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 cause more pain. Let’s not do that, shall we?
When you’re in mental or physical stress that makes you want to do something right that second that you believe will take the pain away STOP. Just stop right there. Take a breath.
Do some research or ask someone that has been in this situation before. Find out what your options are and different routes you can take. Your immediate reaction may not be the beneficial.
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. Sometimes the isolation feels like it will never end, but it will. Remember that. Believe that.
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!
There will come a time where we can all go out to a restaurant and hug and shake hands and share nachos. It’s imminent, it’s just not today.
Will This Acute Problem Matter in a Year?
Think of the impact of your current problem in the future. Will it matter in 1 year or 5 years? If your answer is no, then you really need to control how you are reacting to it and how it will affect you.
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 how you react to situations.
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