Sarah’s Endless Swirl into Anxiety
COVID-19 needs no introduction. It’s the talk of the town all over the world and mentioned daily on every news outlet and social media platform.
This series of articles is not about COVID-19. It’s about you.
We’ve created a newsletter entitled Weathering the Storm inspired by actual clients* and written by experienced psychologists, providing you with curated tips and strategies to help you weather this storm. And as always, we’ll be here to help you navigate through it all.
Let’s dive in.
*All client names are fictional and presenting issues are composites of actual clients
Sarah has been working on dealing with issues relating to anxiety for a while.
Recently, her anxiety levels have been through the roof. She’s tried all the tricks : she’s gone for a jog, read an interesting book, played a board game with her family. Yet nothing seems to be helping with the overwhelming stress she is feeling.
No matter what she is doing, she continuously thinks to herself :
- Will I or a loved one get COVID-19?
- When will the pandemic be over?
- When will I be able to safely visit family and friends?
- When will I be able to go back to work?
Like most of us, Sarah knows that no certain answers to these questions exist. Yet to overcome the uncertainty, she finds herself answering each question by playing out the worst case scenario. This in turn, leads to emotional turmoil.
When we focus on what we have no control over, we feel powerless, discouraged, angry and fearful. But it’s hard to shift our focus when it’s all everyone is talking about. So one strategy is to remember the old saying:
- Focus on what you can change
- Accept things you can’t change
- And have wisdom to know the difference
Remembering to distinguish between what we can and can’t change can sometimes alleviate anxiety. What’s the point of wasting precious mental and physical energy focusing on things we can’t change?
But what happens when we still can’t stop thinking about things we can’t control?
Our next article will answer this specific question. Here’s a hint : double-standard.
For more tips, visit our blog here.
We welcome you to leave comments as well as questions in the discussion section so we can try to answer some of them in upcoming posts.
PsyMontreal is a network of licensed psychologists, psychotherapists and therapists offering psychotherapy services throughout Canada.
To schedule an appointment, contact us at 1-844-337-2473 ext. 0. We’re available 24/7 to answer your calls.