Psychological Resilience in the Time of Coronavirus

1. Using Our Compass in the Storm

April 06, 2020 Ann Marie Roepke, Ph.D.
Psychological Resilience in the Time of Coronavirus
1. Using Our Compass in the Storm
Chapters
Psychological Resilience in the Time of Coronavirus
1. Using Our Compass in the Storm
Apr 06, 2020
Ann Marie Roepke, Ph.D.

Episode 1, Using Our Compass in the Storm, is about using our values to cope with our anxieties.


Resources and references:

1. Values card sort activity: 

http://www.motivationalinterviewing.org/sites/default/files/valuescardsort_0.pdf


2. More information on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: 

https://contextualscience.org/act

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0887618514000917

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272735813000901

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032715303657

 

3. Mental health resources:

Directory of therapists: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

National Suicide Prevention Life Line: 1-800-273-8255

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990

NAMI’s guide on coronavirus: https://www.nami.org/covid-19-guide

CDC’s coronavirus information page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Show Notes Transcript

Episode 1, Using Our Compass in the Storm, is about using our values to cope with our anxieties.


Resources and references:

1. Values card sort activity: 

http://www.motivationalinterviewing.org/sites/default/files/valuescardsort_0.pdf


2. More information on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: 

https://contextualscience.org/act

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0887618514000917

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272735813000901

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032715303657

 

3. Mental health resources:

Directory of therapists: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

National Suicide Prevention Life Line: 1-800-273-8255

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990

NAMI’s guide on coronavirus: https://www.nami.org/covid-19-guide

CDC’s coronavirus information page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

