The world seems to be closing in around you. Light feels dark. Up seems to be down. Your thoughts race wildly. These moments can come suddenly and without warning. You’ve just been diagnosed with cancer. Your husband, the sole provider, just lost his lucrative job. You’re pregnant with your second child, but can barely handle the tiny toddler you already have. Maybe its the move you’ve always dreamed of that now seems to be too much work. Or a financial crisis that is more than you can handle.
The circumstances will be different, but inevitably we’ll all have times in our lives when we feel out of control. Here are 3 things you can do today change that feeling and regain control:
1. Do something you can control
No matter how difficult your life feels right now there is always something you can have control over. Clean your car. This is one small space in your life that you can control and make beautiful. If you don’t have a car, take time to budget your money, especially if you’re in financial crisis. Make a plan to make some extra money or to budget the amount of money you do have.
Get up everyday and get ready. Shower. Put on makeup. Do your hair. Get a pedicure or do your own nails. Go for a walk. Serve somebody. The quickest way to forget about your own problems is to do something for somebody else. Forget yourself and get to work. Don’t spend your time worrying about things you can’t control. Use your energy to do the things you can control.
2. Maintain normalcy
After a devastating health diagnosis it can be easy to forget about normal life. There is no such thing as normal life anymore. After a spouse tells you they’ve had an affair, your life can’t possibly feel normal again. Don’t let everything in your life fall apart because of one horrible situation. The best way to defeat the out of control things in your life is to maintain some tiny sense of normalcy.
Stick to your routines. If you go to the gym everyday, keep going. If you always do the laundry on Wednesdays, keep doing the laundry on Wednesdays. Continue to do those little every day things you’ve always done. The simple daily habits will be the anchor that keeps you from drowning in your devastation.
As Dory, from “Finding Nemo”, puts it, “Just keep swimming.”
3. Change your perspective
A quote attributed to Albert Einstein reads, “There are two ways to live your life – one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” The way you view your current situation is completely up to you. Choose to focus on things in your life that are going well. Look for blessings in your moments of tragedy. Take a moment to be grateful, to breath in and out, to see the world with new eyes.
If you’re already drowning and can’t see anything to be grateful for in your life, ask a friend. Tell someone how you’re feeling and ask them to help you point out the blessings in your life.
These small things can be the difference between letting your life spiral even more out of control or bouncing back quickly from tragedy.