Right now, things feel out of control. And when things feel out of control, a sense of fear and helplessness can take over your thoughts.
You become the metaphorical rat in a maze searching for a way out, or around, the dreaded worst-case-scenario. This can be paralyzing from a psychological perspective.
But what if there are things you can influence right now? What if there was a way to discern the difference between your concerns and your control or influence?
When the two get muddled together, you lose the distinction between what you can actually change, and what you can’t. Then you swan dive into the rabbit hole of hopelessness and isolation.
Many people are struggling with control during quarantine. Control leads to self efficacy, feeling proactive, and grounded.
So, grab a piece of paper. Draw a big circle. Now draw a smaller circle inside the big circle.
Brain dump all of your concerns into that big circle. Include everything from world peace to pandemics to politics and the environment.
In the inner circle, write down the things in your immediate environment that you have control or influence over right now. For example, you can decide when to call a friend, help a neighbor, take a shower, wash the dishes, or donate to a favorite charity, etc.
Notice the differences. How does that feel? Can you let go of the things you can’t control? Can you refocus on what you can control?
What proactive step can you take today toward feeling the way you want to feel?
The circle of control versus circle of concern is described by Stephen Covey in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In his model, he focuses on workplace behaviors – reactive versus proactive action.
But this model applies to much more – such as life, relationships, hygiene, exercise, mental health practices, and so on. How can it help you during the coronavirus pandemic and physical distancing?