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Hurry Up and Wait

Hi friends! I hope your healing journey is going well. My mental wellbeing always tends to thrive in the Spring and Summertime, with the warm sunlight and the increase in daytime hours in the evening. I know this isn't true for everybody, and if that isn't true for you, know that I am thinking of you and hope your healing comes to you quickly.

This brings us to the topic of today's blog: waiting. My husband and I are selling our house (we moved a few months back to a new home that better fits our needs as a family). If you want to learn a valuable lesson about waiting, then there is no better process than selling a home (or being pregnant, or getting a degree, writing a book, etc.). We originally listed our house and got a buyer, but that fell through, due to some really hard circumstances for the buyer. So we relisted, and we waited. And the waiting wasn't even that long (we are now under contract again, and back to the waiting). It was the anxiety I felt in the waiting that was so difficult. I struggled with the unknown and sitting with the discomfort of not knowing, of not being certain, was really hard. And I sense that is hard for many of us. Human beings like certainty and they like speed, and unfortunately life doesn't always work like that.

Many years ago, I had a cascade of anxiety symptoms. I'm talking like I was crying daily, couldn't function, had panic attacks, felt totally miserable, and when I went to get help, my sweet therapist at the time said, "Anxiety is all about not being comfortable with waiting and being uncomfortable in that." So I learned how to wait well, and eventually my anxiety became manageable again. Waiting well means giving yourself the ability to cede control to only those things you can control. It means exercising, and breathing, and sitting solidly in your ability to manage, even when things feel unmanageable. It means staying busy and making your corner of the world good, even when things are really hard. Waiting well means feeling the fear and doing it anyways.

Here are some tips for everyone in a waiting process, whether that be selling a home, trying to conceive a child, getting married, getting divorced, wondering about recent test results, etc.

  1. Distract. Focusing on the silence and unknown can lead to some panicky thoughts.

  2. De-fang your negative thoughts by asking yourself this: "Will this problem matter in five years time? Will I be in a different or better place then?"

  3. Remind yourself of the 'burnt toast' theory. Sometimes, when you are stuck waiting, the universe or God or your higher power is protecting you from another outcome. The time you spend waiting on a new piece of toast could have protected you from a car accident, a terrorist attack, a bad relationship, etc. Waiting can be a good thing. Things fall apart, so better things can come together.

  4. Determine that you will be okay, no matter the outcome. We don't control much in this lifetime, and learning to be okay with what you do have control over will relieve you of much stress and tension.

  5. Give yourself a select amount of worrying time. Truly. Set a timer and have a worry time each day, and when the worries come up any other time, remind yourself that you can worry during your worrying time.

  6. Find ways to activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) that work for you. Meditation is great, but it isn't for everybody. The PNS responds well to humming, chanting, singing, swaying, listening to music, gentle movement, being in water (like a bath) or deep breathing.

Know that I am rooting for you. I hope you find this blog interesting and helpful for you and your journey.

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