Stop the Merry Go Round, I want to get Off

Do you ever feel that life just starts going, going, going, and you are doing all you can to hold on. You can't handle one more crisis, one more activity, one more anything? You feel like standing up and just screaming at the top of your lungs, "Stop the Merry Go Round, I want to get Off". Well, maybe you should. Probably not yell at the top of your lungs, but certainly, it may be time, to stop and step back and look at your life as you would someone who was your friend and see what needs to be a priority and what can wait for awhile.  Stop, Step back and See, apply the SSS rule to your life.

As a physical therapist, it is not rare, to meet someone who is undergoing an exacerbation of a chronic illness or maybe pain, or muscle spasm and while I am there to help decrease the pain, decrease the muscle spasm and improve their functionability, unless I can help them apply the SSS rule to their life, once they leave me, their pain, their spasm, etc, is likely to return. In todays world, where most couples work, their children are involved in multiple activities, many have aging parents for whom they are responsibile and of course fido and raphael the cat, who seem to need attention from time to time, it is not unusual for one or two or more of the family members to have symptoms which are increasingly debilitating, and yet they have no time to stop and take care of it, until it reaches a point, they have no choice.

Maybe it is the young mother with fibromyalgia, or the middle aged parent who has been experiencing chest pain or the elder who is having a flare of their arthritis, it can all be worsened by stress, by anxiety, by overwork syndrome, etc. Lets look at the young mother with fibromyalgia.
She has 3 children, a job that she doesn't like. Her husband is a travelling salesman and only home on weekends and her aging parents and his aging parents live within 15 miles and they have health problems, as well. The oldest son plays football and his twin sister is involved in competitive cheerleading and dance. The youngest child plays soccer and has a learning disability and needs tutoring. The Mom often is asked to work over, which means she has to call her parents or his parents, depending on which one is well and whose car is working that day. She gets a call from the school with the principal wanting to meet with her to discuss problems at school and she has to ask her boss for some time for this, because her husband is off on business.
This mom tries to make sure everyone and everything is scheduled and it works to a point, but sometimes, today for example is one day it isn't working. The daughter has been called for an extra dance practice before competition and if she isn't there or is late, she can't compete. On the way to pick her up from school to take to dance, the youngest in the back seat begins to throw up with a stomach virus. You get the picture. It is on Friday, that she comes to your clinic with pain in her neck and back. Pain in her hips and complaints of extreme fatigue. If all we do is address the pain, we will not be treating her the way we should. We must use the SSS rule and teach her to apply the SSS rule, or this lady will continually be fighting the pain and fatigue. Stop, step back and See.

I know that example may be extreme, but it happens everyday to one degree or another. Maybe it is the elderly couple who live alone. They have grown children and grandchildren. One of the elders becomes ill and the other is trying their best to care for them, but it is difficult at their age. Their children are busy with their grandchildren and work and don't have the time to come help. By the time the one that is ill is better, the other becomes ill and tired from the extra effort of taking care of their spouse and so it goes.

If you find yourself with every waking minute claimed, no time to take a walk down the street and look at the clouds or the sunset, or if you find yourself in a position where you can't drift off to sleep, or acting in such a way that is not normal for you, apply the SSS rule to your life, stop, step back and see what is going on in your life that you can pull away from, what can wait and then make a plan and follow through, stop the merry go round and get off and relax, you deserve it .