speaker 0:   0:00
Hello and welcome to the new podcast Psychological Resilience in the Time of Corona virus. My name is Ann Marie Roepke, and I'm your host. I'm also a clinical psychologist and organisational consultant and trainer based in Seattle, Washington. Now I know that we are living in a really strange and really scary time, the outbreak of the novel Corona virus. And a lot of people have been asking, How are we gonna get through this thing? Well, we are going to get through this and to do it, we're going to need to draw on the skills and the ideas and the relationships that help to build our resilience... and by resilience, I'm talking about the process of getting through hard times with as little suffering as possible and with the greatest well being possible. Given the circumstances. As a psychologist, resilience has really been at the heart of a lot of my research and my clinical work and my organizational training and consulting. So as I've watched people in our communities step up to help out in really inspiring ways over the last month, I thought that a small way that I could try to contribute is to share things that I've learned about resilience and also about scientifically based ways to improve our well being and to deal with challenges like anxiety, stress, depression and the other struggles that a lot of us are facing right now. So I'm offering this podcast as my small contribution to building up our community's resilience. As we go through this and as we get through this together, my plan right now is to record one episode a week and a focus each time on a different thing that can help build our resilience. So I'll unpack a concept or a skill, and then at the end, I'll also give you an option for something that you can try on your own, think about or discuss with others to continue learning about the topic. Now, at first you'll just be hearing from me standing alone in a room. But as I develop the podcast and figure out how to do things like record phone calls with decent audio quality, then I'll be having guests on the show so that we can make this a richer experience than what I could pull off on my own.      This first episode is called Using Our Compass during the Storm, and it's about how we can use our values to navigate through our anxieties during a crisis. And there are all sorts of anxieties and fears going around right now. We're worried about our health, about our loved ones, about our jobs and our money, getting our basic needs met. We're worried about the economy, we're worried about vulnerable people in society who stand to be really hurt by this. We're worried about the very fabric of society threatening to unravel. It's completely understandable that we're so anxious. Anxiety is a natural protective response to threats, and right now, it feels like threats are all around us. And unlike some other threats, like being charged by a wild animal, these threats aren't ones that are so easy to fight or to flee from. And so we can find ourselves day after day, week after week, stuck with this lingering, difficult feeling of anxiety or fear. And when we're stuck with those sorts of lingering, difficult emotions, our most natural response is to want to get rid of them, to just feel better, a totally understandable impulse. Inconveniently, it's pretty hard to do. I mean, if we could just decide that we were going to change our emotions, we were gonna feel different, we were going to feel calm and happy.... my whole profession probably wouldn't exist because we would all be so efficient at changing our emotional experiences. And maybe you've found this to be the case yourself, that when we experience a difficult emotion and we just want to get rid of it, we just want to get distance from it... it could be a little bit like trying to push a giant inflated beach ball under the surface of the water in the pool or the ocean. Maybe for a while, we can hold that beach ball under the water, but it still has that pressure of wanting to pop back up again. And so we can't push that emotion down forever. And meanwhile, it can get exhausting to have to do the work of continuing to hold that inflated beach ball under the water. And so some of the strategies from some modern therapies like acceptance and commitment therapy, which is what I'll be drawing on today, are about an alternative path to working with those difficult emotions. If we can't just get rid of them, we can't just push them down... then how can we get through them? Don't get me wrong. There are absolutely strategies that we can use to reduce and to manage our anxiety, and we'll cover those in this podcast, too. But where we're going to start out today is talking not necessarily about getting rid of the anxiety, but about finding some way to counterbalance the anxiety... To keep on brazenly mixing my metaphors, let's picture an anxiety dial, and it represents your own level of anxiety, which might be cranked up to a much higher level than normal, right now, and as much as you want to dial it back down to low, you might find that it's stuck, that it's stuck on high now. Fortunately, we don't just have the one dial, the anxiety dial, that represents our well being. There are a lot of other contributors to how we're feeling and how we're doing in our lives. There are lots of Dials on this dashboard, and one of the really important ones is about our values. And to what extent we're living those values... and by values, I don't mean something like our political stance. What I mean by values is the things that we care most deeply about, the things that really matter to us. And these are a little bit different than goals. Goals are the sorts of things that are important to us to do and values are the sorts of things that are important for us to believe in, to strive for, to try to be about. We can think of values as the true north on our compass that always orients us to where we need to go from moment to moment, from day to day and from year to year, so if our values are true North then our goals are the cities or the landmarks that we pass along the way as we continue pursuing this more aspirational thing, something that can never be checked off a to do list but something that we really want our lives to stand for. We can think of our values as the why of our goals. We could ask 100 different people what their top values are and probably find 100 different things ... caring for other people, integrity, being a great parent who tries to help their kids develop and tries to shelter them from suffering, artistic expression, spiritual development, social justice, learning, fairness and all sorts of other things that might serve as that North that really helps us figure out where we need to