How To Heal A Setback

One day this week I was lazing around, sprained ankle up with the ice pack and reciting the old acronym, RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). RICE has long been a comfort for me through so many injuries.  Surely this clever and easy-to-remember acronym was developed to keep you calm when an injury occurs. I wondered: would it be possible that RICE could work for other setbacks as well?

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So I stopped counting the spikes in the stucco for a moment to dream up a new way to use the acronym for everyday problems that I hope will be a comfort to you in the future.

 

R would stand for RELAX.

Everyone knows that becoming frustrated and punching the wall is no solution. Usually the situation just gets worse. Ever had one of those days when you’re late for work and then the whole day continues to spiral out of control?  What if we took twenty seconds we didn’t think we had to just breathe, relax, and remember that we can only get there when we get there.  We probably wouldn’t wear our slippers out the door or catch our sleeve on the railing.

 

I would stand for INVESTIGATE.

You’re not the first person to experience your exact problem. If it’s too personal, Google it, of course. But don’t rule out friends and family as great sources of input. One thing they’ve got that Google doesn’t is first-hand knowledge about you. A good friend or family member can take your personality into account when giving advice or providing guidance.

 

C would stand for CONCEIVE

Someone’s advice will strike a chord. You’ll know in your heart what you want to do. The next step is to plan. See how the solution will look and imagine how you might do it.  Be free to daydream a little about your action plan and how it will feel when you’re putting this downturn in the past.

 

E…I’m torn between ESTABLISH and EXECUTE

You have a plan, now give it a try. It may not be the perfect solution but often, once we have a plan and take a even a baby step of action, we feel a lot better. Many times, it’s during this smaller action plan that we find that greater, perfect solution and can truly begin to put the crisis behind us.

For anyone experiencing a downturn right now, I hope this acronym can help you even the slightest bit. Please let me know if you had any success with the new RICE method.

 

Best of luck on your journey!

 

What To Do If You Lose Momentum

 

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A group of my friends recently decided to get together and play soccer on Fridays after work. I’ve never really liked the sport but I love the idea of being active with my friends. And by ‘being active’, I mean going out for drinks afterward…

Surprisingly, a couple weeks in, I started to really like it and found yet another reason to look forward to Fridays.

A couple more weeks in, surprisingly, I sprained my ankle. A couple of the guys helped me get my lame ass off the field and my leg elevated. We got the ice and beer on it right away. It wasn’t too painful, thankfully,unless you count the emotional damage.

Image (Yes, this is my actual ankle, two days later)

From what the trusty online doctors tell me, I probably have a good two months before I’m completely healed.  All summer?!  

Just when I was having a good time; just when I had a good momentum going, Wham!  Benched at the start of the season.

 

Even if WebMD is wrong, my rhythm has been be lost; progress has been slowed. And don’t even get me started on how the FIFA World Cup is throwing this in my face every chance it gets. Every screen in the city taunts me. Every fan in a soccer jersey is a reminder that I was cut down in my prime.

But this setback has forced me to be creative. I still go on Fridays with my friends, ankle wrapped up tight, practice the drills.  I even played keeper for the first time – but no serious play.

When I think about why this happened I wonder if maybe the universe saw me getting ahead of myself. Maybe I needed to slow down, grasp the basics a little better, take a look around and enjoy the sport – not just the competition.

The hard part is that I have to try to remember this in other areas of my life as well. I hope the metaphor can work for you too. Just because we’re blocked or suffer a downturn, doesn’t mean all momentum has to be lost.  Maybe it’s a good time to slow down and evaluate your goals. Or, it could be a great opportunity to dig our heels (or ankles) in and get creative.

Have you ever thought you lost your momentum? How did you recover? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Play safe!

 

 

Is False the New True?

“No tattoos are the new tattoos,” I heard someone say the other day. These tongue in cheek observations like, “Small is the new big,” “Cats are the new dogs, “Bored is the new excited,” (okay, I made the last one up) can be quite cute, but are they also a little damaging?

