If you’re a caregiver reading this, I’m about to state the obvious. Life isn’t smooth; there are speed
bumps that sometimes trip you up. You’re driving through a parking lot and suddenly WHUMP! You
come upon a speed bump bigger than you anticipated so you either slam on the brakes or slam
over the speed bump, hoping you did not damage your car.
Life’s speed bumps are just as startling, but instead of a bump in a parking lot, these bumps might look
like questionable test results, car problems, a missing computer file, a child who is having problems in
school, or a change in your caree’s condition.
We all need some coping mechanisms for when we hit those speed bumps. The first thing is “Do not
panic!” which is a direct quote from a letter I received from a doctor’s office. It was good advice, really,
because I felt calmer reading that.
Breathe! You may be unconsciously holding your breath, causing more tension in your body. Slowly
inhale, slowly exhale.
Walk around a little bit and stretch. Stand up and walk. Shake out your arms.
Reach your arms up to the sky and stretch then slowly bring them down to your sides and do it again.
Drink some water. Hydrate yourself. Use the bathroom. Wash your hands and pat your face with a damp cloth.
Now, deal with the situation. Ask for help if you need it. By taking a few moments to compose yourself
and gather your thoughts after the initial crisis hits, you will be ready to face the latest of life’s little
*Image courtesy of G-J Heins
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