Constantly ticking boxes, living by rules that you made yourself. Can be quite suffocating!
One of my clients is someone like that. She wants to do everything perfectly, she can’t relax until everything is done. So she runs through the day, ticks every box she meets and then finally goes to bed, exhausted but satisfied with herself because she did it all… Well, she didn’t sit down with her daughter to have some tea together and she didn’t meet with a friend because she was too busy, but hey, she did tick every box!
But this satisfaction doesn’t last very long, because next day it all starts over again. The thing is that it’s never all done, is it? There’s always something that needs attention, could be cleaned/fixed, whatever.
Ask yourself what is really important for me? Does this ticking boxes day after day after day really make me happy in the long term?
It’s quite natural that you are worrying in these surreal times. Don’t judge yourself for your tendency to overthink everything that is happening to us right now. This is difficult! Am I going to stay safe? Are my parents going to stay healthy? What if I lose my job?
Of course we don’t know about the future. There is no way we can predict how the world will look in a couple of weeks, months, even years. There’s no control here.
Focus on what you can control: take care of yourself and your loved ones in the here and now, be kind to yourself and others. Do what matters to you. Follow the guidelines.
And if the worry kicks in again: reconnect to the present. Don’t judge yourself. Ask yourself: how can I help myself in these difficult times? Whether it’s calling a friend, taking a bath, making yourself a tea or start that new jigsaw.
Many people are having a lot of negative feelings about online working, but for me as a counselling psychologist..
I love working online!
5 reasons (and there must be more, allow me to come back on this)
- No need to worry about the tidiness of the room as long it looks neat on the background
- No need to worry about the tidiness of my lower half haha
- People are on time!
- If the annoying laundry dryer starts to beep in the utility room next door I can unmute my sound
- I can drink gallons of coffee and tea without disturbing the session
Sophie (student, 22) came to me because she often experienced high anxiety levels, especially before an exam or test.
Thoughts like: “I’m going to fail” and “If I fail I won’t graduate”, came up. Of course these thoughts had a great impact on her mood; she felt panicking and worried. The thoughts also had a negative effect on her behaviour; she just kept studying until very late in the evening, which made her less fit during the actual exam. So her anxiety to fail was becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy!
In CBT you explicit your (automatic) thoughts and together with the therapist you start examining and validating them.
Looking at her thoughts together in our sessions made her realise that her way of thinking was quite black/white and exaggerating, not really realistic and certainly not very helpful! By changing her way of thinking in more realistic, nuanced and more helpful thoughts, she experienced far less anxiety and could handle her exams in a more healthy way.
Speak up, open up!
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us
We ask ourselves, who am I to to be brilliant
gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?