Stress is part and parcel of life. It is true that everyone must recognize and come to terms with it on a daily basis. Some people manage stress better than most, while others have a lower tolerance and tend to suffer more where others would simply stand and face it head on. The way people respond to stress usually differs depending on their background and life experiences.
Then there is what we call a “personal crisis” – a different kind of stress which lingers. It is considered dangerous or destructive and it is usually all-consuming. Like a tsunami, a personal crisis can engulf you and totally consume you, making you question your choices, and wonder why you exist at all.
Putting Up a Good Fight
A personal crisis usually involves a life-changing event – losing a loved one, being afflicted by a life-threatening disease, job loss or bankruptcy, being harassed or assaulted, and similar situations that threaten your sanity and well-being.
But rather than engaging in negative self-talk and plunging into a deep depression, you can choose to face personal crisis head on so you do not drown in the process. But how, exactly, do you stay sane, strong and balanced while in the midst of a deep, dark gloom?
1. Stop and take a step back
Sometimes, your instincts get the best of you, especially in times of crisis. You react when you feel threatened, and reacting too soon can have grave consequences. Taking a step back and looking at the situation from a distance should give you some perspective.
You just lost your job; what do you do? The first thing you might do is get into panic mode which, in turn, could eventually lead to depression.
To turn it around, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Listen to what the HR manager is saying. You’ll be receiving a generous separation package and they are giving you two months to find a new job. Although not ideal, you should know when you are still fortunate.
You can then plan, update your CV, and begin applying for positions with prospective employers. You may even realize later on that you were actually unhappy with your last job but didn’t have the guts to leave it because it paid so well. Searching for a job now means you have an opportunity to be employed in something you may actually enjoy.
The problem itself may not go away, but you are doing what you can rationally do under the circumstances, and doing so can even lead you to a more viable solution or a better situation.
2. Stay calm and positive
Easier said than done, true; but certainly not impossible. Think back and remember all of the good things that have happened in your life. You’ve got a great family, cultivated lifelong friendships and helped people along the way. You have never wanted for anything – a great blessing in itself – so why not take the time to smile now and be grateful?
3. Focus on the “now”
This is not the time for “what ifs” and “could have beens.” Everyone makes mistakes. No one sets out to make them deliberately; unfortunately, they happen anyway. There’s nothing constructive about staying glued to the past – it’s gone and can no longer be repaired. It’s time to let go and move forward.
Live in the present. They say that if you take care of the moments, the minutes will take care of themselves. Do what you can do best now so that you have a future to look forward to.
4. Take care of “you”
Focus on your life and your health. Eat nutritious food, take the right supplements, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. Being down in the dumps is no excuse to let yourself go and just lie around all day doing nothing but obsessing over all that you have lost.
Disconnect from technology. Meditate, spend some quiet time, do yoga or Pilates. Pick yourself up and go for a walk or a quick run around the neighborhood. It’s possible you may not make rent in two months’ time; it’s also possible that you will. You can’t stop now, and you have to take care of yourself first so you can take care of the challenges you need to face.
5. Call a friend, connect with others
When faced with a crisis, there’s nothing like sage advice from a dear, trusted friend. You may even just need someone to listen to you vent. Go ahead and talk it out and let your friend hold your hand.
You may also find that connecting with others in the same (or even worse) boat offers you some kind of solace. Knowing that there are others going through something similar can be strangely comforting, and you are also slowly widening your own social network, making connections which can prove useful someday.
6. Set goals and visualize
Having set objectives means you are setting out to achieve more things in your life. Visualize yourself two, three, five, 10 years from today. What are you doing and where would you be? Somewhere better, for sure.
You may also find yourself looking back, not to regret the past, but to look back and see how you started in life. Do you realize how far you’ve come, and how much you have accomplished? Give yourself a pat on the back.
You didn’t stop then, and you shouldn’t stop now.
Gehana Kennedy is the owner of vitaminshop.ae, the go-to source for high-quality wellness products including a range of step-by-step formulated vitamins, fitness supplements and natural skin care products. With innovative ideas and implementation of new technologies, she was able to establish a platform that offers not only quality products but also valuable information for customers.