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snowman-3850069_640.jpg“You said some things never change, but since then, everything has done nothing but change.” -Olaf, “Frozen 2”

While change is as much of a certainty as rolling Toomer's Corner after a big win, you may concur with the world's most popular snowman. There has been so much change in the past year, you wonder if chaos is the new normal.

Fortunately, Anneliese M. Stroup has some good news. Stroup is a licensed professional counselor with American Behavioral, which administers Auburn University's Employee Assistance Program. She says there are several things that you can control -- even in the midst of a pandemic. That is a good thing, because Stroup says our mental health greatly impacts our physical health.

Last week, she presented the webinar “Managing COVID Fatigue: Saving Your Sanity During the Pandemic” to approximately 145 employees. We encourage every employee to take 45 minutes to watch the recording, which is available on demand at (It would be ideal for a staff meeting.)

What You Can Control

While you may not be able to control the daily headlines, the pandemic or the actions of others, Stroup says there are several things that you can control. They include:

  • Your positive attitude.

  • Your kindness and grace.

  • Limiting your social media.

  • Your own social distancing.

  • Finding fun things to do at home.

  • Turning off the news.

  • Following CDC recommendations.

Stroup also says to focus on your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. Taking control of your thoughts has to come first.

“You have to change your thoughts before your feelings line up,” she says. “Think about what you’re thinking about.”

However, she warns against spending too much time thinking about items that you cannot control. Just because that is human nature doesn’t make it a good thing.

“What you can change, change. What you can’t change, leave it alone,” she says.

Give Yourself a Break

Stroup says it is just as important to cut yourself some slack, and even take some time to congratulate yourself for big and small accomplishments.

“Remind yourself, ‘You know what? I’m doing the best that I can do,’” she says.

Doing these few things can help you gain control of your life in the midst of chaos. Olaf describes it another way: “We’re calling this, controlling what you can when things feel out of control.”

Last updated: 09/11/2023