Everything is humming along nicely in your life, when bam! Something unexpected happens that makes you question life as you know it. When this happens, we naturally go through the roller coaster ride – a crazy emotional cycle from denial to anger to depression to seeking understanding to acceptance. Sometimes the cycle is long; other times it’s short. Some people take longer to get through the cycle, and sometimes the issue you’re facing is just too significant for you to accept and deal with in a short timeframe.
Been there? So have we! It’s amazing how resilient people can be when dealing with set backs.
Although we naturally don’t like to reflect on the bad times in our lives, when you are faced with a curveball we urge you to think about how in the past you managed to get through tough times. If you summoned that strength in the past, you can do it again!
How have you dealt with your curveballs? Here are some ways we’ve kept ourselves sane and recovered our balance during those times. We offer these as strategies that have worked for us, not as scientifically researched solutions.
Perspective is Key
We are the center of the universe in our world so everything around us is there to support us. We sometimes don’t see the whole picture. When faced with a curveball, change the perspective from YOU to a broader picture. Think about how the curveball has affected others in your life; how the curveball is just one element in your life; how life can and should be different because of the new circumstances. Perspective has helped us see that the universe is much bigger than ourselves and that solutions may lie around the corner or that a better life is just ahead.
Control What You Can
If you have a high need to control ALL things in your life, this strategy may be particularly difficult. Accepting that some things can’t be changed no matter what you do or could have done or should have done is an important lesson to moving forward when faced with a curveball. Learn to separate what you can control from what you can’t. Putting your energy into what you can control will be more productive and uplifting.
Appreciate as Much as you Can
After a set back (and after you’ve done your crying, feeling sorry for yourself, getting angry or whatever helps you emotionally), take some time to reflect upon and appreciate what is good at the moment. You still have positives in your life that can be celebrated. These positives may feel even sweeter when dealing with curveballs and can give you the energy to tackle what’s ahead.
Change Things Up
As Jimmy Buffett says in his famous song, “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” can do wonders for you. Sometimes your attitude towards a situation can change by just changing the scene. Try to get out of town for a breather or do something that you enjoy like a hobby. As well, exercise will naturally dissipate the hormones and other chemicals that build up during periods of high stress so go for a bike ride, walk, run, or do something that gets your heart pumping.
Curveballs happen and, by definition, when you least expect them. So when you’re facing a curveball, don’t duck. Face it straight on to move on.
“It’s not the number of chapters in your life that matter. It’s how good those chapters are.”