Sometimes it can feel like life throws a lot of curveballs at once, and they come at us so fast that we feel like we don't know which one to try and catch, or if we should even bother to try. Or if we should try to juggle all of them until we fall down exhausted.
Here's a way to look at what's going on in your life in a way that might help to reduce your anxiety.
Managing your diabetes is one challenge. Others might include a bill that has to get paid, a relationship problem, your boss’s bad moods, your child’s last report card, that leaky sink…
Put each challenge in its own bucket.
Then, go from one bucket to the next, one at a time rather than all at once. As you examine what's in each bucket, ask yourself: What do I have control over here and what do I not have control over? Is there anything about this problem that needs my attention? What do I have to do? What do I have to accept?
As you examine what’s in each bucket, decide:
What you can and can’t do about the problem.
What your action plan is (don't forget to focus on what you can actually control here).
How important it is to solve this problem, compared to the other challenges you are facing right now.
Line the buckets up, with the most important bucket first in line, followed by the others, in order of importance. In other words, ask yourself which bucket you want to dive into first. Hint: it’s important to care for the caregiver, so I would put that diabetic self-care bucket first in line, and keep it there!
Take action – realistic action – and then move on to the next bucket.
This isn't magic. Your challenges aren't going to magically go away. But you can at least see where you are making headway and where you aren't, and you can see what you need to do. And maybe you can even see where you need to relax.
The point is to look at your life challenges in a way that provides you with the opportunity to see where they can, individually, be managed. It's when we see only this big mass of trouble that we feel overwhelmed.
Part of coping with life is realizing what we can change and what we can't change, and then deciding how best to go with the flow.
I would also encourage you to reach out for support. Friends, family members, who can listen objectively when you need to talk. You might also consider reaching out to a mental health professional to help you to maintain your perspective as you deal with these challenges.
What do you have in your buckets? Let’s do some sharing and caring!
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