Dealing with the Unexpected: What’s Your Style?

It is strange, but true, that the most important turning-points of life often come at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected ways. ~Napoleon Hill

It’s always disturbing when things are going as planned and your world is instantly torn apart.

Like the Covid-19 striking our communities with fatal blows at lightening speeds.

At first you can’t believe it.

Then it suddenly punches you with a horrific blow.

How scary.

How things are different now.

What will things be like when it’s all over?

Will it be over?

When Things are Out of Control

Feeling out of control happens to everyone. But here we are trying to fight a virus! Seriously!?! It is out of our control. We help by following safe rules.

But still…anxiety heightens, symptoms of PTSD are triggered, and some signs lead to depression. Stress increases and uncontrollable thoughts of doom dominate our thoughts.

Isolation, sleeping longer, an inability to sleep, crying, poor concentration        and old habits that had been long at rest reappear. Smoking, drug use, drinking, over-spending can resurface or become new problems.

Managing stay at homework duties, planning for children or others place an extra demand that increases stress.

You are bombarded with constant reminders of a soaring pandemic. Will I get it? Will someone close to me or someone I know get it?

The number of cases rises every day.

You worry about the loss of your job or income. How will you live?

How might your style of how you negotiate tasks and hard times, assist you through these difficult times?

What’s Your Style?

We all have different styles of navigating events in life. During times of stress, our style supports us and gives a sense of stability. This is helpful during times of the unknown. Each style has its advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s look at two styles that you may recognize and how they might be helpful.

The Planner

If you are a planner, this is an extremely disruptive time for you. You thrive on organization. Preparing for the next step is a way of life for you. Now, your anxiety is increasing. For you, there has to be order. The anxiety is unbearable. What becomes critical for you during this time is to manage your anxiety.

The question for you is will you become more controlling of others during this time?

This is a time to practice something you enjoy. This will take your mind off of what you’re unable to control. Take a course online. Or, read a book or reread a book. Check out topics that interest you on You Tube or Ted Talks. This is also a good time to practice meditation to help with a sense of relaxation and peace.

You are a natural in following through with necessary procedures. You religiously wear your mask when out, wash your hands as instructed, and keep the recommended social distance. This comes easy for you. This is a good time to live by the quote: “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain. “~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Be aware of what you can control and what you’re not able to control. Attempts to making “what is” the way you want it to be only increases your anxiety. Remember the serenity prayer during these times: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

The Spontaneous

You have a free spirit. You have a way of bringing fun to a boring situation. During this time of the unexpected you have a curiosity about what’s going to happen.

You like to “go with the flow”. Even though you’re not able to venture out of your surroundings during this time, staying put is difficult for you. It may be more difficult for you to be as cautious as you need to be. You may not consistently follow the established rules. Finding things to do and being creative will be easy for you. Remember your quote to live by would be “Wherever you go, there you are.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

Don’t forget to take time to smell the roses.

The conflict for you is when partnered with a planner. The planner will expect you to comply with strict adherence to the established rules. You might even feel pressure from the partner particularly when you “forget” to wash your hands or touch your face.

There can be a conflict when partnered with someone who has a spontaneous style. The planner sees them as insensitive to the severity of the illness. Discussions are necessary to express your feelings about the situation rather than to blame.

Both styles have their strengths to help support you through difficult times. Rely on the strengths of your styles to support you.

It could be that you have many qualities of each style. Pick the strengths of both styles to get through difficult times.

Use your Style to Discover

This is a sad time for all.

Things that were, are no longer.

Some things have changed. Maybe for the moment, maybe forever.

It’s ok to be sad, to grieve the losses, and to not know what you’ll do next.

This is also a time to reflect on your strengths and build resilience as you journey through the unknown.

No matter which is your dominant style, you are able to do the 3 most important things:

  1. Wash your hands often
  2. Cover your mouth in your elbow when you cough
  3. Social distance

Like your physical health, mental health is important. What are you doing to make it better?

What creative projects can you come up with?

What can you do differently?

Remember that you are not. If you are in crisis and need to talk with a professional counselor in Ohio, you can text 4hope to 441 741, or call 1-800-720-9616 from 8 am to 8 pm.

Perhaps you would like more support. Know that there’s help available. You can call me or book a time to see me in a confidential portal. Click “CONTACT ME” and schedule a time. You can also call me at 513-244-6990. Discount pricing is available during the Covid-19 stay at home period. Counseling can help determine how you can navigate during a difficult time.

Call or schedule a time now.

Be safe.

For more information on Anxiety Treatment click here.