Our mind is a powerful force. Our thoughts have a tendency to take us captive and run in every direction except for the one we need it to.
You have to make your mind, mind!
Right now more than ever, it is important to make our mind mind. What does that mean? It means taking control of your thoughts. Not letting your mind wander off into the "what ifs." "What if things never go back to normal?" "What if I contract COVID-19?" "What if I lose my job?"
All of these are very legitimate concerns. The problem comes in when these thoughts begin to consume us. When these things become all that we are able to think about, we slip into bouts of anxiety, depression and restlessness. We've spoken with many nurses who have found themselves at this point.
If you have found yourself in a season of depression or anxiety that you can not deal with, we highly encourage you to seek professional guidance. Many hospitals and employers offer Employee Assistance Programs (or EAPs). You may also be able to go through your insurance company to see a mental health professional of your choice. In addition to the traditional methods, there are online tools like Better Help where you can get professional counseling/therapy right from your home.
But for the individuals who just need to grab hold of their mind and their thoughts, here are some tools.
Stop Talking About It: Constantly talking about what bothers us keeps it at the forefront of our mind. Have you ever been re-sharing a story about the person who wronged you and find yourself getting mad all over again? Guess what? We can hear what we are saying. Our mind processes what it hears. If we are constantly talking about our worries, our mind is going to keep them at top priority and magnify them.
Avoid Triggers: Many times we can't stop thinking about what is bothering us because things we are seeing or people we are around are triggering. Obviously we have to go to work. I'm not saying to quit your job. However, if people you are around, TV shows you are watching, or scrolling through your social media feed is adding to the anxiety, cut it out. Turn it off. Stop taking that phone call. Whatever you need to do to avoid those triggers, do it for you. You deserve it.
Find Other Things to Do: Replace the talk about what bothers us with things that bring us joy. What makes you laugh? What goals are you working on? Talk about that. Do that. How many people realized that they actually have no hobbies during this season? Go find some. Your mind will thank you!
Here at NTN we are preparing for outside to open up with some fun virtual events, and our 2021 calendar will be opening up soon for booking (you do NOT want to miss these trips!) In the mean time, we encourage you to make your mind mind.