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.
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 …