The Do’s of Coping with the Uncontrollable – Bad Weather
- Posted on 14th July 2011
- in Positive Coping, Psychology, Stress Relief, Tips, Vacation
- by Patricia Lavelle
Today is a sunny and warm day.
The sky is so very blue. The white puffy clouds are bouncing across the sky.
The higher thin whisps of cloud are lazily streaked on the blue. The mountains
seem cut into the sky. The thought
enters my mind, “I think it’s summer”. That’s a rare thought in this mountain town. It’s amazing how good I feel just
sitting on my balcony, basking in this warm, slightly breezy hug. Ahhhhh…I
think most of us feel better when there is this type of weather. Do you?
In contrast to the idyllic
picture above, Mother Nature has served
up record snowfalls this past winter (I’m a skier so I love them for the most
part, but many do not) leading to record road closures outside Revelstoke, BC,
rainfalls in the form of the worst floods in years in Manitoba, the terrible
tsunami effects in Japan and fires burning
down whole neighborhoods in Slave Lake, Alberta,
not to mention the simply horrid spring that was really winter in disguise in the Bow Valley. So how do you
cope with these vicious swings in something that affects all of us and that is
completely out of our control to change?
Weather is one of those things
that is talked about a lot and creates a great deal of negativity. Most of us do not
have the option to relocate to a more
stable, warm and welcoming climate. I even read somewhere on the internet that
if Canadians did not have the weather to talk about, they would not have
anything to talk about. So what to do? Think about it for yourself… How many
conversations that you have with others
revolve around the weather, good or bad? That’s a fair amount of time
spent on something over which we have no control and yet impacts each one of us
Here are some do’s for coping better with the uncontrollable
events in our lives, such as the weather and natural disasters that have
occurred in this past few months.
- Do identify what you do and do not have control over in such situations; most often all you have control over is how you think, feel and act about the situation. To quote Henry Ford “If you think you can or think that you cannot, you are
right”, meaning our thoughts about a situation can determine the outcome.
- Do realize that it is normal and natural to feel badly about things outside your control. If, however, you dwell on this and start blaming the outside factors for your feelings and thoughts, or dwell on negative thoughts and feelings, your life can become more difficult.
- Do realize that there is nothing that you can do about the weather. You can look at your own attitude and decide if your present attitude, thoughts and feelings are
helpful to you. You can make the deliberate change to have more helpful thoughts, feelings and actions. These might include doing an enjoyable activity, spending time with friends or family. To help with the shift, take a five minute belly breathing session or simply place the image of a big STOP sign in your mind, followed by shifting to something different.
- Do make a list of things that you like to think, see, do and play at so that when
difficult external situations arise you can
refocus your energies in a more positive direction and feel better about yourself.
- Do what you can do with things such as natural
disasters. You can donate money, time, old clothing and send positive thoughts
to the location.
- Do focus on what you are thankful for in your
life and live according to what is important to you. You can refocus your
energies on things over which you exert influence.
- Do look into using a SAD (Seasonal Affective
Disorder) light as the sun heads south after June 21 in the northern hemisphere
if you experience low energy, irritability, negative thought patterns and
changes in your sleep patterns as the summer progresses and fall approaches.
In sum, do put your energies where they will have the most positive effect for you. Choose this direction and refrain from focusing on things over which you have no control.