By Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea
When I talk to clients about issues that they are having with their children, they tell me about how he or she is not connecting with peers, eats alone at lunch, feels like no one like them and so on. Those problems are not small issues to address and will take time and effort to begin to resolve. Sometimes, when I talk to people, they start to “pile on” more and more problems during the course of our conversation. I might hear “and there are layoffs at my work and my car broke and my mom might have dementia and…” on and on. All those are important and concerning things and all will need to be addressed at some point. The thing is, all of those problems cannot be addressed all at once. Even trying to think about them all at the same time is going to cause overwhelm and worry. Here are some tips for when problems seem to pile up.
- Tackle the most urgent one first. You might not be able to address them all at the same time.
- Try not to stress about the ones you can’t control. If you are not in control, let it go. There is nothing you can do about it.
- Take proactive steps so you are ready should something occur. For example, if there is a possibility that you might lose your job, update your resume and start to throw out some feelers.
- Delegate problems to others if you can. Perhaps a significant other or a family member could help with one of the problems you are facing. Maybe a sibling can help with an ailing parent, for example.
- Take time for self-care. Exercising to de-stress or taking time to get you nails done can give you a small break.
- Leave it up to the professionals. If your child is not connecting or making friends, enroll him or her into a social skills group and let the professional do what they are trained to do.
- Don’t think too far into the future if you don’t have to. If your child is in a grade lower than a junior in high school, now is not the time to think about what will happen after high school. This is a thought that you can save for when life is less overwhelming.
Life can seem unfair at times and situations can arise all at the same time. It’s not possible to avoid dealing with them but hopefully you can start to manage better by implementing these tips.