We are living in frustrating and annoying times. Recently, at work we had one of the most frustrating days EVER. I won’t get into too many of the details, but let’s just say we had a patient who had requested to make many phone calls. And when I say many, that is exactly what I mean – many. Our call counter was down, but in an eight-hour shift, this person asked us to make literally hundreds of calls for her. It was irritating and annoying, and it prevented us from doing our work. Every time the line rang and the computer showed it was her room calling – we wanted to pull our hair out from our heads. After a while, we had to laugh because it was becoming funny. Well, almost. I thought about frustration and how to deal with it – how you can get through things more easily (and with some hair left on your head).
Breathing – deep breathing – is a good thing to do to calm yourself. You need to take a deep breath, counting to four as you inhale and then to four again as you exhale. This should be repeated until you feel yourself calming down.
Easing frustration can come when you accept others (and a situation) as they are (and as it is). Once you are calmed down, think of the person – is how they were acting just “how they are” or is there nothing you really can do about it – say, if you were stuck in a traffic jam. I have never been a fan of the saying “it is what it is” but when you think about it, it really does make sense.
Try to avoid being a perfectionist or judging about a situation. Give up your preconceived ideas of how you think things should be. Go with the flow. Unlike above, I have been a fan of the phrase “consider the source.” If you do that, you may find things flow through you a bit easier.
Live in the moment of where you are right now. Don’t regret the past or fret about the future. Deal with what you have right now at the present time. You may not find answers if you are stuck in the past, and the future hasn’t even happened yet.
Another saying I’m fond of is “this too shall pass.” Things usually do.
When you’re in the middle of a frustrating or annoying time, if you can – get away. If you are able – take a walk. A change of scenery often changes your outlook. Work to free and clear your mind. Once that happens, you may be able to think about things more rationally – and you might even end up feeling better.
Force a smile. Many years ago, at one of my first jobs we were at a training session. The position we were training for involved being on the phones. The instructor told us to smile as we spoke. It seemed silly to those of us in the class. But her reasoning was that if you force a smile, you sound better. When you sound better, people will react to you better. Smiling releases endorphins, which can make you feel happier and can also reduce stress levels.
A big stressor at this time is the Pandemic. Things have changed in ways that we never thought were possible. I hear a lot about Corona stress and Covid worries, both at work and through my future daughters-in-law. Wear masks, don’t wear masks. Stay home, go out and live your life. Worry, don’t worry. I think the biggest problem with this Pandemic besides the fact that it is such a terrible illness is the unknown. It is unknown when we will have a vaccine. It is unknown as to when we will be able to travel again. It is unknown when and if children will be going back to school. It is unknown if and when everything will get back to as they are calling it “the new normal.” This is frustration at the highest level – because our hands are tied. We do not have the answers we are looking for. In order to combat these frustrating times, I think we need to do a few things. First, we have to think about this rationally. Going through this is no fun; however, it could be worse. Things could (usually) always be worse. It is important to give yourself a break from time to time. Even if you’re not physically getting away, a mental vacation from the thoughts and frustration is a really good thing. Keep your chin up and be as positive about things as you can be. And then – stay active, stay safe, and live your life. Things may never go back to what we knew before, but for the most part – if we are lucky – cue the saying above – this too shall pass!