go, particularly during really confusing and hard times. As a psychologist, a lot of the work that I've done with people over the years has been about anxiety, and it's always really inspiring to me to see how people confront their anxieties, and it always puts me in mind of this great quote. I don't know who to attribute it to, but it's the idea that bravery is about deciding that something else is more important than fear. Audre Lorde says something similar: when I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I'm afraid. This idea is also really important in the work of Victor Frankl, who was an Austrian and Jewish neurologist and psychiatrist who was a prisoner in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. And based on that experience, he refined a new approach to psychology and psychotherapy called logo therapy, which is all about the way that we make meaning and find meaning in our experiences. And in this quote from Victor Frankl, he says, 'the conviction that one has a task before him has enormous psychotherapeutic and psychogenic value. We venture to say that nothing is more likely to help a person overcome, or endure objective difficulties or subjective troubles than the consciousness of having a task in life... that is all the more so when the task seems to be personally cut to suit.' For me, an important theme that runs across all three of these quotes is the idea that in some situations we may not be able to turn down the volume on our fear or struggle. But can we find a way to turn up the volume on our values, on our mission, on our purpose, on the things that we really care about and want to use to re-center ourselves at times like this? Of course, that's not as clear cut is just reaching out to turn up a dial. So how do we actually do this? Well, we have to start with identifying our values, being able to really see and articulate what we care most about what we want to focus on, what we want to be about during a time like this. And then we have to figure out what it really looks like in our day to day life to live out those values... what it really looks like to have our decisions made not just by fear but also by those values... to really figure out how to navigate according to that true north on our compass. I've been working through that process myself in the last few weeks, and it's actually part of where this podcast came from. I have plenty of things that I'm stressed about or concerned about. And hey, I'm anxious about doing this podcast right now, anxious that it will suck that it will be embarrassing and all the rest of it. But instead of just focusing on that anxiety and letting that make my decisions, which would be really to do nothing to try to help, I am leaning on my values of wanting to be of service, wanting to be useful to individuals, useful to our community, wanting to contribute and do my part. And I'm leaning on that to make the decisions instead of just leaning on the worries. And in this process of navigating by our values and not just our anxiety, I think it can also be really helpful to focus on this concept called imperfect action. And I want to give a shout out to my friend Robin Jackson, who's a great songwriter and music educator, for giving me this vocabulary for it recently. And the idea is that as we try to live according to our values, it is going to get messy, and if we try to wait until we can execute our values perfectly before we do anything at all.... we could be waiting a really long time. And so instead of striving for that perfection, can we just strive to find one small, imperfect, messy step that we could take right now to get just a little bit closer to our true north, to get just a little bit closer to living the way that we really aspire to live. So I'm going to describe three options for how we can identify our values and then figure out what it would look like to really live those out in our day to day lives. And you could choose one or two or three or none of these. So the first option is to simply write about it, do a free write or just make a list, starting out with the prompt: 'What I really care about is' and see where that takes you. A second option is to have a conversation with someone about this same prompt --what I really care about right now, what I really care about most. Maybe if you want to, you could send them this episode as a conversation starter and then compare notes about what is the true North on your compass during this time. And the third option is my personal favorite, doing a values card sort. So here's how this one goes. First, you're gonna download some printable, cut-out-able cards that list all sorts of different values that you may or may not care about at all. And the link to that is on the podcast Webpage. Or you can also probably find it by Googling personal values card sort. Now, after you do the arts and crafts of cutting these out, you're going to sort them into three piles, one pile things you don't care about at all... second pile things that you care about, they're important to you, but not that important. They're not your guiding values... and the third pile things that are really, truly, very important to you. After you've done that, you can look at that pile of your top values and consider: How could you draw on those right now? What would it look like in the next hour or in the next day or in the next week to really show up in that way during this really weird, stressful time? My hope for you is that as you find ways to crank up the dial on living out your values that it will be easier to bear that dial of anxiety that might be still stuck on a high level right now. In closing, I want to leave you with some thoughts from Thich Nhat Hanh, who's a Buddhist monk who's done a lot to popularize concepts like mindfulness in the West and really translate them for our needs. He said: 'Someone asked me, Aren't you worried about the state of the world? I allowed myself to breathe. And then I said, What's most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick and you will not be able to help.' And to me, refocusing on our values... It's about making room in our heart for something that we really care about so that the anxiety doesn't take up all the space. All right, team, that is our first episode. I hope that you found something in here that's been of use to you. I would love to hear from you. I'd love to hear more about what's really most important to you and how you're acting on that right now. And I'd love to hear your ideas and your requests for topics to cover in future shows. So please feel free to reach out. You can email me at ResiliencePodcast2020@gmail.com. All right, take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Bye for now.

