It is mid-January and we are already well into a new year. It is at this point where the resolutions are not as attractive as they were a couple weeks ago. If this is true for you, it is completely human, and you are not alone.
One of the main assumptions in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is that we are all doing the best we can, AND also, we need to do better and try harder. This is acceptance and change. There is almost always questioning about this from clients, and rightfully so.
I often find in my personal life and with clients that identifying a problem is easy. Almost too easy! We are all constantly faced with challenges that can range on a level of significance and impact. Despite where these challenges fall on that spectrum, how we respond to them remains the same.
Science has made some incredible impacts in being able to make this pandemic more bearable. We have come a long way since 2020 with vaccines and a greater understanding of how we can safely navigate and reengage with each other.
When many of us hear the term “reopening,” we automatically feel anxious. Keep in mind this feeling is quite functional, as our body and brain are trying to protect us from the unknown. However, it can be extremely painful to tolerate these fearful emotions.
Life is filled with uncomfortable moments. These situations vary in intensity, from something less extreme—like noticing our phone battery is dying or sitting in traffic, to going through a breakup or losing a loved one—everyone experiences emotional discomfort at one point or another.
December, the last month of the calendar year, is often a month of reflection—a time when we think back on the past 11 months. Sometimes our thoughts become flooded with joyful and happy memories, while other times our hearts are filled with pain and sorrow.
Since the pandemic began, I’ve been practicing a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skill called "Improve the Moment" quite a bit. When we can’t change the world around us, we often get stuck in fear, frustration and negative thinking patterns rather than doing things that help us feel better.