Number 1: Focus on ONE thing at a time (YOU)April 3, 2020
It is easy to get overwhelmed worrying about so many things at one time. But if we focus on one thing at a time, we are more likely to handle it or manage it. Think about the elephant (pink elephant): everyone knows it’s there. But no one can eat the whole elephant (address the whole issue), especially without help. But if we break the elephant down into manageable pieces (one issue at a time), we are more apt to handle the situation.
Even during a time of social distancing, we have so many demands. We all have demands, but we all make demands as well. It is when we expect our expectations from others that we fall into an irrational thinking pattern: I can control this or that. But the fact is, only you are in control of you. So it is wasted energy (usually negative) attempting to make people do anything or expecting anything other than what happens. The art of letting go and letting it be is definitely a counter-intuitive concept. But once we accept what we truly have control over, we lose some unnecessary worry. Scripture reminds us to be “anxious for nothing” (no worry), “but in everything by prayer and supplication (taking 5), with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God" (who has control) Philippians 4:6. This scripture is supported by numerous religious and universal views. Even Elsa in the movie Frozen, “let it go”.
Focus your energy on the one person you can control-YOU. Place that energy (anxiety) into places you can control, like (you) trying something new, (you) cooking dinner for your family, (you) working out, (you) taking 5 minutes twice a day! Only one person has control over how you will respond to the noise and chaos in your world. You alone get to decide how you want to respond to all the information you are receiving through your 5 senses. You alone can choose to seek help to deal with anxiety, depressed mood, or simply learning to adjust to a new normal.
Even if you never seek professional help, you can always Take 5 and:
1) Focus on yourself
2) Take time out for you twice a day, even if it is just 5 minutes
3) Relax, Relate, Release
4) Focus on Family, Friends, Faith and Fun
5) Simply taking 5 minutes to count down and breathe!
Natashia Slack is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She earned her Bachelor’s in Public Relations from The University of Louisiana at Monroe and her Master’s in Community Counseling from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans. She has a passion for healing others, especially children. With her 17 years of counseling experience, she loves to mentor and teach other counselors with the hopes of reaching more individuals with quality care. When she isn’t working, she loves to sing, dance, and spend time with her family. Natashia is excited to continue helping and inspiring others!