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Finding ways to accept and be okay

This article discusses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which encourages people to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than pushing them away.
Teenager lying on a sofa looking at a tablet
© University of Reading

In the previous Step, you read about Josh’s reaction to being unable to play football for at least three months. Were you able to come up with some new ways for Josh to respond?

The Educator team have shared their ideas below. How do these suggestions compare with your own?

• Told himself that it’s sad and upsetting that this has happened and he has a right to feel this way about it

• Allowed himself time for rest and healing

• Allowed himself to get really angry about the situation and let others know his feelings

• Told himself that it is nobody’s fault, things like this happen

• Listened to the medical advice and looked forward to the healing process

• Made plans for how he might slowly get back into practice in a few months

• Made contact with his football friends outside of football activities

• Allowed himself to feel upset (told himself that it’s understandable that he feels this way)

• Used the time for other things he likes doing (e.g. learning the guitar, video games, building a computer)

• Stayed up-to-date with football news and his favourite players

• Made a plan for what he might do if he can’t play for the rest of the year

• Learnt something completely new

• Took it one moment and day at a time

Which way of responding do you think is most helpful? And why? Share your thoughts in the comment area below

Here’s a great cartoon film that demonstrates the advantages of learning to accept a situation and to still do your best within the limits of what you are dealing with.

So to recap, when thinking about your current situation it’s helpful to:

  1. Acknowledge and accept that this is how things are at the moment (this is your new ‘normal’ and you can’t push it away or make it disappear).
  2. Find a way to allow yourself to feel all the things that this new normal brings up (it’s OK to feel cross, frustrated, sad, angry and any other associated emotion).
  3. Find ways to do your best within the situation (are there any positives for example, are you getting to do anything which you wouldn’t normally be able to do?).
  4. Stay in the moment rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future. We will be thinking more about this process in the next Step.
© University of Reading
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