Mind Over Madness Tip # 17: Find Something You Can Control

The list of things that we cannot control during this time is almost infinite. We cannot control the government and the decisions they make. We cannot control how widespread the pandemic becomes. We cannot control which stores open back up and we cannot control the economy and if we go into a recession or not. 

Not being able to have control over these very important things that significantly affect our lives can make you feel overwhelmed and uneasy. It can make you feel like the world is crumbling around you and there is nothing you can do to protect you and your family.

However, there are a few things that we can control. You can control your stuff, your schedule, your expectations, and your thoughts. 

So, how can you control your stuff? Well, try to be cognizant of what you are using throughout the day and put it back in its place when you are done using it. This will help you keep your space as neat as possible and keep you from feeling overwhelmed. A neat space helps you feel more in control.

You can also control your schedule. You have full reign over your schedule and how you choose to go about your everyday tasks. You can choose what time you wake up and what time you go to bed. You can decide what time you want to have lunch. You can even decide what you are going to eat for each meal during the day.  Try to consciously make decisions about the things you choose to do with your time. Be intentional.

You also have control over your expectations. You can choose to have very high expectations, very low expectations or realistic expectations. Try to be well informed and let your expectations be set based on what you know from trusted sources. Someone once told me, “Expectations are just resentments waiting to happen.” Try to be patient and extend grace to those around you as we are all in uncharted territory together. Try to set your expectations with grace and understanding in mind. 

Lastly, you can control your thoughts. You get to decide how you are going to think about what is going on. It is so important to choose to be positive during this time. While this is a confusing and scary time for everyone, we have to remain optimistic. Only we can control our thoughts and our perspective. Try to remind yourself that we will get through this and we will be a better person, family, and community for it. 

Try to ground yourself and focus on the things you can control. Use what you can control to help you not feel overwhelmed and chaotic. Focus on the good in your life and remember that this is not permanent. You are the master of your own self and your own actions. Do what you can do and the rest will work itself out.

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