On the heels of writing my last post about recognizing what you CAN and CANNOT control in life, last week I was faced with a reminder lesson about that myself.
One of my dogs was sick which is never an enjoyable thing to deal with, not to mention I absolutely HATE when any of my animals are not feeling well. Two days later, a second dog in my household came down with the same symptoms. And like clockwork, our third dog fell ill two days after that.
I'll spare you the details, but it was NOT a fun week! I had MUCH on my to-do list last week - work to focus on, projects to complete and errands to run. And all of that came to a screeching halt when I found myself dealing with 3 sick dogs, all needing various stages of care and attention for the better part of 10 days. If I wasn't opening the door to let a dog out or back into the house, I was figuring out what meds to give them to ease their symptoms or guessing at what I could safely feed them that wouldn't cause further issues.
The outlook for my week went from "PRODUCTIVE" to "CHAOTIC." At first, I fell into some old patterns of thinking - fearing the worst as to why they were sick and fighting the feeling of my week being "out of (my) control." However, all this did was make the situation feel even more terrible and draining than it already was.
Even when we've learned to make mindset shifts in our lives and do it fairly naturally, there are still times (especially during stressful events) when our autopilot brains attempt to take over. Last week was a perfect example of this.
So what did I do? I followed my own advice (written only a few days earlier) and refocused myself on what I COULD control.
I could NOT control the fact that they were sick, but I COULD control my emotions and energy about the situation so I didn't make myself any more worried or frustrated over it.
I could NOT change the fact that it altered my plan for what I wanted to accomplish last week, but I COULD refocus on the fact that when I stepped back and looked at my schedule for the week, I was able to jostle things around to get done most of what I absolutely needed to do.
As a result, the feelings of being "out of control" over the situation dissipated. I stopped beating myself up with expectations and unnecessary pressure to get EVERYTHING done EXACTLY as I had planned it out for the week. And once I started simply going with the flow of each day vs. fighting and bracing against it, I was able to move through the week and feel much more at peace (all things considered).
Did everything get done? No. I had to reprioritize, do some rescheduling and running errands had to wait a few days. But in the midst of that, thanks to some mindset shifts that I made, I was able to get through a very exhausting, stressful week. I gave myself some grace and made time in the midst of the chaos for some self-care and meditation to manage my energy. I'm happy to report that all three of my dogs are on the mend and I've found the light at the end of the tunnel, finally! Here's to a better week this week. Hope you have a good one as well!