speaker 0:   0:00
This first episode is called Using Our Compass during the Storm, and it's about how we can use our values to navigate through our anxieties during a crisis. And there are all sorts of anxieties and fears going around right now. We're worried about our health, about our loved ones, about our jobs and our money getting our basic needs met. We're worried about the economy, were worried about vulnerable people in society who stand to be really hurt by this. We're worried about the very fabric of society threatening to unravel. It's completely understandable that were so anxious. Right now, anxiety is a natural protective response to threats, and right now, it feels like threats are all around us. And unlike some other threats, like being charged by a wild animal, thes threats aren't ones that are so easy to fight or to flee from. And so we confined ourselves day after day, week after week, stuck with this lingering, difficult feeling of anxiety or fear. And when we're stuck with those sorts of lingering, difficult emotions, our most natural response is to want to get rid of them, to just feel better, A totally understandable impulse. Inconveniently, it's pretty hard to do. I mean, if we could just decide that we were going to change our emotions, we were gonna feel different. We were going to feel calm and happy. My whole profession probably wouldn't exist because we would all be so efficient at changing our emotional experiences. And maybe you've found this to be the case yourself, that when we experience a difficult emotion and we just want to get rid of it, we just want to get distance from it. It could be a little bit like trying to push a giant inflated beach ball under the surface of the water in the pool or the ocean. Maybe for a while, we can hold that beach ball into the water, but it still has that pressure of wanting to pop back up again. And so we can't push that emotion down forever. And meanwhile, it can get exhausting to have to do the work of continuing to hold that inflated beach ball into the water. And so some of the strategies from some modern therapies like acceptance and commitment therapy, which is what I'll be drawing on today, are about an alternative path toe working with those difficult emotions. If we can't just get rid of them, we can't just push them down. Then how can we get through them now? Don't get me wrong. There are absolutely strategies that we can use to reduce and to manage our anxiety, and we'll cover those in this podcast, too. But where we're going to start out today is talking not necessarily about getting rid of the anxiety, but about finding some way to counterbalance the anxiety to keep on brazenly mixing my metaphors. Let's picture and anxiety dial, and it represents your own level of anxiety, which might be cranked up to a much higher level than normal, right now, and as much as you want to dial it back down to low, you might find that it's stuck that it's stuck on high now. Fortunately, we don't just have the one dial the anxiety Doyal that represents our well being. There are a lot of other contributors to how we're feeling and how we're doing in our lives. There are lots of Dial's on this dashboard, and one of the really important ones is about our values. And to what extent were living those values and my values, I don't mean something like our political stance. What I mean by values is the things that we care most deeply about the things that really matter to us. And these are a little bit different than goals. Goals are the sorts of things that are important to us. To dio and values are the sorts of things that are important for us to believe in, to strive for, to try to be about. We can think of values as the true north on our compass that always orients us toe where we need to go from moment to moment, from day to day and from year to year, so if our values are true North than our goals are the cities where the landmarks that we pass along the way as we continue pursuing this more aspirational thing, something that can never be checked off a to do list but something that we really want our lives to stand for. We can think of our values as the why of our goals. We could ask 100 different people what their top values are and probably find 100 different things carrying for other people, integrity being a great parent who tries to help their kids develop and tries to shelter them from suffering, artistic expression, spiritually development, social justice, learning, fairness and all sorts of other things that might serve. Is that North that really help us figure out where we need to go, particularly during really confusing and hard times has a psychologist. A lot of the work that I've done with people over the years has been about anxiety, and it's always really inspiring to me to see how people confront their anxieties, and it always puts me in mind of this great quote. They don't know who to attribute it to, but it's the idea that bravery is about deciding that something else is more important than fear. Audra Lord says something similar when I dare to be powerful to use my strength in the service of my vision. Then it becomes less and less important whether I'm afraid. The site is also really important in the work of Victor Frankel, who was in Austrian and Jewish neurologist and psychiatrist who was a prisoner in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. And based on that experience, he refined a new approach to psychology and psychotherapy called logo therapy, which is all about the way that we make meaning and find meaning in our experiences. And in this quote from Victor Frankel, he says, the conviction that one has a task before him has enormous psychotherapeutic and psychogenic value. We venture to say that nothing is more likely to help a person overcome, were endure objective difficulties or subject of troubles than the consciousness of having a task in life that is all the more so when the task seems to be personally cut to suit. For me, an important theme that runs across all three of these quotes is the idea that in some situations we may not be able to turn down the volume on our fear or on her struggle. But can we find a way to turn up the volume on our values on our mission on our purpose, on the things that we really care about and want to use to re central ourselves at times like this? Of course, that's not as clear cut is just reaching out to turn up a dial. So how do we actually do this? Well, we have to start with identifying our values, being able to really see and articulate what we care most about what we want to focus on, what we want to be about during a time like this. And then we have to figure out what it really looks like in our day to day life toe. Live out those values what it really looks like to have our decisions made not just by fear but also by those values to really figure out how to navigate according to that true north on our compass. I've been working through that process myself in the last few weeks, and it's actually part of where this podcast came from. I have plenty of things that I'm stressed about or concerned about. And hey, I'm anxious about doing this podcast right now, anxious that it will suck that it will be embarrassing and all the rest of it. But instead of just focusing on that anxiety and letting that make my decisions, which would be really to do nothing to try to help, I am leaning on my values of wanting to be of service, wanting to be useful to individuals useful to our community, wanting to contribute and do my part. And I'm leaning on that to make the decisions instead of just leaning on the worries and in this process of navigating by our values and not just our anxiety. I think it can also be really helpful to focus on this concept called in Perfect Action. And I want to give a shout out to my friend Robin Jackson, who's a great songwriter and music educator for giving me this vocabulary for it recently. And the idea is that as we try to live according to our values, it is going to get messy, and if we try to wait until we can execute our values perfectly before we do anything at all. We could be waiting a really long time. And so instead of striving for that perfection, can we just strive to find one small, in perfect, messy step that we could take right now to get just a little bit closer to our true north, to get just a little bit closer toe living the way that we really aspired live. So I'm going to describe three options for how we can identify our values and then figure out what it would look like to really live those out in our day to day lives. And you could choose one or two or three or none of these. So the first option is to simply write about it, do a free right or just make a list, starting out with the prompt. What I really care about is and see where that takes you. A second option is to have a conversation with someone about this same prompt what I really care about right now what I really care about most. Maybe if you want to, you could send them this episode as a conversation starter and then compare notes about what is the true North on your compass during this time, and the third option is my personal favorite doing a values card sort. So here's how this one goes. First, you're gonna download some printable, cut out a ball cards that list all sorts of different values that you may or may not care about it all. And the link to that is on the podcast Web page. Or you can also probably find it by Googling personal values card sort. Now, after you do the arts and crafts of cutting these out, you're going to sort them into three piles, one pile things. You don't care about it all second pile things that you care about. They're important to you, but not that important. They're not your guiding values and the third pile things that are really, truly, very important to you. After you've done that, you can look at that pile of your top values and consider How could you draw on those right now? What would it look like in the next hour or in the next day or in the next week to really show up in that way during this really weird, stressful time? My hope for you is that as you find ways to crank up the dial on living out your values that it will be easier to bear that Doyal of anxiety that might be still stuck on a high level right now. In closing, I want to leave you with some thoughts from Tick. Not Han, who's a Buddhist monk who's done a lot to popularize concepts like mindfulness in the West and really translate them for our needs, he said. Someone asked me, Aren't you worried about the state of the world? I allowed myself to breathe. And then I said, What's most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick and you will not be able to help. And to me, refocusing on our values. It's about making room in her heart for something that we really care about so that the anxiety doesn't take up all the space. All right, team, that is our first episode. I hope that you found something in here that's been of use to you. I would love to hear from you. I'd love to hear more about what's really most important to you and how you're acting on that right now. And I'd love to hear your ideas and your requests for topics to cover in future shows. So please feel free to reach out. You can email me at Resilience Podcast 2020 at gmail dot com. All right, take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Bye for now.

