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Know Your Worth: How to process uncomfortable feelings in unprecedented times

by on April 30, 2020 1:45 PM

This morning. I woke up with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Instead of holding it in, I just let the tears flow and found myself in the middle of a big old ugly cry. Let’s face it, this is SCARY! As parents, we want to put on a brave face and protect our children from seeing any anxiety and fear.

Here’s the deal. When we minimize and avoid our uncomfortable feelings, we end up even more uncomfortable. This manifests as impatience, adrenaline coursing through our veins, and strife in our homes.

Anyone who is a parent knows how hard we work every day to be brave and keep our children safe. In these uncertain times, let’s be brave enough to be authentic. If you are scared, let it out! One of things I do when I start to feel anxious is immediately say out loud, “I UNDERSTAND.” This provides immediate peace for several reasons:

  • I am letting the feeling out and giving it space to just BE.
  • I am offering compassion to the feeling with understanding and validation.
  • I am not stuffing it into a closet of emotions that will end up causing me more distress.
  • I am not trying to make myself feel better by changing the uncomfortable feeling quickly.

Try this when you feel seized with panic and anxiety. Treat your uncomfortable feelings like you would a good friend. Show them understanding and compassion. I promise that when you start doing this, you will feel some relief.

Do not put pressure on yourself to do more in this new normal. Goals are great, but the last thing we need right now is more pressure to get things done. If you feel inspired to de-clutter, take up yoga and meditate, and clean up your diet, go for it. If you feel the need to be quiet, stay on your couch, and watch TV, that works too. There are no rules for how we navigate this path. The main rule is to do what works for you and to be unapologetic about honoring what works for you.

Resist the urge to pile more on your plate and resist the urge to cut your own hair. Both are dangerous to your self-worth. Check in with yourself daily and ask yourself what you need; whether it’s a walk in the fresh air or a bowl of ice cream, honor what you need.

We are in this together. You are not alone. We are going to get through this.

And – you are doing an amazing job with your children!

And if you’re scared, I UNDERSTAND!

 

Meghan Fritz is a psychotherapist practicing in State College.

 



Meghan Fritz is a psychotherapist at Sunpointe Health in State College.
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