By Root 2 Rise Counseling Center
Write down something that went well today.
On the toughest days, it’s hard to think of anything other than what went wrong. Writing down something that went well is a way of practicing gratitude and appreciation. Practicing gratitude helps focus the mind on what is going well, which creates balance in the brain- especially during a time when so many things are not going our way. Writing down what you appreciate has been shown to have many physical health benefits, improves sleep, and protects us from experiencing mental health problems.
Plan one thing to do tomorrow.
There’s a saying, “You run the day, or the day runs you.” The night before, plan for the 1 thing you want to do tomorrow that makes you feel like yourself. When you’re doing this one thing, slow down, be as present as you can so that you can soak it up. You need this.
Strive for progress, not perfection – if you aren’t able to complete the entire task, simplify it.
Part of feeling like yourself can be having a different area for work and for personal time, or creating some differentiation between those activities. You can change tables, change the direction you are facing, or remove work items out of your visual field when you’re not working.
Check in with someone weekly.
Ask a friend to be your partner in completing the above two suggestions. Set a time to check in with each other. Another option is setting a time to meet with a counselor. Having a weekly check in with a counselor helps you focus on what is important to you. It also gives your family and friends a break. It is great to have a social support network to lean on when we are feeling down or overwhelmed, and it can be difficult when so many of our friends and family are also experiencing hard times and feeling overloaded. Reaching out to a counselor can be a way to relieve pressure not only in yourself, but in your relationships as well.
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RA Emmons, ME McCullough: Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2003, 84 (2), 377
Fagley, N. S. (2012). Appreciation uniquely predicts life satisfaction above demographics, the Big 5 personality factors, and gratitude. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 59-63.
Digdon, N. and Koble, A. (2011), Effects of Constructive Worry, Imagery Distraction, and Gratitude Interventions on Sleep Quality: A Pilot Trial. Applied Psychology: Health and Well‐Being, 3: 193-206. doi:10.1111/j.1758-0854.2011.01049.x