speaker 0:   0:00
This first episode is called Using Our Compass during the Storm, and it's about how we can use our values to navigate through our anxieties during a crisis. And there are all sorts of anxieties and fears going around right now. We're worried about our health, about our loved ones, about our jobs and our money getting our basic needs met. We're worried about the economy, were worried about vulnerable people in society who stand to be really hurt by this. We're worried about the very fabric of society threatening to unravel. It's completely understandable that were so anxious. Right now, anxiety is a natural protective response to threats, and right now, it feels like threats are all around us. And unlike some other threats, like being charged by a wild animal, thes threats aren't ones that are so easy to fight or to flee from. And so we confined ourselves day after day, week after week, stuck with this lingering, difficult feeling of anxiety or fear. And when we're stuck with those sorts of lingering, difficult emotions, our most natural response is to want to get rid of them, to just feel better, A totally understandable impulse. Inconveniently, it's pretty hard to do. I mean, if we could just decide that we were going to change our emotions, we were gonna feel different. We were going to feel calm and happy. My whole profession probably wouldn't exist because we would all be so efficient at changing our emotional experiences. And maybe you've found this to be the case yourself, that when we experience a difficult emotion and we just want to get rid of it, we just want to get distance from it. It could be a little bit like trying to push a giant inflated beach ball under the surface of the water in the pool or the ocean. Maybe for a while, we can hold that beach ball into the water, but it still has that pressure of wanting to pop back up again. And so we can't push that emotion down forever. And meanwhile, it can get exhausting to have to do the work of continuing to hold that inflated beach ball into the water. And so some of the strategies from some modern therapies like acceptance and commitment therapy, which is what I'll be drawing on today, are about an alternative path toe working with those difficult emotions. If we can't just get rid of them, we can't just push them down. Then how can we get through them now? Don't get me wrong. There are absolutely strategies that we can use to reduce and to manage our anxiety, and we'll cover those in this podcast, too. But where we're going to start out today is talking not necessarily about getting rid of the anxiety, but about finding some way to counterbalance the anxiety to keep on brazenly mixing my metaphors. Let's picture and anxiety dial, and it represents your own level of anxiety, which might be cranked up to a much higher level than normal, right now, and as much as you want to dial it back down to low, you might find that it's stuck that it's stuck on high now. Fortunately, we don't just have the one dial the anxiety Doyal that represents our well being. There are a lot of other contributors to how we're feeling and how we're doing in our lives. There are lots of Dial's on this dashboard, and one of the really important ones is about our values. And to what extent were living those values and my values, I don't mean something like our political stance. What I mean by values is the things that we care most deeply about the things that really matter to us. And these are a little bit different than goals. Goals are the sorts of things that are important to us. To dio and values are the sorts of things that are important for us to believe in, to strive for, to try to be about. We can think of values as the true north on our compass that always orients us toe where we need to go from moment to moment, from day to day and from year to year, so if our values are true North than our goals are the cities where the landmarks that we pass along the way as we continue pursuing this more aspirational thing, something that can never be checked off a to do list but something that we really want our lives to stand for. We can think of our values as the why of our goals. We could ask 100 different people what their top values are and probably find 100 different things carrying for other people, integrity being a great parent who tries to help their kids develop and tries to shelter them from suffering, artistic expression, spiritually development, social justice, learning, fairness and all sorts of other things that might serve. Is that North that really help us figure out where we need to go, particularly during really confusing and hard times has a psychologist. A lot of the work that I've done with people over the years has been about anxiety, and it's always really inspiring to me to see how people confront their anxieties, and it always puts me in mind of this great quote. They don't know who to attribute it to, but it's the idea that bravery is about deciding that something else is more important than fear. Audra Lord says something similar when I dare to be powerful to use my strength in the service of my vision. Then it becomes less and less important whether I'm afraid. The site is also really important in the work of Victor Frankel, who was in Austrian and Jewish neurologist and psychiatrist who was a prisoner in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. And based on that experience, he refined a new approach to psychology and psychotherapy called logo therapy, which is all about the way that we make meaning and find meaning in our experiences. And in this quote from Victor Frankel, he says, the conviction that one has a task before him has enormous psychotherapeutic and psychogenic value. We venture to say that nothing is more likely to help a person overcome, were endure objective difficulties or subject of troubles than the consciousness of having a task in life that is all the more so when the task seems to be personally cut to suit. For me, an important theme that runs across all three of these quotes is the idea that in some situations we may not be able to turn down the volume on our fear or on her struggle. But can we find a way to turn up the volume on our values on our mission on our purpose, on the things that we really care about and want to use to re central ourselves at times like this? Of course, that's not as clear cut is just reaching out to turn up a dial. So how do we actually do this? Well, we have to start with identifying our values, being able to really see and articulate what we care most about what we want to focus on, what we want to be about during a time like this. And then we have to figure out what it really looks like in our day to day life toe. Live out those values what it really looks like to have our decisions made not just by fear but also by those values to really figure out how to navigate according to that true north on our compass. I've been working through that process myself in the last few weeks, and it's actually part of where this podcast came from. I have plenty of things that I'm stressed about or concerned about. And hey, I'm anxious about doing this podcast right now, anxious that it will suck that it will be embarrassing and all the rest of it. But instead of just focusing on that anxiety and letting that make my decisions, which would be really to do nothing to try to help, I am leaning on my values of wanting to be of service, wanting to be useful to individuals useful to our community, wanting to contribute and do my part. And I'm leaning on that to make the decisions instead of just leaning on the worries and in this process of navigating by our values and not just our anxiety. I think it can also be really helpful to focus on this concept called in Perfect Action. And I want to give a shout out to my friend Robin Jackson, who's a great songwriter and music educator for giving me this vocabulary for it recently. And the idea is that as we try to live according to our values, it is going to get messy, and if we try to wait until we can execute our values perfectly before we do anything at all. We could be waiting a really long time. And so instead of striving for that perfection, can we just strive to find one small, in perfect, messy step that we could take right now to get just a little bit closer to our true north, to get just a little bit closer toe living the way that we really aspired live. So I'm going to describe three options for how we can identify our values and then figure out what it would look like to really live those out in our day to day lives. And you could choose one or two or three or none of these. So the first option is to simply write about it, do a free right or just make a list, starting out with the prompt. What I really care about is and see where that takes you. A second option is to have a conversation with someone about this same prompt what I really care about right now what I really care about most. Maybe if you want to, you could send them this episode as a conversation starter and then compare notes about what is the true North on your compass during this time, and the third option is my personal favorite doing a values card sort. So here's how this one goes. First, you're gonna download some printable, cut out a ball cards that list all sorts of different values that you may or may not care about it all. And the link to that is on the podcast Web page. Or you can also probably find it by Googling personal values card sort. Now, after you do the arts and crafts of cutting these out, you're going to sort them into three piles, one pile things. You don't care about it all second pile things that you care about. They're important to you, but not that important. They're not your guiding values and the third pile things that are really, truly, very important to you. After you've done that, you can look at that pile of your top values and consider How could you draw on those right now? What would it look like in the next hour or in the next day or in the next week to really show up in that way during this really weird, stressful time? My hope for you is that as you find ways to crank up the dial on living out your values that it will be easier to bear that Doyal of anxiety that might be still stuck on a high level right now. In closing, I want to leave you with some thoughts from Tick. Not Han, who's a Buddhist monk who's done a lot to popularize concepts like mindfulness in the West and really translate them for our needs, he said. Someone asked me, Aren't you worried about the state of the world? I allowed myself to breathe. And then I said, What's most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick and you will not be able to help. And to me, refocusing on our values. It's about making room in her heart for something that we really care about so that the anxiety doesn't take up all the space. All right, team, that is our first episode. I hope that you found something in here that's been of use to you. I would love to hear from you. I'd love to hear more about what's really most important to you and how you're acting on that right now. And I'd love to hear your ideas and your requests for topics to cover in future shows. So please feel free to reach out. You can email me at Resilience Podcast 2020 at gmail dot com. All right, take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Bye for now.

