Wait, what’s an acute problem?
If you stub your toe on a door, do you sell the house? No. Even though the pain is all you can think about, and you just want it to stop, you don’t do anything crazy, like sell the house. Seems pretty irrational, right?
You KNOW the pain is going to end and you learn to keep an eye on that rogue door. The end.
Then, why do people do irrational things in times of excruciating pain?
In that moment, the pain is the only thing you can think about. Stopping the pain is your only goal. Be logical; don’t do something rash when you know pain will end, even though, in that moment, it feels like it will last forever.
In times of stress, it’s easy to do something impulsive when you think it will mitigate the pain, but that can actually cause even more pain. Let’s talk about that, shall we?
When you’re under mental or physical stress, it makes you want to do something that you believe will take the pain away, you need to STOP. Stop right there. Take a breath.
Chances are the pain you are feeling has been felt by many others before. Do some research or ask someone that has gone through this before and come out the other side better. Find out what your options are and different routes you can take. Your immediate reaction may make your situation worse.
I realize almost all of the people on the planet right now have not experienced an acute problem, like a pandemic, but remember that it IS an acute problem. There are outbreaks around the world every 2 years or so and they all come to an end. Sometimes the isolation feels like it will never end, but it will. Remember that. Believe that.
For so long, many countries have been unaffected by outbreaks and have watched from afar without much thought to it. Think about all those people affected by past outbreaks; they made through, didn’t they? Life went back to normal. Life moved forward. If other countries can make it through, so can we. We have more resources than ever to help us mentally and physically, so let’s do this.
Know that the world is not going to be in self quarantine forever. Many things HAVE changed and that’s OK; humans are adaptation machines! We are built for this. Life will go on after the pandemic is over. Will it be changed forever anyway? Probably. There is light at the end of the tunnel; it may be small and dim, it’s still there. Humans have been though so much; we aren’t going to let this destroy us and our humanity.
There will come a time where we can do ‘normal’ things again. It may be a little different going forward, but it’s imminent, it’s just not today.
It’s OK to feel crappy about this. It’s OK to be down. Be aware of it. Remember that it isn’t permanent.
Will This Acute Problem Matter in a Year?
Think of the impact of any problem in the future. Will it matter in 1 year or 5 years? If your answer is no, then you need to control how you are reacting to it and how it will affect you. Worrying does not serve you.
I’m not saying the pandemic is not serious and will not have lasting effects on the world, but you can make the effects in your own life less detrimental.
Especially in isolation, all problems seem like HUGE problems. You don’t have much else to focus on, so the acute problem seems even bigger. Step back and ask yourself if it will really matter in the future.
Nagging your housemates about leaving the milk out isn’t going to matter in 1 year, so don’t let something trivial ruin a relationship. You only have control of yourself and this is a tough situation for anyone to be in. There’s no instructions on how to do this, but what you do have is your ability to realize your impact.
When stress is sky high and you’re ready to make the pain stop at any cost, take a moment before you do anything. Try box breathing. Take a deep breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds and hold for 4 seconds. Repeat this a couple times, if you need to. It’s a great way to calm you and clear your mind, so don’t make rash decisions that COULD affect you way past the acute problem’s end.
You got this!
Lisa, Your Bucket List Coach