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What to Do When You Just Don’t Know What to Do

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I recently received an email from a woman in my online caregiver support group (through www.CancerSupportCommunity.org ). She had just spent six hours in the emergency room with her husband (who has cancer) and was finally home. She had to get him re-situated after their hospital excursion, arrange for some medications, and care for her children. To top it off, her husband had a very serious and contagious condition and she had to plan a strict regimen that would protect everyone in the family from infection. She said, “More stress around the house; I hate these kinds of things but what can I do but do?”

I thought that was profound. “What can I do but do?” Think about that for a second.

When you are stressed by a situation that you simply cannot control, improve, or avoid then “all you can do is do;” meaning do what you have to do to deal with it head-on. Sure, it’s objectionable and you don’t want to be involved and you want to run away but that isn’tt an option… so you just do what you have to do.

This is definitely one for the ETSBHTD (easy-to-say-but-hard-to-do) file. Oh, sure, “just do” sounds really easy, doesn’t it? It isn’t, though, and I’m not going to pretend that it is or that I have some magic bullet to make it go away. But you’d be surprised how comforting it is in such a situation to realize that the best thing you can do is accept it the way it is and deal with it.

Why is that? Because taking this attitude removes the stress of trying to figure out how to make it better or find the very best method of dealing with it. This usually ends up an exercise in frustration when you keep searching for the best possible alternative when, in fact, there really isn’t one or at least there isn’t one that is “enough better” to justify the effort it takes to find it!

“Just do” means just that. Avoid the stress of trying to make an impossible situation better and just deal with it by doing what you have to do.

How can you apply this in your own life?

Dealing with cancer, some other major illness, or life in general?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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