The Simple Seven strategy for remaining present and empowered in times of unknown - Cath Corcoran psychologist

Anxious about the uncontrollable? Try the Simple Seven strategy

Nikki Parkinson Life 5 Comments

It’s no secret that I get anxious about the uncontrollable, particularly when the uncontrollable is as big as it’s been since the start of 2019.

(I’ve written previously about my anxiety here and here.)

What I’ve been feeling and experiencing in recent weeks is that the collective anxiety (mine and yours) has bubbled over to angst and anger among so many of us. 

I want to say at the outset, that I cannot even hope to imagine what you might feel like if you’re in Victoria or New South Wales right now, but I want you to know that I care and that I empathise.

I also want you to know that telling someone in another state that they “have it good” is just not fair and too simple an assumption. Just because a state appears free from restrictions, doesn’t mean that someone isn’t experiencing anxiety about how quickly that can change or that their business or family is severely affected by what’s happening in other states. Be careful with your words, you never know what might be going on with the person on the receiving end.

No-one in Australia is making plans right now and 100% thinking they’ll get to see those plans out.

I’m only confident of something going ahead if I get to the day of any planned event/occasion/holiday and we’re not in lockdown. That daily confidence didn’t even work for the last lockdown – I was literally about to jump in the car to spend the night away with girlfriends when the morning presser told us not to. I can tell you, that as a hardcore planner, this has required some massive work on letting go.

I now see a psychologist regularly and earlier this month I had had a maintenance session scheduled. In the lead up to it I was sure I didn’t need the appointment but then we went into the fourth (for 2021) “short/sharp” lockdown and my appointment fell within that time.

The appointment became a video appointment and I was very happy to have it. My straight-shooting psychologist reminded me (again) that I can only think, feel and take action around things in my control. As a self-confessed control freak, this is not easy and something I have to work on constantly – especially when we’re living in periods of such unknown. She says I have to switch off the self talk that goes to the worst case scenario and ask myself, “show me the proof that’s the case”. Easier said than done, right?

In a perfect world, we’d feel confident of a clear pathway out of this mess but this pathway is being made up as we go along. We don’t control the pathway. Rather that get frustrated and anxious about the uncontrollable, I thought it might be helpful to chat to a Melbourne-based psychologist, Cath Corcoran

Cath talks about her strategy – the Simple Seven – that can help to keep you present and empowered in times of unknown. These tips and this chat is hopefully helpful to those in lockdown right now and/or those living with the constant threat of lockdown.

Have a watch/listen …

Anxious about the uncontrollable? The Simple Seven strategy for remaining present and empowered in times of unknown - Cath Corcoran psychologist

Comments 5

  1. Thank you so much for your instagram live today. Both you and your guest Cath made a lot of sense with the Simple Seven ways.
    In these uncertain times we need all the strategies we can get.
    My son is in Year 12 here in NSW and is devastated that his final year of school is being so mucked up, so am having to find extra strength to guide him through, and to come out the other side.
    We will all get there.

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      We really do need all the strategies – it helps us find what works best for our own situations. I so feel for the Year 12s last year and this year. Everything they thought would happen hasn’t and then the stress of trying to get through it. Wishing your family all the best x

  2. Omg YES! I have struggled with anxiety for many, many years. I know how to ground myself, cooking is my saviour. The chopping, dicing whatever. The kitchen is my happy place, and so is the ocean. Caring for my elderly folks has been a new anxiety, with covid. We are all vexed, and good at wearing masks. In the early days though, I was flipping out at Woolies. Everyone wearing masks and gloves, empty shelves, I was a mess. I will never take for granted again the freedom to plan an event. My parents just turned 94 and 90. Gone are the days of planning a party, for now anyway. Loved this Nikki xx

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