Earlier this year, I wrote a blog about “being in the weeds”. It’s a term often used by restaurant workers meaning that you’re having a hard time keeping up with the demands of your time or resources. Though it was geared towards a work life, it can also readily be applied to personal situations as well.
I have addressed this in most of our social media platforms, because our life has currently had us in a state of upheaval. To make things quick, here’s what happened:
I found myself in a state of panic, having a difficult time processing the sudden onslaught of information and buried in the possible solutions. I took a few steps to help me get back on top of the situation.
I know that life throws curveballs at all of us. I thought I would share with you the steps I took in hopes that in the future, it will help you.
5 Tips to Dealing with Life's Curveballs
1. Stop and Take Inventory
I’m not sure why it is this way, but it’s moments like these last couple of weeks that make me believe in the cliché “when it rains, it pours”. We were on a path, moving in the direction of our goals, when in a matter of 45 minutes, we got two rather large problems that caused us to have to change our plans drastically.
I am not as great at adjusting to change as I would like to be. Having to make a sudden turn generally leaves me flustered. I’m so lucky to have someone like Joe by my side who takes changes so well and operates amazingly under pressure.
When things get crazy, the number one instinct is to make the "crazy" stop. Think of your problems like a grease fire. When grease catches on fire, if you panic and throw water on it, you can make it so much worse. It can cause an explosion!
When your life is a grease fire, stop for a minute. Take a few deep breaths. It may seem counter productive to stop moving, but let your thoughts catch up to everything else and you'll find the decision making process so much easier.
2. Do Not Solve Major Problems on an Empty Stomach
Solving problems when you’re in an emotional state is just a recipe for disaster. Whatever is going on in your life will be solved better if you’ve eaten and you’ve gotten enough sleep. I know sometimes taking care of yourself seems selfish and unproductive, but you cannot pour out and fix problems without first taking care of yourself.
If you’ve ever flown in an airplane, the flight attendants give a safety speech before take off every time. In the event that the cabin of the air plane loses pressure, masks will fall from the ceiling. They always tell you that to secure your own mask first, and then assist the others around you. Because if you pass out, you can’t help anyone.
Make it a priority to take care of yourself before you try to take care of everyone else around you or solve major problems that are popping up.
3. Let Go of What You Can’t Control
It does no good to blame yourself or others for the situation at hand. It doesn’t stop the problem from happening. It doesn’t turn back time. With the limited energy you have, spend it doing something productive.
Focus on practical, applicable solutions, even if they’re exactly what you wanted. Weigh those options and try to decide the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
Avoid allowing yourself to wallow in doubt, anger, betrayal, or whatever negative emotions you’re feeling in the moment. There are times when we can validate and explore those emotions, but if you’re in the middle of life’s grease fire, it’s important to maintain control. It’s never a good idea to make important life decisions when you’re in the middle of an emotional upheaval.
If you cannot control your emotions, stop and take a moment. Make the decisions when the emotion becomes more manageable.
4. Focus on One Problem at a Time
This is especially important for people who tend to see the bigger picture over smaller details. All the problems coming at you at the same time can be really overwhelming. You may have a hard time even knowing what to tackle first.
Pick the most pressing, and focus on making an action plan for that. Then, you can practically make an action plan for the rest of the issues and start organizing a system to get those actions completed. We aren’t superheroes, so we have to make sure that we are being as productive as possible.
5. Make an Action Plan and Take it One Step at a Time
Make a step-by-step action plan. Sometimes, you are able to view the whole situation and it’s refreshing when you can. Other times, you have to take it a day a time, a moment at a time, and sometimes… it’s a minute at a time. Wherever you are in the process, know that it’s okay. Just make forward motion, even if it’s slow going. But above all, do not panic!
And remember, nothing lasts forever. So at some point, this will end.
You got this!