Friday, November 6, 2015

A TED Talk to Help You Prepare for Unexpected Stress

This speaks to my anxious brain on so many levels. I tend to think ahead to what could go wrong, on a regular basis, because if I'm planned out for anything that could happen, I'll be covered. Will it be cold? Who knows, but I've got my jacket just in case.

Often we don't plan for the worst to happen, because thinking like that leaves you a big giant neurotic mess and takes away the ability to enjoy the now. However, preparing for times when you might need to make decisions under stress is important. Have the hard conversations you need to have now, because when the stress hits, you can't think as clearly.

When my mom died of cancer, it naturally led to a lot of conversations between my husband and I regarding what we'd want if we were diagnosed with terminal cancer of the quick kind. My mom was originally given five months to live, treatment gave her an extra seven. For those twelve months, she had two brain surgeries and was in and out of hospitals regularly with so many problems caused by her cancer treatment medications. By the end she could hardly be left alone because she was incapable of taking care of herself. She was on a cocktail of pharmaceuticals. Her entire life she'd been fit and healthy. She'd barely needed a pill for anything, and never seemed to be taken down for too long by any illness.

If you had asked my parents 14 months before her death, just two months prior to her diagnosis, if they would have ever seen this coming, they would have said no. Two months prior to diagnosis, she was symptom-free. They had just set up their new life insurance policies, and had signed up for the cancer benefit on a whim. They never thought they would actually need it. No one in her family history had ever had cancer.

After all of this, my husband and I devised our plan of action should anything like this ever occur. It was a hard conversation. I was nauseated the entire time. We had to agree to hold each other to the plan of action if the other was too sick to make their own decisions. While thinking about this stuff brings tears to my eyes, and butterflies in my heart (because why on earth would I ever want to plan something like this?), I now know what decisions we'll be making should something like this ever occur. His rules were black and white, mine were more gray and based off levels of diagnosis and available treatment options, and age of our future children. Obviously, the one with anxiety couldn't make a hard decision on this, right?

For those of you out there, who need a little help organizing your future plans or finding a reason to have the hard conversations, or even simple prep for unexpected bad times, like his combination lock on his front door holding his spare key, this TED talk is for you.

Do you plan for unexpected stress? How do you handle situations of intense stress? Comments, responses, questions? Please share below in the comments.

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  1. Adding this to my weekend to-watch list! Thanks for sharing!


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