“WARNING! Curves in the road ahead!”

Is it any wonder we’re all buzzing around like spaced out little bees most of the time?

Take this morning, for example. As I walked home from dropping my youngest daughter to school, I started to run through a mental list of what I needed to do today.

It was ominously long – but manageable.

Within minutes of arriving home, however, my perfectly scheduled day had gone awry. Through no fault of my own, the universe (and a series of unexpected phone calls) had dictated other, rather pressing plans for this particular Friday. Time only for a quick cup of tea, a juggling of priorities – and a big, positive step into the day.

Onwards and upwards – always!

What do you do when you find yourself constantly thrown off balance by, seemingly, unavoidable circumstances?

With so much to organise nowadays, keep up with, on top of, listen to, watch, be up to date with, aware of, digest, absorb, co-ordinate and respond to (- and don’t even get me started on the siren call of social media); is it any wonder that most of us just can’t cope?

I have the benefit of my Life Coaching experience and an armoury of professional skills to help keep me afloat at such times, but what happens when, instead, we choose to go into reactive mode?

Is there really a way of bringing relief to a chaotic life? One that’s constantly making unreasonable demands and throwing us off balance?

When Things Go Bump In The Night

The next time you find yourself thrown off course by the unexpected, I want you to just stop for a moment. Instead of the typical knee jerk response of diving in to fix things, here instead are my top ten tips for first letting go. Because that ten minutes might just clarify a whole heap of stuff. Here then is your emergency go to list, I like to call it the…

Storm In A Tea Cup Solution

  1. First, take a big step back and reflect for a moment. (Remember my cup of tea above?). Nothing is ever as unmanageable as it might appear at first glance.
  2. Prioritise. If something crucial is unexpectedly dropped in your lap, make sure to remove something less important. Can the latter be moved to a better slot? Don’t make the mistake of adding and adding without a balanced view on what is physically possible.
  3. Remove distractions. That planned lunchtime chat with your bestie, social media trawl, desk re-organisation, call to book a table at your favourite restaurant for the weekend – these are all things that can wait.
  4. Remember that some of the best, most unexpected, mini detours in life, are the ones that lead to great new opportunities.
  5. Stressing about things we can’t change just makes them feel worse.
  6. Get into the right frame of mind. “Ok. This is a challenge. I’m up for it.”
  7. Write it down. Get it out of your head and onto paper. A good old fashioned list – visually highlighting what needs to be done – can be priceless.
  8. Don’t complain to anyone who will listen. This is your bad hair day, not theirs, and unless your ‘to do’ list is inextricably entwined with theirs, this tactic will only drain you (and them) even more.
  9. Keep your sense of humour. Everyone copes better when they try to see the lighter side of life. This is not the end of the world! You will survive it.
  10. Divide and conquer. Don’t be afraid to call in the troops when you need really urgent help. (One day you’ll be happy to return the favour too).

Remember that calm and balance in life is all about a state of mind. It won’t necessarily descend on you even when you are somewhere serene and beautiful, and it definitely will not come looking for you when you’re under pressure for whatever reason.

You do have the power to create calm, though. In your own thoughts. At any given moment. Wherever you are.

Now is the perfect time to dig into that positive bank of good feelings.

My top tip? That the next time you find yourself in a situation where a balanced, rational response seems impossible, do think again?

It is always an option.

When was the last time life flipped you an unexpected challenge at zero notice? Could you react calmly?

Originally published at www.sarah-virag.com