What if I feel like a different person after COVID?

” I’m a different person, my values have changed and I don’t know what sort of person I want to be”

  • You might feel that you are a different person after COVID – that the things that matter to you most have changed. 
  • It might be useful to reassess your values and what is important to you, so that you can identify how you want to live your life and move forward. 

” I’m a different person, but I don’t WANT to be”

  • You might have the thought that being a different person is a bad thing  that you can’t do the things that used to be very important to you. 
  • It’s important to remember that it’s going to take time to recover, and that we can take smaller steps towards where we want to be: 
    • Just like you can’t be expected to run a marathon straight after spending 6 months injured! 
    • You might also feel that because you can’t do the things you used to, this makes you a ‘worse’ person. It’s important to be kind to yourself, notice and open up to these thoughts and understand that it’s the caveman brain trying to force us back into action:
    • Refer back to the ‘kind hands’ exercise and unhook from this thought, in the same way that you would unhook from other types of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.
    • You can also adapt your approach to make sure we’re still doing the things that are important to us: 
    • Using memory aids to help with brain fog.
    • Meeting friends locally or virtually if travelling is difficult for us.
    • Spending time with children in different ways such as playing board games rather than football. 
    • Remember, part of our goals being SMART is that they should be attainable – they should be things that we are able to achieve:
    • We can still live in line with our values, even if we need to adapt the way that we do this.
    • One of our values might be being active or outdoors – we can make sure we spend time outside and being present in nature without over-exercising.

” So what can I do?”

  • Revisit your values and identify the things that are important to you now.
  • Notice the thoughts that you’re having, and practice de-fusion from uncomfortable thoughts about your sense of self or self-worth.
  • Create some SMART goals based on these values – remember, these goals should be attainable based on your current abilities.
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