I’ve had this pdf stored on my desktop for 6 months. Stockpiling is one of my go-to ways of feeling resourced, which is ironic, really, because a pile of books, canned goods, and self-help tools isn’t really as helpful as one sentence digested, one poem memorized and turned into a chant you can repeat to yourself as you walk in the woods, as one friend’s phone number committed to memory so your fingers can dial it without thinking, as one workbook exercise spun into a messy journal post, as one candle burning on your dining room table to remind you that these are the darkest days of the year, and this year has felt particularly dark on so many levels, and it will pass, it will pass, but stop stockpiling and start breathing.
So. I’ve clicked it open and realized that, as simplistic as the exercises seem, just sitting down with one, sitting down with my family and talking through one, is probably more helpful than just… you know… storing it for a future crisis.
As the workbook author, clinical psychologist Sachiko Nagasawa says, “I am experiencing anxiety related to all the unknowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We like stability, routine, and a sense of control over our environments and experience tremendous stress when there are disruptions in our normal lives. …
May I interject to comment? Even clinically trained mental health professionals are finding these current circumstances anxiety-inducing. These current circumstances are anxiety-inducing. If you are feeling this way, you’re not failing! You’re paying attention. And you’re not alone.
“The current pandemic is an opportunity to learn new skills to accept your feelings, tolerate distress and move forward with grace despite not knowing what lies ahead.”
You can download it here, from the author, Dr Sachiko Nagasawa of Bay Psychology in Ontario, who is offering it as a free resource to support everyone who is struggling and still trying your best. Her request is that you acknowledge this gift by engaging in one random act of kindness.
Below, we’re sharing the suggestions from chapter one: Understanding Emotional Distress.
I particularly appreciate the opening quote from Eckhart Tolle: “Stress is caused be being here and wanting to be there.” I mean, hello, is this not the most universal experience right now?
If you try some of these tools, let us know if any land for you…