speaker 0:   0:00
This first episode is called Using Our Compass during the Storm, and it's about how we can use our values to navigate through our anxieties during a crisis. And there are all sorts of anxieties and fears going around right now. We're worried about our health, about our loved ones, about our jobs and our money getting our basic needs met. We're worried about the economy, were worried about vulnerable people in society who stand to be really hurt by this. We're worried about the very fabric of society threatening to unravel. It's completely understandable that were so anxious. Right now, anxiety is a natural protective response to threats, and right now, it feels like threats are all around us. And unlike some other threats, like being charged by a wild animal, thes threats aren't ones that are so easy to fight or to flee from. And so we confined ourselves day after day, week after week, stuck with this lingering, difficult feeling of anxiety or fear. And when we're stuck with those sorts of lingering, difficult emotions, our most natural response is to want to get rid of them, to just feel better, A totally understandable impulse. Inconveniently, it's pretty hard to do. I mean, if we could just decide that we were going to change our emotions, we were gonna feel different. We were going to feel calm and happy. My whole profession probably wouldn't exist because we would all be so efficient at changing our emotional experiences. And maybe you've found this to be the case yourself, that when we experience a difficult emotion and we just want to get rid of it, we just want to get distance from it. It could be a little bit like trying to push a giant inflated beach ball under the surface of the water in the pool or the ocean. Maybe for a while, we can hold that beach ball into the water, but it still has that pressure of wanting to pop back up again. And so we can't push that emotion down forever. And meanwhile, it can get exhausting to have to do the work of continuing to hold that inflated beach ball into the water. And so some of the strategies from some modern therapies like acceptance and commitment therapy, which is what I'll be drawing on today, are about an alternative path toe working with those difficult emotions. If we can't just get rid of them, we can't just push them down. Then how can we get through them now? Don't get me wrong. There are absolutely strategies that we can use to reduce and to manage our anxiety, and we'll cover those in this podcast, too. But where we're going to start out today is talking not necessarily about getting rid of the anxiety, but about finding some way to counterbalance the anxiety to keep on brazenly mixing my metaphors. Let's picture and anxiety dial, and it represents your own level of anxiety, which might be cranked up to a much higher level than normal, right now, and as much as you want to dial it back down to low, you might find that it's stuck that it's stuck on high now. Fortunately, we don't just have the one dial the anxiety Doyal that represents our well being. There are a lot of other contributors to how we're feeling and how we're doing in our lives. There are lots of Dial's on this dashboard, and one of the really important ones is about our values. And to what extent were living those values and my values, I don't mean something like our political stance. What I mean by values is the things that we care most deeply about the things that really matter to us. And these are a little bit different than goals. Goals are the sorts of things that are important to us. To dio and values are the sorts of things that are important for us to believe in, to strive for, to try to be about. We can think of values as the true north on our compass that always orients us toe where we need to go from moment to moment, from day to day and from year to year, so if our values are true North than our goals are the cities where the landmarks that we pass along the way as we continue pursuing this more aspirational thing, something that can never be checked off a to do list but something that we really want our lives to stand for. We can think of our values as the why of our goals. We could ask 100 different people what their top values are and probably find 100 different things carrying for other people, integrity being a great parent who tries to help their kids develop and tries to shelter them from suffering, artistic expression, spiritually development, social justice, learning, fairness and all sorts of other things that might serve. Is that North that really help us figure out where we need to go, particularly during really confusing and hard times has a psychologist. A lot of the work that I've done with people over the years has been about anxiety, and it's always really inspiring to me to see how people confront their anxieties, and it always puts me in mind of this great quote. They don't know who to attribute it to, but it's the idea that bravery is about deciding that something else is more important than fear. Audra Lord says something similar when I dare to be powerful to use my strength in the service of my vision. Then it becomes less and less important whether I'm afraid. The site is also really important in the work of Victor Frankel, who was in Austrian and Jewish neurologist and psychiatrist who was a prisoner in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. And based on that experience, he refined a new approach to psychology and psychotherapy called logo therapy, which is all about the way that we make meaning and find meaning in our experiences. And in this quote from Victor Frankel, he says, the conviction that one has a task before him has enormous psychotherapeutic and psychogenic value. We venture to say that nothing is more likely to help a person overcome, were endure objective difficulties or subject of troubles than the consciousness of having a task in life that is all the more so when the task seems to be personally cut to suit. For me, an important theme that runs across all three of these quotes is the idea that in some situations we may not be able to turn down the volume on our fear or on her struggle. But can we find a way to turn up the volume on our values on our mission on our purpose, on the things that we really care about and want to use to re central ourselves at times like this? Of course, that's not as clear cut is just reaching out to turn up a dial. So how do we actually do this? Well, we have to start with identifying our values, being able to really see and articulate what we care most about what we want to focus on, what we want to be about during a time like this. And then we have to figure out what it really looks like in our day to day life toe. Live out those values what it really looks like to have our decisions made not just by fear but also by those values to really figure out how to navigate according to that true north on our compass. I've been working through that process myself in the last few weeks, and it's actually part of where this podcast came from. I have plenty of things that I'm stressed about or concerned about. And hey, I'm anxious about doing this podcast right now, anxious that it will suck that it will be embarrassing and all the rest of it. But instead of just focusing on that anxiety and letting that make my decisions, which would be really to do nothing to try to help, I am leaning on my values of wanting to be of service, wanting to be useful to individuals useful to our community, wanting to contribute and do my part. And I'm leaning on that to make the decisions instead of just leaning on the worries and in this process of navigating by our values and not just our anxiety. I think it can also be really helpful to focus on this concept called in Perfect Action. And I want to give a shout out to my friend Robin Jackson, who's a great songwriter and music educator for giving me this vocabulary for it recently. And the idea is that as we try to live according to our values, it is going to get messy, and if we try to wait until we can execute our values perfectly before we do anything at all. We could be waiting a really long time. And so instead of striving for that perfection, can we just strive to find one small, in perfect, messy step that we could take right now to get just a little bit closer to our true north, to get just a little bit closer toe living the way that we really aspired live. So I'm going to describe three options for how we can identify our values and then figure out what it would look like to really live those out in our day to day lives. And you could choose one or two or three or none of these. So the first option is to simply write about it, do a free right or just make a list, starting out with the prompt. What I really care about is and see where that takes you. A second option is to have a conversation with someone about this same prompt what I really care about right now what I really care about most. Maybe if you want to, you could send them this episode as a conversation starter and then compare notes about what is the true North on your compass during this time, and the third option is my personal favorite doing a values card sort. So here's how this one goes. First, you're gonna download some printable, cut out a ball cards that list all sorts of different values that you may or may not care about it all. And the link to that is on the podcast Web page. Or you can also probably find it by Googling personal values card sort. Now, after you do the arts and crafts of cutting these out, you're going to sort them into three piles, one pile things. You don't care about it all second pile things that you care about. They're important to you, but not that important. They're not your guiding values and the third pile things that are really, truly, very important to you. After you've done that, you can look at that pile of your top values and consider How could you draw on those right now? What would it look like in the next hour or in the next day or in the next week to really show up in that way during this really weird, stressful time? My hope for you is that as you find ways to crank up the dial on living out your values that it will be easier to bear that Doyal of anxiety that might be still stuck on a high level right now. In closing, I want to leave you with some thoughts from Tick. Not Han, who's a Buddhist monk who's done a lot to popularize concepts like mindfulness in the West and really translate them for our needs, he said. Someone asked me, Aren't you worried about the state of the world? I allowed myself to breathe. And then I said, What's most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick and you will not be able to help. And to me, refocusing on our values. It's about making room in her heart for something that we really care about so that the anxiety doesn't take up all the space. All right, team, that is our first episode. I hope that you found something in here that's been of use to you. I would love to hear from you. I'd love to hear more about what's really most important to you and how you're acting on that right now. And I'd love to hear your ideas and your requests for topics to cover in future shows. So please feel free to reach out. You can email me at Resilience Podcast 2020 at gmail dot com. All right, take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Bye for now.

