What to do when things go wrong

Imagine this. You sit down to write a blog post and consider some topics. Suddenly inspiration strikes! You write your heart out, an emotional heartfelt piece that is both poignant and informative. You bang the post out quickly because it is personal and meaningful to you and it comes from the heart. You save it and notice that the wifi is slow so you decide to complete it at home. At home, you look forward to the satisfying feeling of hitting the publish button when….

IT’S GONE! You frantically try to locate the post on your website checking all possibilities until it becomes abundantly clear. That piece is never coming back.

This literally just happened to me. As I sit to write this post, I am still grieving the previous one. It was too beautiful to recreate. I am filled with so many emotions- sadness, anger, denial, frustration, anxiety, rage….. I could go on (I’m a therapist, I’m very in touch with my emotions).

How do I move on? Where do I go from here?????

To the average person, it’s hard enough to deal with situations like this. But when you have anxiety this can seem like the end of the world. The anxiety takes hold of mind and body and puts you into fight or flight mode. Your body and brain believe that you are imminent danger and must divert all energy to your sympathetic nervous system. Your muscles tense, your heart races, your breathing increases. You are ready to run for your life!

Only, you aren’t in danger and you don’t need to run anywhere. You are just a sad, sad person who lost something important. So sad…. Ok, let’s get back on track. What’s the best way to cope when things go wrong?

  1. Remember CTFD: Calm the fuck down. Yes, I said it. I had to CTFD after the lost blog incident that just happened fifteen minutes ago. CTFD means get your body under control. Take some deep breaths. Breathe in for five, hold for five and breathe out for five. Ground yourself. Notice the sights, smells and sounds in the room. Do whatever is takes to convince your body that you are not in danger. Let your body know that you are in your room and not in the woods being chased by a bear.

  2. Once you feel physically more relaxed, focus on mental relaxation. That anxiety comes from your inner child that doesn’t know how to handle stress. If you think about it, this anxiety is an internalized, adult version of a temper tantrum. How do you calm your inner child? Tell her what she needs to hear. Everything is going to be okay. It’s not the end of the world. You can figure this out. I believe in you. These statement often reflect the negative beliefs that you hold about yourself and arise when you are stressed. This step involves giving yourself very basic and supportive messages to connect with your emotional needs.

  3. When you find that your mind and body are calmer, you have the all clear to bring reason into the situation. You can review what happened, think through all possible solutions and plan for how to avoid this in the future.

  4. SAVE YOU WORK! Don’t write a blog post without double checking that it was saved! Oh… oops. That’s for me.

Three simple steps to handling when things go wrong. It’s easy right? Try it out and let me know!