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  • Mitchell Rothbardt

2 Simple Things To Help

I couldn’t think of what to write about today so my incredible wife (the star of the video you can find here: What Are We Going To Do?) suggested that I write about why I can’t think of what to write about.

I alway try to write my posts so that they have some sort of takeaway or angle that people can get something new from but with what is going on right now it seems like there is a lot of overwhelming information and stress and anxiety right now. It feels like anything that little old me has to say is kind of minor in the scheme of things.

Then I thought of my old apartment.

Bear with me. I promise there’s a point coming.

As a young guy living in a small apartment with my cat Sadie, there were times when maybe the overall neatness of it wasn’t quite top notch. Eventually it would start to irritate me a bit and I would actually get the urge to clean. When I’d think about where to start it would feel overwhelming (there’s that word again). What I would do in that situation was take a mental step back and just decide to pick up or clean one thing. It didn’t even matter what that thing was. Dust the TV, pick my jacket up off the floor. It didn’t matter because that one thing, whatever it was, would lead to the next thing. If I dusted the TV then I’d wind up dusting the stereo next to it. If I picked up my jacket I’d pick up whatever else was near it. One thing would lead to another and soon enough I’d have a clean apartment.

Still not with me? What I’m saying is that in these times when things are stressful and overwhelming it’s important to simplify. Do one thing at a time. It’s very easy to be paralyzed by everything.

Today I’m just going to give you two simple things that I hope will help get you through this.

1) Take a step.

In our online Castro Valley Fitness Community virtual meeting (it was supposed to be in-person, but you know the story) one of our members was talking about a project she was supposed to do that has been  put on indefinite hold, although it will have to finished sometime.

One of her big issues we’ve been helping her work through is her tendency to procrastinate. Having a project with no deadline isn’t helping with that. We asked her what the very next step is on the project and we put a deadline of this Friday for her to do it. In this Friday’s check-in (we do invidual check-ins every Friday) she has to report on her progress and let us know how she is going to break down the rest of the project.

The moral of the story? Just do the next thing. I’m paraphrasing a Martin Luther King Jr. quote here: Take the next step. You don’t need to see whole staircase.

2) Be OK with not being OK.

I don’t know too many people who are doing great at the moment. I don’t need to go into the reasons why. I don’t care how “together” you are or think you are, this sucks.

What will make it worse is thinking you need to figure out how to be OK with all of this.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT for short) teaches us the importance of “psychological flexibility”.

In other words, being OK with not being OK and behaving in accordance with that.

One thing that can help greatly with this is understanding that you’re not alone.


Another thing that came up in our meeting yesterday is the role of social media. One of our members was starting to revert back to some old thought processes we’ve been working through due to some social media posts.

I’m not going to be someone who rails against social media as the root of all evil. To me, it’s a tool. Like a hammer or a baking sheet. Those are great if you need to nail a board together or make cookies, but not so great if you want to wash your clothes.

What I’m trying to say is that, for the most part everyone on social media looks they have it together. Don’t buy it. Everyone has problems. Especially now.

I hope this helps a little. Please let me know if you need help with anything else. I have time these days!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, Egoscue PAS Castro Valley Fitness 2861 Grove Way 510-755-9191

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