Acceptance is a key skill in managing and reducing anxiety. Acceptance doesn’t have to look deep or complicated, it can be as simple as identifying what is and what isn’t within our control. The COVID19 virus has changed all of our lives; things may be more difficult and more stressful than before. The rise in anxiety that the world is feeling is normal, but it has significant impacts on mental health and wellbeing. The aim of an acceptance practice isn’t to dismiss anxiety, but to reduce its power and influence. This exercise is brief but powerful. It’s best done at transitions points of the day:

  • As a way to start the day
  • Transition between workday and home (lots of folks do this in their cars before pulling out of the parking lot/getting out at home)
  • Transition between difficult moments, experiences, events (after a challenging meeting, after pivoting kids from one activity to another)
  • As a way to end the day

All you need is:

  • Sticky note, scrap of paper, or a journal
  • Pen
  • 60 seconds or less

Start by choosing your prompt: can’t control/can control, leaving/taking, or whatever fits best for you. It’s ok to be creative. Draw a quick circle in the center of your page and write “Can Control” at the top of the circle. Write “Can’t Control” at the top of the page. Filter through your day/interaction/event and identify the emotions, reactions, judgements, expectations, hopes, and regrets that may have shown up. Work through each and write them in the category that best fits, some may surprise you! We often over-ascribe our own powers of control and limit our abilities simultaneously. See what shows up for you.