If it wasn’t one thing it was another. Hot flashes. No sleep. Blood tests showing problems. Both kids recently married, and now having an empty next. Over-the-top work stress. Marriage having some challenges. The very professional woman broke down in tears, hoping for some help from me as her doctor.
Is Linda’s problem medical? Her physical symptoms are very real, and there is a very possible biochemical reason for some of them. There are some medication options that may help. But no pill will fix the stress at her job, or fill her empty nest. And if she was not under this level of stress, the physical symptoms would be much less of an issue.
I explained to Linda how inter-connected a women is in her body, mind, and soul. And we talked through these action steps that I’ll share with you.
When faced with almost any problem, here’s what to do.
- Optimize a healthy lifestyle. It’s always important to eat healthy, exercise, get appropriate sleep, and stay away from toxic substances such as tobacco and alcohol. When other stresses are present in your life this becomes even more important; your body needs all the positive lifestyle help it can get to be your friend and not your enemy in a tough time.
- Address the stress. You can’t turn the clock back 10 years and have your children young again. You probably can’t quit your job. But you can look realistically at the circumstances causing you stress, and do what you can. Do you need to learn to say No? Are you worrying about things you can do nothing about? Where CAN you lessen your stress?
- Get some help. Linda came to me; that’s a good thing. When problems get beyond our own ability to think through, understand, or manage, some help is in order. A physician, a quality therapist, a nutritionist, a pastor, even a wise friend can provide a different perspective, and sometimes make a real difference. Peer support groups can provide this help at times as well.
- Choose your thinking. Emotions, fatigue, and stress can cloud your thinking. No matter how difficult your circumstances, you always have a choice about how you think about things. You can consciously choose to concentrate on the items in your world that you CAN change, and look at the half-full portion of the glass.
- Pray. God’s intervention in our lives comes in many ways, and prayer allows you to receive His intervention. Sometimes it’s a direct and obvious miracle. Sometimes it’s a fresh perspective and new strength to face the issues. Sometimes it’s wisdom you never imagined was possible. Always it’s His Presence. You are never alone.
Linda left my office with several things: some specific lifestyle changes to work toward, a recommendation for a supplement her blood tests showed was necessary, a prescription for a medication appropriate for her specific medical issues, and some things to consider in managing her stress and her soul. Putting all that together, Linda will be doing better soon whether or not she experiences an overnight miracle.
And you can use those same steps to address most of the problems you face.
Your turn: What action steps do you take when facing a problem? How does action in one area help you face problems in other areas? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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