During these times of uncertainty I make sure that I take some time for myself everyday to refocus and remember that although there are things I cannot control, there are many things I can.
This is a technique that I was teaching our children earlier this year – who would have thought that it would be such a valuable tool for all. The steps are easily remembered as they make the acronym APPLE:
A – acknowledge: the first step is to notice what is happening within yourself, a body scan is a good way to first recognise that you have feelings of uncertainty or anxiety that is different. Stop, scan and acknowledge.
P – pause: by acknowledging that we have feelings of uncertainty or anxiety we can give yourself the time to pause – not react as we might have panicking or taking our unexplained emotion out on others.
P- pull back: remind yourself that this is ‘the worry’ talking and this is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling and not to believe everything that your mind is trying to tell you. Thoughts are not statements or facts, they are only thoughts.
L – let go: keeping in mind that these are thoughts, not statements or facts, you do not have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud. Blow them away as you would the seeds from a dandelion clock.
E – explore: bring yourself to the present moment because at this moment all is well. Focus on your breathing: imagine you are holding a flower and breathe in it’s amazing scent. As you breathe conduct another body scan or try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique: 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, and then return to what you were doing before you felt the worry.
We need to be kind to ourselves as well as those around us. There will be days when we go through rollercoaster emotions when the smallest thing will frustrate and anger us and then, like dominoes, other things will make us react in a way that is not rational.