By: Amy Rivera, Counselor @armywife_counselorlife
I’m the type of person who LOVES a plan! As much as I Iike spontaneity now and then, I love organization and knowing when and how things will happen. These past few weeks have sent my stress levels high with all the uncertainty this pandemic has brought along. And this is coming from a military spouse. We deal with the unknown all the time during things like deployments, PCS moves, and field training. Almost every aspect of this lifestyle is full of uncertainties.
But as a military spouse, I know many of us are so used to “rolling with it” that we don’t realize when all our thoughts start to pile up on us and mentally weight us down. One thing I like to do when this happens is to mentally make a list of the things that I am in control of AND the things that are NOT in my control.
As a school counselor, this is a topic and technique that many other counselors and I use with students that adults can also take advantage of and use too. We, counselors, like to call this “the circle of control”.
The thought behind this is to refocus and remind yourself that there are things in your life that you have no control over, no matter how much effort and time you put, so instead, you should refocus your energy on the things you can control. Once you recognize this, you start to let go of the worry and stress coming from the stuff out of your circle of control.
THINGS I CANNOT CONTROL- other people’s thoughts, opinions, decisions; the weather; the traffic, etc.
THINGS I CAN CONTROL- my actions, my attitudes, what I make for dinner, if I work out or not, etc.
Like every technique, it takes practice, but I challenge you; the next time you are feeling overwhelmed, worried, or stress, make a list. Do the things on your list fall outside or within your circle of control?