Something’s Gotta Give is a 2003 American romantic comedy starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton as a successful 60-something and 50-something, who find love for each other in later life, despite being complete opposites.
The reason that I chose the title for this week’s blog is that although the film is essentially a romcom, (at the beginning of the film, Harry – Nicholson – is a wealthy New York businessman who has a habit of dating women under the age of 30 years although things eventually change – however, if you haven’t seen the film, I don’t want to spoil it for you!), a crucial part of the plot is that Harry has a heart attack and is rushed to hospital. However, he discovers the episode is actually triggered by stress over caring about a woman whose love he can’t have. This realisation forces him to reconsider his identity as a carefree bachelor.
But unrequited love isn’t the essence of this blog, more that stress can induce extreme symptoms, even leading sufferers to think that they’re having a heart attack. It can be hugely frightening and, like Harry, people do end up in hospital if things become overwhelming.
Most of us have felt stressed and stretched every which way, especially during the pandemic, and the thought of adding yet one more thing to our schedules can send us into overdrive. Often, we know things have got to change but are not sure how to go about it, so here are a few ideas to help you on the way:
- One important step is to recognise that perfectionism is a form of self-sabotage rather than an asset. On some level, perfectionists believe that if they’re not perfect, they’ve failed and this in itself is very stressful. Doing your best is a lot healthier in the long run.
- If you hold onto ‘mistakes’, noticing what you’ve done wrong rather than what you’ve got right can make anyone anxious so try to focus on the positive changes that you’ve made and remember that no-one gets thing right all of the time.
- In the same way, whilst accepting your own mistakes, try to give other people a break too. Don’t hold onto grudges and try to see the best in people, rather than focusing on what they’re doing wrong.
- Try to start each day calmly (easier said than done, I know!) – have a quiet cup of tea before anyone else gets up, or try to have five minutes of meditation – even reading something that’s inspirational can help start your day in a calm way.
- Delegate (and delegate, delegate…..) – ask your partner to share more of the household stuff, your flatmate to do more of the cleaning if you feel bogged down or ask your colleagues to step up rather than take on even more responsibility yourself.
- Try to find hope in whatever situation you’re in – it’s harder to see the good in things if you’re feeling overwhelmed so try to find one thing a day to be optimistic about. Hope can help to make things seem so different.
- Acknowledge how you’re feeling; remaining in denial isn’t healthy and by talking to a friend you can usually get an emotional lift. In the same way, journaling how you’re feeling can help enormously – the written word is very powerful.
So, as the film’s message highlights, something will have to give unless we deal with stress as it happens – hopefully, the above tips will help.
As a nod to the photo at the end of this blog, Something’s Got to Give was also an unfinished American feature film shot in 1962, starring Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin. It was Monroe’s last work, but from the beginning its production was disrupted by her personal troubles, and after her death on August 4, 1962, the film was abandoned.
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