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  • Writer's pictureLiz Morrison, LCSW

The Rock & The Play-Doh

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

What CAN You Control?

Adapted from Special Education Teacher, Krystal Deterding

Imagine that you're holding a large rock in your hand. Squeeze it as hard as you can. Try to bend it. Try to roll it between your hands. Are you able to change the rock?

Now imagine you have a ball of Play-Doh in your hand. Squeeze it as hard as you can. Bend it. Roll it between your hands. Are you able to change the Play-Doh?

Certain situations may leave you feeling worried, anxious, or scared. In these moments, think of the rock and the Play-Doh.

The rock is hard and can’t be changed. You can’t control the shape it takes.

The Play-Doh, however, can be changed. You can control the shape it takes.

What are the “Play-Dohs” in your life right now? What CAN you control?

Believe it or not, you have a lot of control over what is happening in the world right now.

So what are the “Rocks” and “Play-Dohs” of COVID-19?


I cannot control:

  • What other people do

  • What other people say

  • School cancellations

  • The news

  • Sickness

  • Work assigned to me

  • Doctor recommendations

  • Restaurant and store closings

  • How long this will last


I can control:

  • What I say and what I do

  • Creating a routine for myself

  • The way I treat others

  • My positive attitude

  • Social distancing: staying home

  • How well I do my work

  • What I watch online or TV

  • Getting fresh air

  • Finding fun things to do at home

Despite everything happening, you do have some control. Take a deep breath and focus on the “Play-Dohs.” Let go of the “Rocks.” We're all in this together. It WILL get better!

We hope you tune in over the next few weeks as we share articles and blogs that can help you navigate the Coronavirus. As always, if you need additional support or help, our therapists have fully moved to an online telehealth platform and are happy to work with you individually.


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