5 Steps to Take after a Crisis
Sometimes it feels like we just have to deal with one crisis after another
Personal, Physical, Financial, Emotional
Each time life comes and smacks you in the face and you get that tight knot in your stomach that makes you feel sick – Life may never be the same again!
Where do you even begin to pick yourself back up again?
It feels like the whole world carries on moving, and you’re stuck in a vortex.
That’s normal – not nice – but normal!
We are amazingly complex beings and when something throws us off our course, it takes time to get our bearings and come to terms with our new reality.
1. Cut yourself some slack
You know when your computer goes into “safe mode” and everything is simplified and only essential operations work – and you get that big, zombie style screen? That’s where you need to be right now.
Initially do anything that is going to make your life easier on you until you have time to process.
Depending on your crisis – this will differ according to your circumstances. Cut back everything to bare essentials.
It’s okay to take a few days off work (although if your crisis is financial, maybe negotiate some paid holiday days)
It’s okay to leave the housework.
It’s okay to cancels plans.
You will still need to feed the kids/cat/dog – (and yourself) – but don’t go all out trying to be Martha Stewart.
You get the picture – don’t try to do everything that you usually do.
We are in self-preservation mode.
Cry, vent, lock yourself in the bathroom, eat some comfort food, get all the feelings out of your system –
Then, only when you are ready (and it may take a bit of time to get there) when the numbness begins to wear off a bit and you realise that the world is still turning and you’ve got to work out a way forward …..
Take a deep breath, steady yourself, and move on to step 2.
2. Take an objective view
It’s easy to feel that you are the only person that is going through the crisis that you are in.
One of my favorite sayings is “There is nothing new under the sun”
Wherever you are in life – you can guarantee there is someone else there right now, and more importantly there are people who have been through the same thing (maybe worse) and have survived – not without battle scars, but they got through.
Talk to friends/family – it’s surprising how many people are in similar situations, they may be grateful for a chance to talk as well.
Sometimes it’s nice to talk anonymously – quite often if you are an introvert like me!
This is where the internet is fabulous – search out those people on social media – facebook, pinterest, you tube – someone out there has the things that you are looking for – you can chat, ask questions, or just read the questions others have asked – usually the same ones get repeated often.
Try to look at your situation as though it was happening to someone else – there is a way through, you just have to find it!!
3. Make a List
One of my favourite things to do!
Brainstorm!! – Anything and everything that is going to help. write it down!!
Things that will lift your mood.
Ways to earn extra cash.
Ways to relieve anxiety.
Books/articles that you want to read
Course that you want to take
Things that will improve your health
Write down every positive step you can think of.
Keep a notebook nearby and keep adding to this on a regular basis, it’s amazing how many good ideas that you will forget by the end of the day.
I’ve always got several lists on the go – it takes the pressure off, it’s one less thing that you need to try and remember. You have enough spinning round in your head without trying to remembers all possible ways forward.
4. Prioritise and take one step at a time
So, now you’ve got your huge list of things that you could do today, you have to figure out where to start – this can be daunting – Start small!!
For starters you need to know what you are aiming for and know what will be the most important thing to do first.
Ask yourself what can I do today that will make a difference to my situation and make me feel better by the end of the day. Is it a priority today to work on my finances or my fitness? What can I fit around my commitments?
Get a diary – every day write down something from your brainstorming list in a To Do list.
Don’t make your list too long – it will be both unachievable and overwhelming.
Put some simple things on there that are easy to achieve, things that will get you up and moving – going for a walk, washing the dishes – if you plan to do it today – put it on the list, give yourself credit for everything you’ve achieved today, no matter how small.
Use a reward system – do 2 small things on your list, then a treat with a cup of tea and a cake.
Once you start ticking things off, it will give you the motivation to tackle some of the bigger things.
Halfway through the day, evaluate the list. Don’t be afraid to change things around or cross things off if things are not going well. What are things that HAVE to be done/what can be left.
If I’m struggling/exhausted, I switch to a self care list. Light a candle, watch a film, have a bath, take a nap (if I can).
Usually halfway through my self care list, I feel well enough to get back on track, and if not, I tell myself that I’ve done a pretty good job of looking after myself today – so that I can start again tomorrow.
5. Figure out what works.
Remember that you are still overcoming something huge, and be kind to yourself. Always remind yourself that today you did something to improve your situation – you took control, you decided to do things on your list.
Over time you will come to know the things that help – and the ones that don’t’.
It will get easier to choose what to put on your list and make a plan for the day.
Work out how things make you feel – get to know yourself.
Always be willing to try new things. Constantly look for new ideas. These things are tools to get you where you want to be in life.
When I was at one of my lowest points, someone bought me a bunch of flowers to say thank you for the care I had given. It lifted my mood so much, made me feel so valued. I nearly always now have flowers in a vase – even if I can only afford a bunch of daffodils – it reminds me to value myself.
Something so simple can have the biggest impact – Find out what impacts your mood, your life – and keep it going.