Conscious or not, we are making choices every moment of our lives. Truth is, not making a choice, is a choice. As a result of this pandemic, additional decision making has been forced upon us. While the impacts of COVID-19 are in the forefront for many of us, our response to change, discomfort, fear, anger, etc. are experiences that we are faced with on a daily basis…independent of a pandemic.
So the question is, how do you show up in the face of challenge? How do you choose to respond? Do you take responsibility for your choices, or, do you blame external things?
One of the assumptions in DBT is that “people may not have caused all of their problems, but they have to solve them anyway.” This means that there is a significant responsibility for each of us in regard to how we cope with our circumstances.
For example, if someone is disrespectful/mean to you – what do you do? First off, DETAILS MATTER! You get to connect with your values, your priorities, and your skills. This will help you determine your most effective course of action. If you’ve been through DBT skills training, I would encourage you to connect with your Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills.
What about the scenario where you are struggling with isolation or a lack of structure? It is easy to fall into the pattern of staying inside binge-watching Netflix or perhaps reverting to old behaviors. You also have the option of taking hold of your sleep schedule, fueling your body, and turning to your Emotion Regulation Skills. You decide!
While our current set of circumstances are a bit wild, the concept of choice in response to challenge is a long-standing and universal topic. We wish each of you well and encourage you to make the choices that are in support of your ongoing growth!