For me, one of the most challenging parts of dealing with the Covid19 crisis is dealing with the “what if’s…” that go around in my head.
“What if my husband get’s sick? What if my family gets sick? What if I get sick? What if our business fails? What if I can’t pay the bills? What if my clients don’t pay? What if we run out of money?”
The “what ifs” easily take hold. Sometimes they are whirring continually like background noise in my mind. Other times, I can actually physically feel them – right in the pit of my stomach – just sitting there filling me with dread.
I have had to work at easing these “what ifs”. What works for me is realising that first and foremost, these are just thoughts–they are in my imagination. They haven’t actually happened. I realise that if I keep having these negative thoughts I will end up causing real damage to my health.
One I realise that these are just “thoughts” I start to replace them with other thoughts that are not as fearful, negative and gloom laden.
I start to think “What’s the best way to show my husband and family that I love them?” “What can I do to ensure that our business is viable and will continue?” “How can I ensure that I won’t get infected with the virus?” What strengths have I got that will get me through this?” Already, I begin to feel in control – that I am not powerless, that I can make choices, that I can act.
In addition, I make a conscious decision to trust – to mentally turn away from those thoughts that generate fear and to trust that I have the personal strength and the support of others to deal with whatever happens.
Finally, I stretch. I know my mind and my body are connected and my way of looking after my body is to feed it well, get good sleep, and to stretch.
The “what ifs” are just that – imaginary, illusions – not reality. Hard and all as it may be I can deal with reality rather than the fear of the “what ifs”.
And don’t forget that the EAP service is there to provide support in helping you take care of your psychological health and wellbeing. Talking it through with someone can be an important way to helping you deal with any challenge you face in life.