Every time I go to the store I feel guilt. I feel guilt because I feel like I’m going to get sick. My anxiety is high and I don’t know how handle it.
I’m sure you are aware of various resources available to help people stay out of stores. If you are unable to use those resources and must go into a store, here is some guidance for you.
Nearly everyone has been experiencing a wide range of feelings and emotions during this time. Many are feeling sad, anxious, scared, and even guilty. For some, this situation has made old feelings come to the surface, and for others, this may be the first time they have had feelings so powerful.
Either way, the first thing I want you to remember is that:
You are not alone.
The feelings you describe are natural and millions of people are wondering the same thing.
When it comes to the anxiety and guilt you mention, it’s important to acknowledge these feelings for what they are: Feelings. We all have them, and no matter how intense, they will pass.
When you notice yourself feeling these emotions, I want you to take a moment, pause, and say to yourself, “I am feeling anxious right now,” or “this makes me feel guilty.” Accepting and acknowledging emotion is important, as it allows us to have greater awareness to make better decisions.
Once you acknowledge the emotions you are experiencing, I want you to take a deep breath, and talk yourself through the emotion as it passes.
Don’t try to push it away.
Allow it to come.
Talk yourself through it.
Say to yourself “I am feeling anxious/guilty right now. It’s a tough emotion for me, but I am confident I can work through it. I know it will pass.”
Develop A Self-Talk Style
Try to develop your own style of self-talk, much like in the way you would support a close friend or loved one. This type of positive self-talk is important for our mental health. Try this approach next time and see how it makes you feel.
I also want to encourage you to be kind and patient with yourself. We are in an unprecedented time with no manual or playbook on how to best navigate the situation. We will all make mistakes, get too overwhelmed, feel guilt or anxiety, and that’s okay. What’s important is your kindness to yourself.
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