How Calm Are You?

Reacting to coronavirus shut-down? Angry with a short temper? None of us have been through something like this event before, so everything is new. What’s the best way to sanitize my home. Keeping the car virus free. Besides sterilizing before and after work, I’m cleaning the office between each client. The do’s and don’ts of the grocery store. And then, there’s new rules to follow as scientists find out yet more about the virus.

This is particularly challenging if you live in close quarters with others. The things you used to brush off? Feel as if they’re under your skin! Irritating. Annoying. Perhaps they appear to be a threat. You find yourself saying, “Don’t tell me what to do!” or “I’ve got cabin fever so bad.” Grrr.

We human beings have expectations of life’s patterns. We get frustrated when things don’t work out the way we expect them to. People don’t behave the way they’re “supposed” to, especially if they should automatically know what we want. And when life hits us, and those closest do the opposite of what we expect? We overreact: frustration, anger, tears, arguments, stress, you name it. As we move back into the stay-at-home regime, what to do? When you’re about to blow up, here are some tips:

  • Stretch. Reach for the sky. Often. Calm your nerves. Your irritation. And feel those useless emotions drift away.
  • Realize you can’t change other’s behaviors. I don’t know about you, but when someone constantly gives me directions and tells me what to do? I’m not a happy camper. Like The Duff, I go into the corner and sulk, perhaps even talk to myself. Remember it’s the same thing if the shoe is on the other foot.
  • Plan another strategy. It takes a quarter of a second from the time a stimulus comes in until you respond. That’s not long enough to say “I’m not going to snap at my mom.” You’re already in the action mode. Suggestion: have another option in mind when the tussle starts. Go for a walk. It could be a giggle, for laughter breaks tension faster than anything else.
  • Let go. Ask yourself: in the grand scheme of things, is this really that important? Over a lifetime, this stay-at-home isolation is brief. Slow down and check yourself before you wreck yourself.
  • Be curious about how others handle their lives. It’s easy to judge others, especially when in close confinement. Instead, put on your detective hat. Wonder why people do what they do. You might be surprised at the answer.
  • Take a deep breath. This simple strategy works wonders. That deep breath stretches your rib cage, immediately causing the body to relax. The brain is supplied with more oxygen, and you can think more clearly. Life can move on.
  • Accept people for who they are. That’s just mom. She does that funny thing and may not even be aware of doing so. Taking things personally creates strife and struggle. Just accept and let be.

Living unstuck is an art and a practice. The most powerful lessons you learn come when you’re in a relationship with others. What an opportunity to grow! You can learn more about yourself as you travel through this space and time. Enjoy the journey. Live unstuck.

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