Recently you submitted a bunch of questions you wanted to ask a psychologist and we couldn’t help but oblige. So we took your queries to our incredible team of over twenty therapists at The Indigo Project and compiled their sage wisdom below!
How can you stay sane while job hunting?
Job hunting can be challenging. It can stir up self-doubt, indecisiveness, and fear of rejection, as well as raising questions about values and identity, even the meaning of life.
So, how can we maintain our sanity while hunting for a job? Firstly, allow yourself to experience whatever thoughts and feelings come up without judgment. In all likelihood, they’re perfectly normal, or at least are seldom fatal. Try to keep a sense of balance in your lifestyle, doing all your regular stress-reducing activities – spend time with family and friends, exercise, have some fun.
Some job seekers also find it useful to see the quest as a way of taking charge of a big part of your life, deliberately choosing and creating what you want in your next chapter. Some people also seek the input of colleagues, recruiters or mentors in this process. Being clear about where you’re heading, and knowing you’re giving it your best shot, will increase your confidence and focus. Lastly, as always, don’t forget to look deep into the night sky and marvel at the mystery of it all.
Don’t forget to look deep into the night sky and marvel at the mystery of it all. – Sam Barr (Clinical Psychologist)
Tips for getting over past difficulties?
- Acknowledge and express your pain: Emotions are powerful communicators and are essential to our survival. They can be very intense and uncomfortable and our brain is naturally wired to avoid discomfort. So it’s not surprising that we’ll do anything to resist them. This means talking about our discomfort with a friend or professional, or perhaps journalling about it or simply naming it can be a helpful way of processing emotions more effectively.
- Accept what you can’t change, change what you can. Remind yourself that acceptance does not mean liking what happened. The only way we can move forward is by seeing reality for what it is. It can help turn our mind back toward the present, which is the only place from which we can start letting go.
- Be kind to yourself: The way we relate to ourselves through any struggle, past or present, is essential in building resilience. So why not think about how we would treat a friend if they were in our shoes and use that to bring kindness and validation to our experience.
Think about how we would treat a friend if they were in our shoes and use that to bring kindness and validation to our experience. – Anja Schmidkunz (Senior Psychologist)
How can you be consistent with your morning ritual?
Firstly, be kind to yourself. It’s hard to do something every morning, and that’s ok. Being hard on yourself won’t make it easier. Try to accept that this is something that’s hard for you, so you can figure what’s getting in the way of your consistency. If this is a new ritual and so you are forgetting it, try giving yourself some physical cues to do it (e.g. a note on your mirror or putting your journal next to your bed). If you are feeling pressured for time in the mornings, try setting your alarm a few minutes earlier so the ritual can be an enjoyable experience. If you find that some days you just don’t feel like it, try reminding yourself that the days when it’s hardest are the days that we need our ritual the most. Lastly, keep trying!
Each day is another opportunity to practice your ritual, regardless of what happened on the previous day. – Gabrielle (Psychologist)
Do psychologists always have their shit together? Or do you speak to others for help?
I don’t think anybody has their shit together completely. We all get support from different people in our lives, family, friends, professional supports. I in no way have always got myself together. It’s part of human nature to be fallible, to have faults. And there are times when I need to get a bit of help as well.
It’s part of human nature to be fallible, to have faults. – Michael (Clinical Psychologist)
It’s really important that I have my own self-care and measures in check. Self-monitoring – having a daily practice of checking in with yourself – whether that’s meditation or journaling.
Making sure that I am looking after myself is something that I’ve realised is really important, especially in this space when you’re holding that for others. – Martha (Psychologist)
How to overcome the fear of getting hurt when being emotionally vulnerable?
Where there is love there is always the possibility of heartache and pain. In this way it is impossible to have love or emotional vulnerability without fear. What we can do, if we are particularly fearful, is take things slowly and build trust over time. Harness your fear and take it with you. Ask yourself what is the smallest thing that you can do to move towards love and connection? Start there. Maybe it’s just having a slightly deeper conversation about something that matters.
Your fear can be your guide to start slow and to check in with yourself regularly on your journey. – Sarah (Senior Psychologist)