Sometimes things are under our control:
Sometimes things are not under our control:
We all know that some things are outside of our control in life. Sometimes, we don’t always know how to deal with things that are outside of our control. I hope that this article can help you Identify ways to deal with the uncontrollable and recognize the controllable in our new normal lives.
Right now, almost everyone on the planet is facing a large amount of new day-to-day activities that are outside of their control. Social distancing. Unemployment. School closure. Restricted store hours and shopping restrictions. Restricted. The list goes on and on.
Nearly every aspect of your life may have been altered. Most of this change may not have been within your control at all.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely HATE for things to be outside of my control!
I like to feel like I have a good handle on things. Have a well organized life. And stick to a comfortable life routine. A pretty illusion right? My pretty illusion has been shattered over the last few months. I am guessing I am not alone in this feeling.
So, what do we do with all of these new restrictions which we have no control over? How do we respond to all of the life changes we are all facing that we have no control over?
First, we recognize that not everything is within our control. I know, not fun, right? Surrendering to the uncontrollable is the first part of handling the uncontrollable though.
Truth time: I struggle with this daily, and I have been purposefully working on it for over a decade now. The added stress of all the new things outside of my control and shattered “once pretty” illusion I had of my organized life have taken a toll on me.
I have unfortunately fallen back on some less healthy coping mechanisms and I am paying the price even as I sit and write this article. I am also aware, I have RECOGNIZED the unhealthy pattern I was following, and I am ACTIVELY and PURPOSEFULLY working to use the healthier tools I have developed.
Another unfortunate truth is that when we try to manipulate or change the uncontrollable aspects of our lives, it will INEVITABLY lead to feelings of frustration, anger, and hopelessness.
We can also learn to recognize the things that we CAN CONTROL. One thing we can control; and change, is our REACTION to the things outside of our control.
THIS IS NOT AUTOMATIC!
This is a CHOICE!
The choice to maintain a positive outlook is one that can be made daily, or even hourly.
Right now, you may not be able to travel to see a loved one. Attend a friends wedding. Be a the hospital for the birth of your first grandchild. See your child walk across the stage for graduation. You many not even be able to gather to celebrate the life of a loved one who has passed on. These are all things that are outside of your control.
What you can control is what you do instead. Send a card. Make a video call. Do a drive by parade celebration. Or find your own unique way to be present while staying safe.
It is expected to feel anxious about not being able to interact with others the way we are used to, but it doesn’t have to stop there. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Right now, Pinterest, Facebook, and even the local news are showing ways people have chosen to honor events in new and creative ways.
The above principles apply to all of the uncontrollable aspects of our lives. We can recognize and let go of the parts we cannot control. We can examine the problem and find creative solutions for the parts of the problem that we can control.
I encourage you to take a look at the aspects of your life that are causing you anxiety and stress. Break them down so you can see what IS and what IS NOT in your control.
The good and bad news is there are millions of ways to identify a problem and break it down. You can write it on a board or journal. Talk it over with a friend. Make a collage or drawing. Meditate on it. Or use any method that lets you start to see and respond to the things you can control and accept the things you cannot control.
If you are feeling hopeless, like you want to end your life or hurt yourself please reach out for help now to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
If you need financial assistance and community resources, please contact United Way 211 by calling 211 or (239) 433-3900 or Lee County Human Services at (239) 533-7930.
If you or a family member are in an unsafe situation facing domestic violence contact the ACT shelter of Fort Myers (239) 939-3112 or visit http://www.actabuse.com/contact-act/ for additional assistance.
If you believe you could benefit from support to help cope with anxiety, I am available to help. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office to schedule an appointment at 239-297-7099.
If you find yourself in need of additional resources for support, please visit our Resource page. It contains links to a wide range of mental health resources. https://floridaarttherapyservices.com/mental-health-links/
COVID specific mental support resources:
Keep an eye out for my upcoming video where I will be going over some basics of reining in racing thoughts. You will also be able to meet the above horses and get to know them a little better, as they will be starring in the upcoming video.