|When we hit crisis mode, our next steps matter most|
If you live any length of time, you will face a crisis or some type of adversity. Whether it be relational, vocational or deeply personal, crises are the great equalizer of human beings. Hardship is part of our human reality - a "given;" operating smoothly through hardship is optional. Here's a few tips to help you exercise that option:
When you hit a rough patch, it is normal to feel like you must "do something." Our senses are heightened. Often times, much is happening around us, related to us. We feel compelled to action. One very good way to react is to be still. Literally, do nothing. Don't make any declarations or decisions in the heat of your rough moment. Breathe more. Seek solitude. Withdraw from non-essential commitments and just be. There is no need to make any moves when crisis first hits you. You have to absorb what's happening so you can truly understand what you are to do next. That happens best when you are still. Find respite and do nothing as much as you can during your storm.
Merriam-Webster defines discern as to detect, to recognize or or to come to know mentally. You need to discern whom to include in your crisis. Be very careful only to share your crisis with people who are known to be helpful and discreet. Identify that short list and keep to it. Equally, you have to recognize how things are different post-crisis. The temptation will be there to try and "normalize" life or get back to the way it was "before." Embrace your new normal. Resistance only causes more pain. Take time to notice how different things are and acknowledge your role. Only spend energy on things within your control, letting go of all else. Surround yourself with love. People you love. Activity you love.
Life has put out a challenge. Things are not as they were and now you must respond. Being ready for change is the hardest aspect of managing adversity. We get angry and stuck reviewing what we could have done differently and in those moments, we miss opportunities to move forward. Push yourself to be ready for what your new normal will offer. For some people, that will mean examining areas where you just float through life and force yourself to "shake it up. " If the crisis didn't do that for you - you have to do it for yourself, now. If your crisis turned your routine upside down, embrace it. Look out for new ways to express and communicate what you are feeling. Notice people you did not notice before. Allow yourself to "go" places you don't normally go - both physically and emotionally. You would be surprised at what the universe can bring your way when you are ready to receive it.
Over the years, hardship and adversity has come my way many times. By implementing the advice I just shared, I've found that my ability to manage those tough times has improved and stifled the long term impact them on my quality of life. I hope you find that, too.