A crisis can hit anytime, often without much warning that is just the way life goes. If one does not have the lows in life, how would we know when we have hit a perfect high?
We all have our own perspective on what qualifies as a crises, but being alive in 2020 possibly will show you a thing or two on the topic. Other generations might have had it worse with world wars and the plague for instance, but being rid of your freedom of movement, not being allowed to see loved ones and not able to earn a living is quite severe. COVID-19 created a time in which many of us are locked up in our houses in what is becoming weeks on end.
Never before in my lifetime has the world gone this crazy and never have any of us ever imagined the almost sci-fi reality of what has become our daily lives.
And yet, heart-breaking crises hit people on a daily basis. The type of crises that has the potential to turn your world upside down, forever alter the reality of your daily existence or destroys that which is familiar, that which you hold dear. It is in times like these when we experience the cold, ugly side of life, that perspective and hope goes a long way. No matter which way you look, you are in it, the only way out is possibly through.
Here are 6 thoughts that can help you get to the other side when your world is pieced together by one hysterical thought after the other.
Stop. Breathe. Think
No one thinks clearly while being chased by a ravenous lion. When you are in survival mode, going through your worst nightmare or you feel constantly overwhelmed, your brain might decide to take a holiday as you focus on getting through each moment. In times like these it is easy to loose perspective, as our reasoning abilities take a major knock when it joins the brain in pulling a disappearing act.
Slow down, take a break. Breathe. You most definitely make better decisions when you are calm.
Someone once told me that big decisions should never be rushed, no matter the urgency thereof. Take the time to think things over and if you are being pushed for answers, it is possibly a sign that you should think a little longer. Just remember to breathe.
Fill your cup
It is not helping anyone if you collapse with burn-out, suffer a nervous breakdown or fall seriously ill. In finding time to breathe, you also need to find time for self-care. When was the last time you spoiled yourself, really focused on you? Your needs instead of everyone else’s? Run a fragrant bath, have a quiet night in, read a favourite book or take yourself for a weekend away. We cannot fill another’s cup or keep up a relentless pace if we are running on empty ourselves.
Don’t carry the devil’s baggage
People are sometimes the stokers of the fire that leads to the meltdown, or crises in the first place. They do irresponsible things, become aggressive or accusative or even raving mad and demanding. Don’t get drawn in, you probably already know how that will end. Their reactions and defence mechanisms have nothing to do with you. You probably already had to face some of the devil’s baggage up to this point, it’s now time to give it back. This is not your parcel and you do not need to carry it, so don’t.
Learn and grow
Theodore Roosevelt once said
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
You are learning things, growing from it and acquiring new skills. What was the biggest lessons from this that you had to learn? The quicker you realise that the easier the journey and its pain would be to understand, and perhaps even be grateful for. In the end of the day, you had the opportunity of a second chance, a new dream, or more time. That is a good thing!
This too shall pass
Your current crises might be the hardest thing you ever had to deal with. It could have you reeling with shock and disbelief or your life shattered in a million heart-breaking little pieces, truth is, you possibly won’t die. No matter how dire the situation gets, it will pass. The sun will shine again and time will heal. Remember that life ebbs and flows. Just hold on for now and refer to point 1, breathe. It will get better. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other and you will get through quicker.
Accept what you cannot change
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, or wish and pray for something to be different, it just is what it is and you cannot change it. It is normal to go through Kubler-Ross’ 5 phases of loss, from denial, anger, bargaining, depression to acceptance. You are human. Expect each stage. Then rest in what you know to be the facts and do what you can every day to grow from it. More than that is not within your control. Let go and be you, as only you can be.
As humans, we were born to dream and hope, and belief in something beautiful. So in times of imbalance, uncertainty and extremity, remember that beauty exists, that you are not alone as many before you have trotted this uneasy path.
Live your life today, as with the global COVID-pandemic we still need to find a way forward and still do not know where it will end, what the real damage will be and what the future holds. As the world around us changes, we no doubt will have to adapt, but hopefully, we will be more present in the daily gift of being alive.
Sometimes a crisis wipes away what is, to make room for the new that holds every bit of potential to be better than what it was before. Go find the light!