How to deal with Unexpected Stressors

Written by Serena Norris – A volunteer at Le Chéile as our new monthly guest blogger and a graduate from St. John Fisher College in Psychology. Serena is currently undergoing her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counselling and runs her own online blog. To see her blog click here.

Unexpected Stress: A woman engulfed in stress and emotional strain. The representation of this image is to show that we need to take a moment to stop and process our internal feelings.

This blog is dedicated to my dog Baylee who chose to roll in charcoal grease 5 minutes before I had to leave for work.

I know we all have these moments where something just pops up unexpectedly and makes us either late or pushed back on plans. Let me be the first to say that I hate being late to places, especially my job. Surprisingly, I remained calm and was able to handle the situation with a clear head. This does not happen every time but today I was able to realize this stuff happens and it would not be life without them. I also believe I was able to stay calm because my boyfriend was upset and seeing him that way showed me nothing would get done faster mad. I was able to tell him things like this happen and cannot be controlled. This is the first time having a dog that he helps care for or should I say adopted since we started dating. Usually Baylee listens and behaves very well but again there are days like these. I compare it to having a child, not every day is going to be easy nor are they going to listen to everything we say. We were able to come up with a plan before I went to work, and it all worked out well. Now I wish I could say I acted like this every time something comes up, but I would be lying if I did. There are times where I get very mad or even cry because it seems nothing can go according to plan. Like I said previously, this would not be called life if these things did not happen. Let me give you some helpful tips to help manage these unexpected stressors.

The first thing is to realize you have no control of these situations no matter how hard you try and trust me, I have tried multiple times and failed.

It only leads to more stress and anxiety. If you were able to prepare, it would be apart of you plan or not be so frustrating when it did occur. I do not have children to say that I know what they can do but my dog is close enough and will be used for our example today. Besides the previous example, I will provide another since there are so many that include my lovely pooch. This incident also had to happen 5 minutes before I went to work and this time, Baylee threw up all over my house. I was more anxious than mad, but I saw that she was scared after she got sick. I knew that getting mad would only make things worse, so I picked her up and calmed her down after I cleaned the mess. In my head, I wanted to scream that I was going to be late but that would have only made the situation 10x worse than what it originally was. Baylee was already scared from throwing up and needed a reminder that her mom was not going to be mad at her.

Another thought to keep in mind is if this situation is going to matter in a week from now.

I knew this was something so simple that there was no need to get so worked up about it. Sometimes you just need to remind yourself to let it go and even possibly sing the song to yourself because I know I am guilty of that. If you do not want to sing, just laugh. I know that sounds odd, but laughter is the best medicine. Of course, if it is a situation that is serious laughing is not an option but for most cases it can fit. When your child spills something or your dog runs threw the house with muddy paws, just laugh. You will start to realize that life is about these unexpected stressors and sometimes they can be fun.

I hope these examples were able to provide some guidance to the next time an unexpected stressor comes your way. Until next blog, stay healthy, stay positive and stay mentally strong!