speaker 0:   16:13
All right, let's get rolling with our first topic, and, as we do so, a quick note. This podcast is being offered for educational and informational purposes only, and not as a health care service, medical advice, a doctor patient relationship or diagnosis or treatment of any kind. So if you need help, definitely reach out to your doctor or to a mental health provider, and I'm going to listen. Resource is in the show notes to help you out with that if you need it. All right, here we go. This first episode is called Using Our Compass during the Storm, and it's about how we can use our values to navigate through our anxieties during a crisis. And there are all sorts of anxieties and fears going around right now. We're worried about our health, about our loved ones, about our jobs and our money getting our basic needs met. We're worried about the economy, were worried about vulnerable people in society who stand to be really hurt by this. We're worried about the very fabric of society threatening to unravel. It's completely understandable that were so anxious. Right now, anxiety is a natural protective response to threats, and right now, it feels like threats are all around us. And unlike some other threats, like being charged by a wild animal, thes threats aren't ones that are so easy to fight or to flee from. And so we confined ourselves day after day, week after week, stuck with this lingering, difficult feeling of anxiety or fear. And when we're stuck with those sorts of lingering, difficult emotions, our most natural response is to want to get rid of them, to just feel better, A totally understandable impulse. Inconveniently, it's pretty hard to do. I mean, if we could just decide that we were going to change our emotions, we were gonna feel different. We were going to feel calm and happy. My whole profession probably wouldn't exist because we would all be so efficient at changing our emotional experiences. And maybe you've found this to be the case yourself, that when we experience a difficult emotion and we just want to get rid of it, we just want to get distance from it. It could be a little bit like trying to push a giant inflated beach ball under the surface of the water in the pool or the ocean. Maybe for a while, we can hold that beach ball into the water, but it still has that pressure of wanting to pop back up again. And so we can't push that emotion down forever. And meanwhile, it can get exhausting to have to do the work of continuing to hold that inflated beach ball into the water. And so some of the strategies from some modern therapies like acceptance and commitment therapy, which is what I'll be drawing on today, are about an alternative path toe working with those difficult emotions. If we can't just get rid of them, we can't just push them down. Then how can we get through them now? Don't get me wrong. There are absolutely strategies that we can use to reduce and to manage our anxiety, and we'll cover those in this podcast, too. But where we're going to start out today is talking not necessarily about getting rid of the anxiety, but about finding some way to counterbalance the anxiety to keep on brazenly mixing my metaphors. Let's picture and anxiety dial, and it represents your own level of anxiety, which might be cranked up to a much higher level than normal, right now, and as much as you want to dial it back down to low, you might find that it's stuck that it's stuck on high now. Fortunately, we don't just have the one dial the anxiety Doyal that represents our well being. There are a lot of other contributors to how we're feeling and how we're doing in our lives. There are lots of Dial's on this dashboard, and one of the really important ones is about our values. And to what extent were living those values and my values, I don't mean something like our political stance. What I mean by values is the things that we care most deeply about the things that really matter to us. And these are a little bit different than goals. Goals are the sorts of things that are important to us. To dio and values are the sorts of things that are important for us to believe in, to strive for, to try to be about. We can think of values as the true north on our compass that always orients us toe where we need to go from moment to moment, from day to day and from year to year, so if our values are true North than our goals are the cities where the landmarks that we pass along the way as we continue pursuing this more aspirational thing, something that can never be checked off a to do list but something that we really want our lives to stand for. We can think of our values as the why of our goals. We could ask 100 different people what their top values are and probably find 100 different things carrying for other people, integrity being a great parent who tries to help their kids develop and tries to shelter them from suffering, artistic expression, spiritually development, social justice, learning, fairness and all sorts of other things that might serve. Is that North that really help us figure out where we need to go, particularly during really confusing and hard times has a psychologist. A lot of the work that I've done with people over the years has been about anxiety, and it's always really inspiring to me to see how people confront their anxieties, and it always puts me in mind of this great quote. They don't know who to attribute it to, but it's the idea that bravery is about deciding that something else is more important than fear. Audra Lord says something similar when I dare to be powerful to use my strength in the service of my vision. Then it becomes less and less important whether I'm afraid. The site is also really important in the work of Victor Frankel, who was in Austrian and Jewish neurologist and psychiatrist who was a prisoner in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. And based on that experience, he refined a new approach to