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  • Writer's pictureMindy McCarthy

It's All About Control

There are so many things going on in our society right now that can certainly make people believe that their lives are “spiraling out of control.”

We have the coronavirus that has turned into a global pandemic making it difficult to hug family and friends, to keep your business open for normal operations, to breathe through a mask that is covering your mouth and nose, play the sports that you love with your teammates, among many other things. There are protests throughout our nation of people who are wanting to see change to various systems that have shown racist tendencies over the years. While these people can certainly show their freedom of speech and use their right to protest, many feel that they do not fully control the legislative measures that could be put into place that would help alleviate some of their problems and complaints.

In my personal life, I have a close family member who has been in and out of the hospital recently, and my uncle passed away. These have certainly caused a lot of stress on my mental and physical health, and the main reason is because I feel that there is so little that I can control to help my other family members during this time or solve the problems at hand myself.

My husband, who has been very supportive and stayed by my side through everything, has been encouraging me to rest in the mornings instead of waking up as early as I do to get my exercise in. He wants me to make sure that I am taking care of myself while also trying to take care of others.

I found that it was hard for me to give that up, though. Exercise is certainly a stress relieving method that I use for myself, but I found that it wasn’t necessarily about relieving the stress. It was about keeping a hold on something that I can control.

When things around us seem to spiral out of control, it helps to cling onto something that we can still control. For me, that was exercise and using that to take care of myself during these obstacles.

If you feel that you are losing control of many things in your life, what are some things that you can still control?

I recently observed a girls’ basketball practice, and the coach ended the practice with having the girls discuss their attitude and effort. Why was that important for him to mention, he asked the girls? Each of them would respond with stating the fact that those two things are always in their control.

While you cannot control what is going on in our society, what regulations are placed on you, or how someone else treats you, you can always control your response to those events. You can respond with a positive attitude and with an outlook that asks the question, “What is the opportunity this is presenting to me?” Rather than asking, “Why is this happening to me,” focus on what you can do moving forward from this point that is still in your control.

When trying to achieve your goals, you may not be able to control the results you see each time. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, you may not be able to control what the scale says, but you can control the effort that you put in each day to work towards that goal and develop the healthy habits to achieve long-term results.

Who do you want to be during these obstacles, and what can you control?

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