“I think a vaccine will be ready in December,” he said. “But, I don’t think I would take it as soon as it comes out because it was rushed. So, I’m going to wait for other people to try it first.” I can understand that, I thought to myself. I would be concerned about ending up as a lab rat too. As I turned to the TV the newscaster said, “…here with us today to discuss whether or not it’s constitutional or legal to force Americans to wear masks…” Man, this is really the world now.
There is plenty to worry about this year and there may be more concerns come Christmas time. What’s important is knowing how to deal with surprises when they come so they don’t catch you off guard. What’s important is knowing how to take care of your mental health so you can survive any concern, worry, and change.
Pinpoint What You’re Worried About
You need to ask yourself, what exactly are you worried about? This way, you can know exactly what it is you need to deal with. However, it’s not as simple as asking yourself this question and then answering it. There’s a process behind how to unlock a full understanding of all of the worries in your mind and where those worries may be stemming from. A great way to get your mind ready to find the answers to this question is to start with a positive daily mindset routine (DMR). Why daily? Depending on what you’re going through and how well you’re handling it mentally, you may need more than one day to uncover all of your worries.
So, a great DMR I like to use goes like this:
- 20 minutes of meditation
- 10 minutes of journaling
- 5 minutes visualizing the life you want for yourself
- (Optional) Read your life purpose and/or write down three things you’re grateful for
The twenty-minute meditation is to calm your mind. If you’ve never meditated before, you should know that mediating is a skill. It takes practice to get good and can be developed like any other skill. If you need help, you can always do a twenty-minute guided meditation which involves having a meditation coach walk you through the meditation process.
After your meditation, your mind should be a bit more calm and your body should feel more relaxed. Now, we can do what’s called a “mind dump”. It’s where you set your timer for ten minutes and write out everything that’s on your mind. Sometimes, I find that when I write the date and just start journaling, I’ll get so zoned into one of the topics in my head that I’ll forget what the other ones were. So, what you can do is write the date and then add a bullet point list of all of the topics on your mind right under the date. Then, begin your mind dump. Once you’ve gotten everything on your mind out onto paper regarding the first topic in the list, you can flip back to see what the next topic is that you feel is on your mind and continue from there until the timer is up.
Once you’ve done that, take five minutes to visualize a day in the life you want for yourself (make sure you’re visualizing yourself in the first person!). This can be a great exercise to get more clear on what it is you’re working toward. Once your five minutes are up, you may feel a sense of drive to push through your worries so you can work toward making more progress on achieving that life for yourself. To finish your DMR for the day, you have the option of reading your WHY (what’s your purpose, the mission you’re on?) and/or writing down three things you’re grateful for. (As a side note, reading your past mind dumps once you’ve completed them is an option, but not recommended.)
How To Deal With Thoughts That Are More Than Just Worries
If you find yourself having “hot thoughts”, which are thoughts that affect your emotional state to where you may have emotional outbursts or turn to vices, it may be worth it to do a thought record. In cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), thought records are used to help facilitate a change in your mood by testing and analyzing your thoughts. A quick search online for the term, “Thought record cbt worksheet,” will provide you with one you can download and print for free to work through your emotions.
Find Your Destressers—Show Yourself Some Love!
Next, you want to find your destressers. What makes you feel relaxed? A warm bath with candles lit? A calm meditation session with incense? Figure out what works for you so you can take better care of your mental health (and show yourself some more self-love as an added bonus!). This will be important for the next part which is adopting a growth mindset.
Free Yourself From Worrying Over the Outcome
For your growth mindset, you want to remind yourself, “The only things standing between me and anything I want to accomplish are time and a skillset.” Ultimate Power, Lucio Buffalmano. That shifts you into the mindset and identity of a learner. From there, you can remind yourself that you only need to do your best because if your best doesn’t lead you to win that only means that you’ve been given another opportunity to learn. By reminding yourself that, you become outcome independent and less worried.
Now, Take Action.
Take action now. Go back to the top of this page and start with the first step, practicing your daily mindset routine today. You can take control of your mind so you can better face what life throws at you. With these action steps, you’ll be better prepared for the holidays this year.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.