Stage four of the roadmap out of lockdown is coming – even if the date is still uncertain. Uncertainty about the future, with new variants and lockdowns overshadowing new social freedom, can bring low-level or substantial anxiety. If you’re feeling anxious or apprehensive about what’s to come, Relate Northants counsellor Debbie has just the thing for you.
And it’s a sandwich…
Debbie’s Anxiety-Busting Sandwich
Anxiety often arises from the feeling of being out of control. During the pandemic, the sense of being out of control has been much stronger. We can often feel that we are at the mercy of this unseen virus and fast-changing government legislation.
So let’s draw a sandwich.
The bottom slice of bread represents the past. The past is fixed: although we can change how we think or feel about it, we can’t change what happened in the past. You might find it helpful to write down some things from the past 2 years that make you feel anxious, or play on your mind.
The top slice of bread represents the future. The future is uncertain: we can influence it but we can’t control it. What things about the future are most often on your mind? Write them down in this slice of bread.
The sandwich filling is the now. And, guess what, we can control now! It might be the ‘now’ of the next 10 minutes, or the ‘now’ of today – but it is in our control.
What do you want to fill your sandwich with? This can be your choice.
Focussing on the present moment like this can really help anxiety. It allows us to take control of what’s in our reach. And, recognising the past can’t be changed and the future can’t be controlled, I can choose to let them go. Now, this present moment, is what matters.
Getting to the root of anxiety
Visualisations can really help to calm anxiety, but often we need to dig a bit deeper to get to the root causes – and to deal with the things we’re carrying from the past. You can reach out to us through our free helpline or find out more about individual counselling. Counselling is free at the moment for Northants residents. We’d love to help you.