Quit the blame game
When something goes wrong, we naturally start looking for a person to blame – and that person is often ourselves. But feeling guilty won’t help the situation. Remember that the world is complex, and often a whole series of events contributed to what went wrong, says psychotherapist Fran Walfish. Don’t bear (or assign) all the blame for the outcome, but accept that bad things happen, no matter how hard you try.
Sometimes things are beyond your control. You are just one person, and you weren’t meant to bear the world’s problems. Just do your best and be who you are, and realise that it isn’t your responsibility to fix every problem in society.
Get to the root of your guilt
Do some soul-searching and figure out why you’re feeling guilty (this, as opposed to ruminating over it), says marriage and family counsellor Jameela Jackson. If you feel like you should be volunteering at your kids’ school more, ask yourself why you haven’t. Have other parents made comments that make you feel like you’re not doing enough? You know what’s best for you and your family, so getting to the bottom of your guilt will help you find an effective way to address what, if anything, you need to do.
If you’ve been harbouring feelings of guilt from wronging someone however, especially a parent or older relative, say something. You’ll feel better if you get those feelings out in the open, rather than feeling regret when it’s too late.
Give yourself a true retreat
A holiday is hardly a holiday if you spend the entire time thinking about what productive things you should be doing instead. When you feel those thoughts creeping in, remind yourself why you took a break in the first place. After all, getting away from the anxiety of your daily grind is a much-needed break that will help you get back to feeling refreshed, Walfish says.