Upcoming webinar by Jessica Dolce
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Upcoming webinar by Jessica Dolce

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Guest contribution by Jessica Dolce, MS CCFE

Upcoming webinar series Practicing Compassionate Badassery: Coping with COVID-19 50% off registration

Then What? A Simple Strategy for Coping with COVID-19 Stress

COVID-19 has dramatically changed our world in the past month, reshaping the way we work and live. Many of us initially believed that life would return to normal in a few weeks and we sprinted to get things in order for the animals at work and at home.

Now it’s clear that this is going to be a much longer crisis than we initially anticipated. Turns out we’re in a marathon, not a sprint. Many of will need to adjust our pace, so we can stay well for the long haul.

One way that we can pace ourselves is to reduce stress by intentionally working with our thoughts.

Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are linked. Sometimes our thoughts are energizing and other times they’re draining and increase our suffering.

During a crisis it’s very easy for our thoughts to become increasingly distressed and “distorted.”

A very common distorted thought is catastrophizing. That typically looks like, “What if….?”

“What if this terrible thing I’m afraid of actually happens?”

You might find that when you think “What if” thoughts, you feel hijacked by your fears and anxieties about the future.

In that moment, it may feel like your thoughts are facts, but they aren’t the objective truth.

None of us know what will happen next. It might be the worst case or the best case scenario.

Relentlessly focusing on “what ifs” about the future will likely leave you feeling depleted and helpless.

So the next time you catch yourself thinking “What if…?, try this next step:

Ask yourself, “Then what…?”

As in, if that horrible thing happens – your loved one gets sick, your non-profit shuts down, more animals are suffering – then what will you do to cope with it?

Then what action will you take to address the negative outcome?

In other words: “If ___ happens, then I will do ___.”

Pivot from churning in worry to active planning.

What’s within your control? What specific actions will you take? How have you coped with difficulties in the past?

These intentional thoughts can shift you from feeling helpless and despairing to competent and hopeful. And we all need more that right now!

Working with your thoughts in this way can reduce anxiety and stress, helping you to stay healthy so that you can keep helping animals during (and long-after) COVID-19.

For more support, join Jessica in her upcoming webinar series Practicing Compassionate Badassery: Coping with COVID-19. Webinars begin this Thursday April 16th at 8pm EST and will be recorded.

Members of PAWS/AnimalConcepts can save 50% off registration when they use the code THXPAWS50 at CHECKOUT

To learn more about her course visit Jessica's course via this LINK

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