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Hi, my name is Chrissy Myers and I’m a Licensed Marriage And Family Therapist with our Thriveworks Midlothian office. During this COVID-19 health crisis, we’ve received many questions from clients about the different challenges and emotions that they are facing. One of the most frequent questions we’ve been asked though is how to deal with feelings of worthlessness. You may have experienced similar feelings of worthlessness during this time, so rest assured that you’re not alone. In order to better manage or cope with feelings of worthlessness, it’s important to first figure out where we find our sense of worth.
We all define worthiness in different ways. For example, some people find a strong sense of worthiness in their role identities, so their roles as moms, dads, caretakers, spouses or friends. Others find a sense of really strong self-worth in their job or their career and for some others they find that sense of worthiness in their accomplishments or the number of tasks that they’ve completed.
An easy exercise to begin this process to better manage these feelings of worthlessness is to simply take out a piece of paper and a pen and take note of when, where, and how these feelings of worthlessness have shown up in the past few weeks for you. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include, when do I feel the most worthless? What does that look like? Where am I when I feel that way? Do negative messages from others make me feel worthless or is it the things that I’m retelling myself?
Additionally, I would also encourage you to ask yourself the opposite questions. When do I feel most worthy? What does that look like? How do I recognize or validate those feelings of worthiness? Once you’ve taken some time to explore what makes you feel worthless as well as what makes you feel worthy, I would encourage you to also ask yourself, do I find my sense of worth in a healthy or an unhealthy way?
If you find that perhaps you’re seeking to find a sense of self-worth in what others think of you, this can be a great time to seek out other more meaningful or healthier ways to find a sense of purpose and self-pride. If you find that you tend to find yourself, we’re already in healthy ways. The advice is really simple. Find creative ways to do more of it. This may look like being more intentional and finding time to serve others, engaging in increased self-care or creating fun personal challenges to motivate yourself to complete small tasks.
Another great question to ask yourself is, is the way I find my sense of worth realistic during this time with the resources that are currently available to me? For example, if you find your worth in your role as a caretaker, you may not be able to do so while quarantined at home.
Take this opportunity to get creative. Maybe you can send an encouraging card or offer to pick up groceries for an at-risk neighbor. The next time you go to the store, there’s no one right or wrong way to find your self-worth. What matters is that you’re listening to your needs and that you’re paying attention to how you feel. Before we end. I think it’s really important to remember that no matter how you’re feeling right now, that your feelings are important and your feelings are valid.
Unlike many other significant life events such as a natural disaster or the loss of a loved one, there really is no social script for how to perfectly thrive during a global pandemic. Remember to give yourself some grace and know that you don’t have to have it all figured out right now. If you feel you need more support in navigating this difficult time, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Here at Thriveworks, we’re always happy to listen and to support you not only through this health crisis, but any challenges that you may be facing.