Many of you may worry right now about their loved ones, their business, the future and about how the COVID-19 is going to impact the world.
However, worrying can lead to thoughts of imagining the worst-case scenarios and in turn, leave us feeling anxious and exhausted.
Here is a little exercise you can do that can help you overcome worry.
First of all, reflect on what type of problems you worry about.
Is it –
a) Problems that need solutions right now and you can implement a plan to solve the problem.
b) Hypothetical problems, what if…. problems, imagining worst-case scenarios, catastrophising about things that are totally out of your control.
It’s really important to know this and my first worksheet below will help you identify which type of worrying you are doing, and how you might address the worry.
This worksheet is called the “Worry Tree”.
The “Worry Tree” worksheet helps you work through what is a “real” problem and what is a hypothetical problem. Once you have identified what type of worry it is, you may make plans for the real problem and find solutions and then let that worry go.
Hypothetical worries are just that, you don’t have any control over them. Once you realise that there is nothing you can do about a hypothetical problem because lets be honest, we can’t predict the future, you can let go of the problem.
Here is the “WORRY TREE’
When you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed it is a good idea to find things to do that you enjoy. This is a bit difficult at the moment as we are restricted with our movements and about how many people we can socialise with. I find not being able to be close to people is one of the most difficult restrictions as we are social animals and crave connection.
So it’s important that you can find small things to do every day that will give you a lift. It can be a phone call, a short walk, a bubble bath, or listening to your favourite music. It does not have to be something elaborate, because that might just be too overwhelming to do.
The next worksheet is taken from Psychology Tools and helps you reflect on what you can do to find wellbeing, looking at the 3 pillars of Pleasure, Achievement, and Connection. The idea is to find a balance between doing things you enjoy, doing things that give you a sense of achievement and engage in activities that help you connect with others.
Sometimes it can be hard to think of things that you want to do. Particularly if you are not feeling great. To help you identify those activities, I have created a worksheet to help you brainstorm.
The idea is to write down as many ideas that jump into your mind without overthinking it. Make the list as long as you can and then rate your ideas between 0 and 10.
0 = there is no way I will do this
10 = That’s something I will definitely
Discard any idea which rates below 8, as it is highly unlikely you will engage in those. Write all the activities that score 8, 9, or 10 on a card and think about planning those into your daily routine. It might just be 2 or 3 ideas that are scoring 8 or above, but that’s really all you need.
And finally, remember, 80% of the things we worry about never happen!!
This too will pass, stay safe.