A Year To Change – eBook
Sanz Kindle Cover
Kred Badge

When You Should Freak Out


 Ho, Ho, Ho?

It is January 21st today and my Christmas tree is still up.

A hectic holiday season that included 2 bouts of the flu,

preparing to teach Abnormal Psychology, and other

commitments have taken their toll on seasonal order.

All my other Christmas decorations are down and

put away, except for my Christmas tree, which still

smells wonderful after 2 months.  Okay, I lied…

The wreath is also still on my front door.  And the

Santa Claus welcome mat, in case you want to know.

I’m So Behind!!!

I can be honest and tell you there was a time that

this would bother me.  It would literally have driven

me almost insane to feel I was “so behind” in getting

something important accomplished.  Not today.

Not since I started using a very simple way of

determining whether I should stress or freak out.

(Yes, I know that sounds just like an infomercial!)

I Know Freaking Out

I wish I could take credit for this technique,

but it doesn’t belong to me.  I borrowed it.

I was 14 years old, away at a summer education

program in the hills of Northern Georgia and I

was freaking out about something.  I can’t

remember now what I was freaking out about.

But at 14, it could literally have been anything:

boys, roommates, parents, money, aliens…

The Question That He Asked Me

So, thank goodness there were actually some

really cool, really wise adults around to help

out when 600+ of us teens were freaking out.

In this case, it was one of the teachers who was

in charge of the Social Studies group of kids,

the group I was there to study and learn with.

I was bemoaning how horrible my situation was

(I so wish I could remember what it was!)

and this teacher just asked me if it was okay to ask

a question.  And I said, “Sure.  What?”

The Important Question

He looked straight into my eyes and asked

“Is anyone going to be severely injured or die?”

I was shocked.  The answer, of course, was No.

“Then you don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

Boom.  Just like that, he dropped that bomb and

left me to think about my horrible situation.

Ideal Vs. Real

That seemed suddenly to not be so horrible.

It wasn’t ideal.  It wasn’t what I wanted.

But no one was going to be severely injured

or die if things didn’t turn out the way I wanted.

I cannot count, if I tried, how many times I have

used that question to bring myself back to the

reality of a situation, to help determine if I

really need to freak out or not.  And by freak out,

I mean, I need to do something NOW about it,

which isn’t even freaking out…it’s getting busy!

The Question for My Christmas Tree

Is anyone going to be severely injured or die

if I don’t get this tree down this week?

I’m watering it and the needles are not all

dropping in clumps, so I’m thinking it’s not

a fire hazard.  So, for today, the answer is No.

It’s not ideal.  It’s not what I wanted or thought

things would be by mid-January.  But it’s okay.

I will move it up on my To Do List and

get to it as soon as I can.

But I am not going to worry about it,

stress about it, or freak out in any way.

Freaking Out Is Optional

So what horrible situation is going on in

your life right now?  If it IS the kind of situation

where someone could be severely injured or die,

then that truly is a horrible situation, and you

probably need some major help and support

right now…and I want you to go and get it.

It would be hard not to be stressed in that kind

of life situation.  But if the answer to the question

is NO, no one is going to be severely injured or die,

then it’s not time to stress out.  It’s time to either

“let it go” because it is what it is, or “get busy”

taking care of things when you are able to.

Disappointment with reality may be inevitable,

but, believe me, freaking out is optional!  🙂




Leave a Reply


Newsletter Sign Up
Sign Up
RSS Feed

I’ve given this a lot of thought, because no matter what someone coming into therapy says they want [...]

Here are a few things to do if you’re preparing to deal with a hurricane: Stock up on a 7-day supply [...]

Here are three important things you can do if you find yourself scared of being involved in a mass s [...]

The most commonly suggested way to manage anxiety is to calm the nervous system by using diaphragmat [...]

So I was talking with a client today about boundaries. As usual. Therapists love to talk about bound [...]

Sorry for the click bait title.  The medical field has not actually discovered that cancer is contag [...]

I am lucky enough to know someone who just turned 100 years old this week. She’s my mother-in-law, G [...]

You’ve probably heard people describe life after a trauma as “the new normal.” Is there really such [...]

It’s hard to be a young person today. They are juggling the need to be relevant, successful, unique, [...]

  How do you get over an addiction to food? You’re Not Addicted to Food To be clear, you can’t have [...]

  How do you get over an addiction to food? You’re Not Addicted to Food To be clear, you can’t have [...]

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here on SanzPlans, but I’ve been busy doing ther mental-health an [...]

It’s the admonition we all received from the time we were children: “Don’t talk to strangers!” But i [...]

  Are You In “Project Purgatory?” You want to get your garage organized but you know you will never [...]

  “So, how was your day?” Fine. “What happened in school today?” Nothing. You’re trying to connect. [...]

  You’ve probably heard of using positive affirmations to improve self-esteem. Changing the way you [...]

  Got More Stuff? So it’s getting to be that time of year when you start thinking about what to do w [...]

  Welcome! I hope you’re here because you’re ready to begin reading and working through A Year to Ch [...]

Comfort and Joy I. tiny strips of red and green paper sticky fingers and Elmer’s glue turn them into [...]

   Bah, Humbug! Hate the holidays? Dread Christmastime? For people who have nothing but bad memories [...]

Email Newsletters with Constant Contact