One thing the ongoing Covid19 crisis has taught me is that there are limits to what I can control and influence in my life, but also that recognising those limits can be good for my emotional wellbeing. In contrast, feeling like everything is out of control and that there’s nothing I can do about it can lead to feelings of overwhelm, despair, frustration and stress.
When we do find ourselves overwhelmed or stressed, we can help ourselves feel better by gaining a sense of perspective – getting a clearer view. It’s pointless to dwell on or worry about things that are outside of our control, or our ability to influence one way or another. Easier said than done I know, but the first step is identifying what’s within our control and what isn’t. This can help us feel more sure of ourselves and less at the mercy of events.
The image below is a way of visualising the things that you have control over and the things that you don’t. You can apply it to any set of circumstances where you feel anxious or overwhelmed; this example is about Covid19.
In the inner circle, you write all the things that are within your control in your current situation, and in the outer circle all the things you can’t control. Here are some of the in-my-control/out-of-my-control factors I’ve been thinking about during the Covid19 crisis. Click the image for a larger view.
Are there any other things that you could add to those circles? Factors that you have control over that perhaps you’d overlooked? Try and think of as many as you can, however small and – seemingly – insignificant. Once you have your two circles completed, give yourself permission to stop worrying about the things you can’t control and to focus on the things you can; you might be surprised and relieved!