“When Everything Feels Out of Control, How Can I Cope RIGHT NOW?”


Written by Emily Carlson, PN-L1, CF-L1Let’s shift gears and focus on some self care and self love today. As we continue down this road of uncertainty with no complete return to normalcy in the immediate future, how can we own the things we have total control over?Innately I am a very controlling person. I truly believe if everyone in my household would do things the way I do, everything would be perfect! (joking…sort of). So, I would be lying if I said that current life circumstances have not thrown my controlling self for a loop! I have found this situation to be a very slippery slope where, initially, I tried even harder to control everything to then realize that just wasn’t possible, caused more stress, and I was just plain wearing myself out worrying about things that were totally out of my control. I decided to take a healthier approach and focus on the things I can control in a calming and rewarding manner.Here are some tips on taking control and my personal examples. Take the time to write down what you can control and how you will implement them. 

  1. Mindset – this was a huge one for me and something I believe WILL always be the number one driver in almost any situation, though, it is the one that tends to slip first in times of uncertainty in the form of negative self talk and “what-if” scenarios. For me, the mindset shift had to be what do I have control over and how can I take advantage of this opportunity. 
  2. My actions – This is where I committed to taking action with my son and I’s relationship. I would be lying if I didn’t say that my heart hurts that he is missing his junior year of high school baseball season (this kid lives for baseball and put in exceptional effort in the offseason preparing), but I almost get teary eyed thinking about the time we have spent together on our walks talking about his future, that he wants to live in a rural area with lots of land, he doesn’t want to go to an expensive school and come out owing tons of money, and just how funny he is! Had this situation not happened and/or I decided not to take action, I would not have had the opportunity to spend this intimate time with my son. This has been invaluable and surely never would have happened if we were in the everyday hustle and bustle of life.
  3. My effort – In every way and situation, we can control our effort. I committed to my usual four days a week workouts putting in maximal effort each time. I committed to pushing myself as hard as the coaches at Friendship would push me. No skipping reps, no undercutting the weights, and no extended rest. Effort in my nutrition. I am not gonna lie, I have been more than tempted to “eat my feelings” a little bit, but falling back on knowing how my body responds to healthy and whole foods far outweighs the thought of calorie dense, processed, feeling sluggish foods. Most importantly my efforts with my family and loved ones, spending more time talking with my dad who is home alone through this, checking in on my brother and his family weekly, chatting about riding bikes, Ozark, and his personal opinion on how the US should have handled this situation (he pretty much has all the answers). 

If you haven’t taken the time to cope with this situation in a healthy manner or are coping just in an unhealthy manner, it isn’t too late. I encourage you to follow the above steps, commit to progress not perfection, take action on making small changes that I guarantee you will have a big impact in the long run.

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