How to Deal When Life Becomes a Roller-Coaster Ride?
By Daria Campbell
In the theme song from the TV show, Friends, there is a part that always catches my attention. In the first verse it says “It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear. When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year”. This is how I feel when I am handed a day or a week that feels like I am literally on a rollercoaster. At 8:36 A.M I am up because I got great news, but at 11:32 AM, I get told something that puts a frown on my face, then at 2:36 PM I get a fantastic email and result, but then at 4:28 PM right before I leave work I get a phone call from my Boss telling me I did something wrong that I need to fix.
No wonder when I go home I drop face first into bed. I feel like I have run a marathon without leaving my chair. Mentally drained and emotionally spent these days and weeks come whether we want them to or not.
So how do you handle them?
1) Acknowledge don’t ignore
First of all we need to acknowledge that rollercoaster days are a part of life. Sometimes thrilling, sometimes scary, sometimes vomit inducing, sometimes jus the quiet incline before we take off, but these types of days happen to us all. The only difference is how we perceive them. Do you go with the flow knowing the ride won’t last forever or do you scream the whole time wishing you had never gotten on the ride in the first place?
2) Don’t take your rollercoaster ride out on others
We all have them but that is no excuse to treat other people badly because of them. I have worked with many people over the years in many roles and I find the best people to work beside and have on a team are those who are flexible enough to deal with their own rollercoaster days and weeks. Watching a Supervisor weather through a storm of challenges and setbacks while celebrating the wins is an amazing and inspiring thing which helps me to go head first into the fray when I am having a rough day of it.
3) Get around those who can bring you up and out
I had a Boss once who had a thick southern drawl and a Masters in Social Work. Whenever I turned into the Tasmania Devil just whirling around and sputtering and making no sense while frothing at the mouth because things didn’t go my way, he would say “Nowwwww Darriaaaa” and it would calm me right down, you need to find these type of people and make sure you have access to them. They are the people who you always feel calm and safe around no matter if it is friend, family or work colleague. They are out there. Find them and treasure them.
4) Self Care
Whatever works for you to get you through a rollercoaster day as long as it helps and not makes things worse than go for it. Take a walk around the block, look at pictures on your phone of things that make you happy. I have a video of a sunset that I took while on a Gold Coast Beach. I sometimes open it up and just let it play and transport myself back to that calm feeling of contentment and thankfulness. Write down all the things that are going right for you today or all the things you are grateful for. It really can change your mindset and it only take a couple of minutes.
In conclusion, we all have them but if we know they are coming we can deal with them and get on with life, while still having a smile on our face.