We started last time talking about dealing with the feelings you may be having given the new, very challenging time, we’re finding ourselves in. We will get through this if we work together.

Sometimes our feelings of anxiety can come from feeling helpless or overwhelmed by changes in your schedule, way of life, or work environment. I invite you to consider looking outside of yourself to see what more you can do. The act of connecting with others and supporting them will have a positive impact on you as well as them. For whatever reason… you’ve experienced job loss, reduced income, you or a loved one has had COVID-19 or have lost someone to it, you may be feeling lost… like the rug has been pulled out from under you. Shifting your focus to helping others is a wise, quick way to get grounded and feel powerful. As Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Here’s an effective tool if you’re feeling overwhelmed by a feeling of uncertainty about the future or a bit lost. Focus on one day at a time. Ask yourself, “What’s one small action that I can do today that will move me forward?” Here’s the magic of this strategy. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what “next” looks like: the specifics of a job, or how you’ll pay mounting bills. If you take any action today that has a positive effect on your physical or emotional health, a relationship, or potential future work, no matter how small, it will move you forward. It will develop a mindset of confidence and productivity as you head towards the next steps. A daily feeling of accomplishment works wonders as it creates a sense of certainty in an uncertain time.

Be present. This lets you focus solely on what you can do today. Presence will combat the understandable anxiety you may have about the future: employment, finances, etc. Affirmations help us stay present. And they’re the big guns for decreasing anxiety quickly. My favorites include:

“All I have to think about, work on today is….”

“I don’t have to think about that right now.”

“I will be okay.”

“I have everything within me to make everything okay.”

Tell yourself that this situation is temporary… EVERY time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or powerless.

Practice gratitude! It builds perspective and gets you out of a negative frame of mind. It’s understandable if you are feeling negative right now; this is a very tough time. But it isn’t going to serve you well if you stay in it. It’s human and easy to focus on what’s not going your way, but that weighs you down, which makes it harder to do the uplifting things that will get you through this with less suffering. Regular practice of gratitude, even for a few minutes, will have a powerful impact on your attitude.

Finally, be hopeful. Hope is what carries people through dark times because it reassures us that we will get to better days. We will get through this more easily if we help and take care of each other.

The thought I want to leave you with is that it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel like you don’t know what to do. It's okay to feel helpless. But if you notice that these feelings go from periodic to constant, and you know you have tried to work through them on your own, please reach out for support. We don’t get through really tough times by suffering alone.

If you have spoken with friends and/or family and it’s not getting you to a better place, here are some ideas: Ask someone you know who’s sought counseling for the name of their person. If you prefer privacy, you can find local mental health professionals by doing a local search on-line or to a health insurance company’s website. You can also contact your community’s mental health center for referrals.




Author's Bio: 

Lee Odescalchi is a coach and licensed psychologist. She has coached and counseled clients, just like you, looking for more fulfilling lives. Her unique approach uses the most effective methods of personal development and performance strategies. She does this while addressing issues from the past that have led to self-limiting beliefs that get in the way of your success. Lee also empowers people to “get out of their own way” and maximize their strengths so they can produce extraordinary results… in any area of their life.