The holidays are over! Now come the gift exchanges and credit card bills, tuition bills, local, state, federal and property taxes, snow plowing bills, car problems, re-organizing schedules with your children and teens going back to school, cold weather, blizzards, travel delays-cancellations, transient colds and sickness, caring for your aged parents; you name it!
Your potential for chronic pain increases as you try to problem solve the challenges of life stress (7-10) you experience almost daily.
What can you do?
1. Identify your highest life stress ratings subjectively from 1-10.
2. Determine their impact on your family, work, social life and self-care including your ability to exercise.
3. Reflect on your past resilience for similar stressors and clarify what it took for you to get through each life stress! Ask yourself, what did I think, say and do to sustain my fortitude ?
3. Prioritizer the top 3-5 stressors, then sit down with a significant other (if you can) and write down your major goals and sub-goals for reducing your highest, life stress pain on a scale from 1-4 from 7-10).
4. Be realistic about expectations concerning your time frames., i.e., I(We) can do … by….(date).
5. Determine what you can control and what situations you simply may need to self-coach to ‘get through it’.
6. identify your network of support. Don’t be afraid to make requests .
7. Ask yourself, what information do I(We) still need to help problem solve each stress?”
8. Identify what are situations you can control and which are the ones you simply have to do the best you can while recognizing that your feeling helpless or powerless about a situation does not mean you are a helpless or powerless person.
9. Generate and write down potential plans (especially breaking down each large tasks into sub-goals)
10. identify realistic time frames to complete each plan(sub goal and major goal.
11. Choose the best plan(s) to reduce each life stress.
12. Act on the plan(s), Don’t simply obsess, worry, catastrophizing, think the worst case scenarios or that you’ll never get through each one.
13.,Acknowledge ways to be your own best coach. Generate self-coping statements and intermittent rewards as you work on completing each sub goal and goal.
14. Once you’ve completed each sub-goal and goal, process and evaluate how you’re doing (self-monitor)
15.Take pride in completing each goal, even if it means to simply ‘go with the flow,.
16. Utilize intermittently, creative ways to deal with life stressors including listening to relaxing or inspirational music, watch comedies or even sharing ‘dark humor’, pray intermittently or do some mindfulness meditations, affiliate with significant others via person to person, e-mail , phone, or social media including Skype, text, Facebook, messenger,Instagram, etc.
17. Whatever it takes to try to reduce your stressors to 1-4, make sure you reaffirm, ” I am good enough” or ” I’m doing the best I can given the situations I can control and not control”
18. Remember to sustain your hope and faith. You’re only the navigator helping the Pilot get through this turbulence. You must sustain your faith in the Pilot!” He’s gotten you through this before!