can call, email, or self-schedule a phone consult. CLICK HERE to learn about telehealth. Ready to get started? Let’s work together!
Interested in learning more about stress during a pandemic? Click below to read my blogs:
Interested in learning more about therapy? Click below to watch my videos:
Disclaimer: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. The topics being discussed are meant as a self-help tool for you own use. It is not psychotherapy or counseling. This information is to be used based on your own judgment. If you need to speak with a professional, you should find one local to you and contact them directly.