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Essentially what these phrases are trying to convey is that society is progressing – we no longer see tattoos as the symbol of rebellion as we once did; in fact, they’re so commonplace that they go unnoticed even by some employers. But if we continue to compare the old to new, when are we at risk of losing authenticity?

Like this past winter, for example. It was “ten below” but “felt” like twenty below. When it was twenty below, it “felt” like thirty below.

Image  So how would we ever really know what twenty below really feels like?

Gretchin Rubin talks about how she’s “amused” by this phrase in The Happiness Project. I admit that I like her take on it and a few that she mentions like, “Sleep is the new sex,” and “Monday is the new Thursday (for making plans after work).” Last on the list is, “Forties are the new thirties,” which I’m sure we’ve all heard before – thirties are the new twenties, fifties are the new forties. But I ask again: When does it end?

Sure, we all dismiss these age antics as a joke, even forgive them for being conversation starters for talking about health, fitness and vitality. But in all seriousness, why can’t we rejuvenate from where we are? Why can’t we agree that our thirties are a new thirties? It’s true that people are living longer, so being in your thirties or forties is no longer considered going downhill – it’s prime time, baby!

While our twenties are an uphill battle for some, a pleasing treasure hunt without a map for others, neither sound like fun or worth repeating to me. Your thirties are special all on their own. We’re more sure of ourselves than in our twenties, but with hopefully the same energy and gusto for life to do a hefty round of soul-searching before we settle on our life’s work. Many of us start to truly know what it is to be “a responsible adult” and I hope more and more of us are finding true happiness and contentment while we are still young and able to enjoy it for a long long time.

This phrase has been a growing phenomenon and will undoubtedly continue to be so as the popularity of Orange is the New Black increases. And maybe once I’m eighty years old I won’t mind the phrase as much when people say I’m the new seventy or sixty. But I also hope I’m still proud enough to be the age I am and able to enjoy all the gifts that come with every decade.

Stay tuned for an upcoming research project that delves into what exactly “the gifts of our thirties” are. I will need your help and I have some really cool incentives and rewards for participation.

 

28 Days to Make it or Break it

Image     It takes about a month to form a new habit. More accurately, twenty-eight days, “they” say. Anything from a new diet or exercise regimen to a new attitude. After the month is up, you probably won’t even second guess going to the gym, art class or your meditation spot.

But what about breaking habits? This is a tough one.

You might say, well, I’ll just make the opposite my habit. In other words, if I just don’t smoke for twenty-eight days… Not so easy. When a habit is formed, it’s harder than that to break, as everyone knows.

From my teens into my twenties I was a smoker. I didn’t smoke a lot but I loved smoking in my car. Driving, smoking, and drinking my coffee in the morning was my happy place. Honestly, it still sounds inviting, even though I know that now, just one drag from a cigarette has me sick for the rest of the day.

Before I got a car I was noticing I was winded pretty quickly on my bike – embarrassing for a twenty-six-year-old. When I finally got a new car, I decided I wasn’t going to smoke in it. I really stuck to my guns too. It was really hard, but I just tried to focus on the new car smell and it got me there. So my car smelled great but now I was the walking ashtray. Eventually, smoking just before I went into the office became a hassle and I gave it up completely.

It wasn’t as easy as it sounds but my point is that I made it happen by focusing on what I want, rather than what I didn’t want. I wanted to be healthy and smell nice. I tried to keep that my goal, rather than, “Quitting is so hard,” or “Quitting is impossible.”

Since summer has finally arrived I’ll be using this technique to quit the potato chips. Also, since “they” say you are what you eat, I will focus on looking like celery, not a potato.

Whatever your habit is, find a way to kick it that works for you – find a great incentive and focus on that amazing end result, rather than the difficulties. This, plus your will to make it just a mere twenty-eight (not even thirty) days, will go a long way to forming new, healthy habits you’ll be happy to keep.

Any other summer resolutions? What’s the game plan? I’d love to hear it in the comments!