BY DR. ANDREA PURCELL
I’ve been thinking about the whole concept of rollercoasters. Why do we go out of our way to find them and pay to ride them? If we enjoy them so much what about the Coronacoaster makes us so uncomfortable?
Well here’s what I found out…people enjoy roller coasters because of a combination of speed, fear conquering and the positive effects associated with a huge increase in physiological arousal. In essence we feel daring, free, and our brains get washed in a bath of feel good endorphins.
That’s all well and good for younger folks but it turns out that thrill seeking behaviors such as roller coaster riding becomes less appealing with age. In fact, older adults are less inclined to participate in activities similar to riding roller coasters and the desire declines with each passing decade.
With the coronacoaster it has now become a very long ride, one that for the remainder of this year appears to be unending.
Most of us would argue that even young adults wouldn’t sign up for six months of a non-stop rollercoaster ride. Another contrast is that when we pay to ride a rollercoaster we know that the ride is controlled and timed. It makes us feel more secure knowing that at some point the ride will end.
Most people do better with time frames. It is better to know how much time something will take than not knowing.
Speaking of time frames…we are nearing six months of social distancing and this year keeps dishing up surprises.
If you’ve found yourself on the Coronacoaster you are not alone.
It’s how most people are feeling these days and it can be an exhausting cycle of highs and lows.
My girlfriend, Leigh, who shared this definition with me even went so far as to say that people are cycling more frequently now with three days in between highs and lows. This is a change from just a few short months ago when cycles averaged every 2 weeks.
What that means is that we need to stay alert and be aware of the cycle shifts so that we can make tweaks to our routines so we can feel balanced, happy and productive.
Although no one knows how long this will continue it’s safe to say based on history that epidemics circulate between 18-24 months.
That would bring us to the end of 2021.
In order to ground ourselves and stay balanced it’s important to stay in action on what we can control and focus on what we do want for our lives.
Focusing on things out of our control brings worry and a cascade of negative thoughts. It can be a cycle from one day to the next as we struggle to balance the emotional highs and lows.
It is time to set into place a longer vision for this situation and take some proactive steps to gain a sense of accomplishment with each passing day.
I know the fastest way for me to feel overwhelm is to stop exercising.
I have to remind myself that … “all work and no play…makes ME the mom no one wants to be around.”
When my exercise is in place I feel better, sleep better and eat better. Exercise is something I can control that improves all the other parts of my life. Exercise also helps clear my mind so I can be creative and write blogs like this one. When my mind is clear I remember that I have been given a gift that serves the world… and that women need the support that I provide and the best thing I can do is to keep serving.
What about you?
How can you pivot your mind to start focusing on the things you can control?
What area of your life could you improve right now that would help change your perspective?
The uncertainty is going to continue for longer than we thought. Are you going to let yourself be controlled by the coronacoaster or will you take back your power over what you can control?
“Free your mind and the rest will follow” – En Vogue
What would help free you from the confines of your mind?
Wishing you well – Dr. Purcell
Noun: The elements and forces comprising the human entity on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes of being.
Luckily our most valuable asset is Health and that is something we CAN control.