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Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Best Stress Management Technique Ever: The Three Day Rule

Transitions are Stressful

Every moment in every day we transition from one moment to the next. And in the space between we face uncertainty about what's coming next. 

When the transitions we face are bigger and more difficult such as moving from being married to divorced or widowed; going from being a renter to becoming a home owner; changing employment status from employed to laid off; changing health status from well to sick--the stress and worry about the future can be overwhelming.

Even simple or 'good' transitions such as transitioning from home to work; returning to work after a vacation or weekend off; moving from being single to becoming a couple; moving from being unemployed to getting a job; or becoming new parents--can be stressful and give us cause to worry and fret. 

But there is something we can do to calm the worry-wart in us and ease our way through life. We can learn to apply the Three Day Rule to change how we deal with transitions-big or small.

Stop and Start Over

We all need a strategy to ease our way through the constant change called life. 

While some worry and fret more than others, we're all susceptible to reacting through life when we fail to give ourselves time to acknowledge the transition--no matter how small--and allow ourselves to just be in 'the moment after' without judging or interpreting it. 

This is what the Three Day Rule is about: 

💓 Giving yourself time to just be in the moment after without judging or interpreting.

The Three Day Rule

I stumbled on the Three Day Rule when I came home anticipating going back to work after a vacation when I was in my 20's.  The dread hit as I stepped into the house.

You know what that moment is like just before you step into the house after being gone when that irrational  fear sets in--'OMG I forgot to pay my bills before I left on vacation'; 'OMG I left the stove or iron on--or water running'; 'OMG I wonder if anything bad happened I don't know about while I was gone'.

After arriving home from that relaxing and pleasurable vacation, I soon discovered I was fixated on anticipating the problems and situations that might have happened while I was gone and it began gnawing away at me. 

I didn't like that gnawing feeling one little bit.  It was in that moment I realized this was a pattern I could change.

Give Yourself Time 
To get back into the Swing of Things

As I thought about it, I realized it always felt like I was coming home from a vacation to problems that piled up while I was gone. Yet, I realized that after I got back into the swing of things--after about three days--I had a handle on things and my angst lessened.

'What if I applied a three day rule?' I thought. 'What if I approached coming back home or going back to work after being gone as if there were no problems for three days?'

So I gave it a try--and it worked like a charm. No matter what issues arose in the 1st three days after returning home or to work, I calmly took the information in as just that--'information' and approached my first three days 'as if there were no problems'. 

I soon realized that I had stumbled across the best stress management technique ever--the three day rule--as it was effective when it was applied to big or small transitions alike.


There are no problems for three days when returning home or returning to work 
after your absence, or after being hit with a major crisis or life change.

There Are No Problems

The key to applying The Three Day Rule is how you approach the information that comes at you during those three days. When you choose to act as if there are no problems, you are choosing to act rather than react to your current life.

Don't let change and uncertainty overwhelm you. Choose to tweak your approach to the ever-changing landscape of life by applying the three day rule in all aspects of your life.

Practice Being Comfortable with Uncertainty

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes letting go and moving forward with life easier than ever before.

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Jean | said...

Sue, you were wise even in your 20s! I'm going to try The Three Day Rule. And I love your "I am comfortable with uncertainty." This is one I'll definitely be re-reading.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Well, Jean, I don't know about being wise. It's that I so hate the feeling of worrying and fretting. It's such a natural act for me to get out of feeling bad as soon as I'm able!