[Content note: This post talks about food].
The COVID-19 crisis is making me feel anxious and out-of-control. As a result, I am trying to control more things and fussing over tasks that I normally would be more relaxed about. I have become more preoccupied about cleaning and hygiene, as well as health.
Of course, being meticulous about washing my hands and making sure I am eating healthily are very important right now. However, as someone who always eats healthily and maintains good personal hygiene and a clean home anyway, I don't need to worry about these things as much as I am right now.
As a special needs teacher, I'm a key worker which means that I am still travelling to work everyday during lockdown. Using public transport and interacting closely with children and other staff means I am more at risk of contracting the virus (and passing it on) than if I were staying at home. I feel really anxious.
The list below a reminder of things that I can control and the things I can't.
I need to remember to focus my energy on controlling what I can control and making sure things are as relaxed as I can make them.
I will need to accept the things that I cannot control which, as DBT taught me, is a process that I will have to practise every single day. Acceptance is a repeated action, not something that happens by wishing.
Things I can control:
- How I spend my time.
- Washing my hands.
- What I talk to others about.
- How much time I spend on my phone and social media.
- How much news I read.
- What I watch on TV.
- What others say or do.
- Whether people reply to my texts.
- How much time I rest.
- How much time I spend ruminating and worrying on repeat.
- Staying at home (when I am not at work).
Things I can't control
- NHS staffing.
- The shortage of ventilators.
- The global spread of the virus.
- People becoming seriously ill and dying.
- People I care about becoming seriously ill.
- Food stock in shops.
- Whether doctors have the necessary PPE.
- My doctor friends contracting a severe form of the virus due to repeated exposure.
- The economic impact of the virus.
- Job security.
If this post resonates with you, then you might find it helpful to learn about the DBT skill radical acceptance.