psychology and psychotherapy called logo therapy, which is all about the way that we make meaning and find meaning in our experiences. And in this quote from Victor Frankel, he says, the conviction that one has a task before him has enormous psychotherapeutic and psychogenic value. We venture to say that nothing is more likely to help a person overcome, were endure objective difficulties or subject of troubles than the consciousness of having a task in life that is all the more so when the task seems to be personally cut to suit. For me, an important theme that runs across all three of these quotes is the idea that in some situations we may not be able to turn down the volume on our fear or on her struggle. But can we find a way to turn up the volume on our values on our mission on our purpose, on the things that we really care about and want to use to re central ourselves at times like this? Of course, that's not as clear cut is just reaching out to turn up a dial. So how do we actually do this? Well, we have to start with identifying our values, being able to really see and articulate what we care most about what we want to focus on, what we want to be about during a time like this. And then we have to figure out what it really looks like in our day to day life toe. Live out those values what it really looks like to have our decisions made not just by fear but also by those values to really figure out how to navigate according to that true north on our compass. I've been working through that process myself in the last few weeks, and it's actually part of where this podcast came from. I have plenty of things that I'm stressed about or concerned about. And hey, I'm anxious about doing this podcast right now, anxious that it will suck that it will be embarrassing and all the rest of it. But instead of just focusing on that anxiety and letting that make my decisions, which would be really to do nothing to try to help, I am leaning on my values of wanting to be of service, wanting to be useful to individuals useful to our community, wanting to contribute and do my part. And I'm leaning on that to make the decisions instead of just leaning on the worries and in this process of navigating by our values and not just our anxiety. I think it can also be really helpful to focus on this concept called in Perfect Action. And I want to give a shout out to my friend Robin Jackson, who's a great songwriter and music educator for giving me this vocabulary for it recently. And the idea is that as we try to live according to our values, it is going to get messy, and if we try to wait until we can execute our values perfectly before we do anything at all. We could be waiting a really long time. And so instead of striving for that perfection, can we just strive to find one small, in perfect, messy step that we could take right now to get just a little bit closer to our true north, to get just a little bit closer toe living the way that we really aspired live. So I'm going to describe three options for how we can identify our values and then figure out what it would look like to really live those out in our day to day lives. And you could choose one or two or three or none of these. So the first option is to simply write about it, do a free right or just make a list, starting out with the prompt. What I really care about is and see where that takes you. A second option is to have a conversation with someone about this same prompt what I really care about right now what I really care about most. Maybe if you want to, you could send them this episode as a conversation starter and then compare notes about what is the true North on your compass during this time, and the third option is my personal favorite doing a values card sort. So here's how this one goes. First, you're gonna download some printable, cut out a ball cards that list all sorts of different values that you may or may not care about it all. And the link to that is on the podcast Web page. Or you can also probably find it by Googling personal values card sort. Now, after you do the arts and crafts of cutting these out, you're going to sort them into three piles, one pile things. You don't care about it all second pile things that you care about. They're important to you, but not that important. They're not your guiding values and the third pile things that are really, truly, very important to you. After you've done that, you can look at that pile of your top values and consider How could you draw on those right now? What would it look like in the next hour or in the next day or in the next week to really show up in that way during this really weird, stressful time? My hope for you is that as you find ways to crank up the dial on living out your values that it will be easier to bear that Doyal of anxiety that might be still stuck on a high level right now. In closing, I want to leave you with some thoughts from Tick. Not Han, who's a Buddhist monk who's done a lot to popularize concepts like mindfulness in the West and really translate them for our needs, he said. Someone asked me, Aren't you worried about the state of the world? I allowed myself to breathe. And then I said, What's most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick and you will not be able to help. And to me, refocusing on our values. It's about making room in her heart for something that we really care about so that the anxiety doesn't take up all the space. All right, team, that is our first episode. I hope that you found something in here that's been of use to you. I would love to hear from you. I'd love to hear more about what's really most important to you and how you're acting on that right now. And I'd love to hear your ideas and your requests for topics to cover in future shows. So please feel free to reach out. You can email me at Resilience Podcast 2020 at gmail dot com. All right, take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Bye for now.