Life is full of ups and downs, and there are times when it can be difficult to cope with the uncertainty. This article contains a list of strategies that will help you anchor yourself during times of distress .
4 Steps for Anchoring Yourself During Times of Distress
1) Remember your past successes – Draw on past memories where you were successful in dealing with similar situations to give yourself confidence going forward. I know the land of pandemics is new to all of us, but when in your life did you go through a very difficult time and come through to the other side? What skills or mindset did you use to achieve this? What did you learn about who you are and how you cope with adversity?
2) Establish control over what you can. For instance, you are in control of the thoughts you choose, the reactions you have, the food you eat, the television you watch etc etc.
3) Seek out support from others – It’s important not to try and go through difficult times alone. Acknowledging that you also have concerns or worries about what’s happening around us provides common ground with other people who are mostly feeling the same, and there is no shame in reaching out for help when it is needed! In this particular global pandemic it is important to focus on what we have in common. For instance supporting each other through the shared experience of Covid-19 is more important than focussing on differences in lockdown times or vaccinations . Differences in times of stress can often accidentally be weaponised as people may feel more vulnerable.
4) Lean into the things that have been proven to work. For instance when it comes to mindset, we know that positivity is always going to trump seeing the negative. When it comes to running your body well, we know that hydration, sleep and exercise are always going to help you to process large amounts of stress. When it comes to connection, we know that reaching out and living in an authentic sense of community and belonging is always going to add to our sense of purpose and meaning and when it comes to existential tension we know that prayer (if you believe in a higher power) and / or mindfulness and gratitude for things bigger than us is always going to lend us perspective and grace to cope. Most of us know these things to be true, where we can go astray is in forgetting to implement them on a regular basis.
When it comes to anchoring yourself during times of distress, there is much to be gained by following these 4 easy steps. I hope these tips provide you with a sense of efficacy during this time. Remember, you’re never on your own and of course as a clinic we are here for you too!