• Dr. Nelly De Ridder

COVID-19: The Importance of Structure

Not Just for Kids

●Setting up a daily routine has many benefits, including-

Well being, decreasing anxiety and depression, having control over your day (because your focusing on

yourself, your wants and accomplishing goals), safety, and security.

●Items to include- today

Physical, emotional, spiritual, need for human contact, having a set bedtime and wake time, keeping

alcohol, recreational drugs, and smoking to a minimum and appreciating what is good in your life.

●Consider when you are most productive in the day to get things done; AM, Noon or PM. Do the most

important things first.

Consider speaking to your therapist on how this can work for you. If you are not a client, do consider setting up a tele-health meeting today.

  • Dr. Nelly De Ridder

Applying Your Best Efforts, Not Perfection:

Perfection is an illusive concept that is unattainable. Yet, we have all found ourselves striving for it. Some more than others. The quest for perfection is an exhausting, exercise in frustration and disappointment.

Consider Donald Winnicott, MD, a British Pediatrician. He coined the term, "good enough Mother". The meaning being: parents and guardians, in raising children, realize that children benefit when mistakes are made by child or parent/guardian. (excluding child abuse/neglect)

The process of parenting is being attentive to a child's needs, creating security and safety. However, sine this cannot occur all of the time, a child learns to live in an imperfect world. Imperfection and mistakes allow a child to learn to tolerate frustration, disappointment and develop resiliency.

Some causes of perfectionism are: being raised with unrealistic expectation (often fueled by the false belief that the higher the expectation, the more success a child will have), being falsely blamed for events outside of ones control, and excessive criticism.

Not accepting mistakes as normal learning opportunities or finding humor causes:

1) self criticism

2) shutting down/ like boarding yourself up from the outside world

3) Over thinking (should have, would have, could have)

4) Personalization: "It's all my fault.", "I don't measure up.", "No one else makes these mistakes."

5) It literally freezes personal growth and creates overwhelming barriers.

Remember: What we focus on grows more and more into our reality!!

Take Away:

1) Be reasonably consistent with your goals. Realize that goals are moving targets; adjustable to adapt to new information.

2) Accept that we all make mistakes.

3) Mistakes are for learning, mistakes teach growth.

4) Perfection is humanly imperfect.

5) The greatest life lessons, inventions and solutions resulted from mistakes.

Be brave enough to try and strong enough to learn from mistakes. Do not chase the illusive unicorn called perfection.

Sometimes good enough is good enough!

  • Dr. Nelly De Ridder

Have you ever felt like ejecting yourself from reality or the situation that you are in? Have you ever felt foggy or could not explain why you are having emotions that don't seem to match the situation that you are in?

It is possible that you have experienced a trigger.

What is a trigger? It is your brain telling you that you are on shaky ground. Your brain is wired to protect you and stores memories and events to reference in order to activate a survival response. It does this by quickly triggering up past events which sometimes can cause a flashback, a strong emotional response or a dissociative response. Unfortunately we do not always know what the trigger is because sometimes it is really innocent like a smell or a sound or a combination of stimuli and sometimes it is obvious like witnessing an event that is similar to a past event or seeing someone who may have been involved in a past event.

What to do??? Identifying the specific trigger and how it relates to a past event is the first step. You can do this by:

1) Ask yourself what emotion you experienced and rate them from 0-100 in intensity.

2) Write down all information about the surroundings: place,time, sounds, smells, scenario, people present, etc.

3) Identify specific physical signs you felt.

Write everything down and see if this helps to identify what the trigger was and what past event it is connected to. It may take several data collecting episodes to develop a pattern that would then lead to identification of triggers. This identification is the first step to disarming them.

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