What to do in a crisis?
When we find ourselves in a crisis, our mental strength will be tested. Without adequate mental strength, life challenges can fill us with self-doubt and anxiety. These uncomfortable feelings can lead to negative thinking. Which in turn can affect our behaviour. Finally, we risk our worst case scenarios coming true.
Staying strong in the middle of a crisis is key to getting through tough times.
We need to accept reality: this is the situation. Finger pointing and cries of ‘it’s not fair!’ does not get us very far. This is the reality.
It is important to talk to friends, seek out professional help. Make sure you ask questions, tell people what you need, and get emotional support to help yourself.
Practice self-care: make sure you eat and sleep well during tough times; get some exercise, relax your body and your mind (the mind needs a rest).
It can be useful to ask ourselves an open question: What guidance would I give my friend if they were in this position? By asking this question we give ourselves some psychological distance from our immediate situation. It also encourages a rational and considered response.
Create a helpful mantra: affirmations are those phrases which we tell ourselves to get through situations, and the use of self-talk helps to embed such self- beliefs as: ‘I’ve survived tough times before, I can get through this’.
What needs to be done? Make a to do list, keep it realistic and achievable. Write it down. We often find it hard to recall things when we are stressed or anxious. Writing things down helps us monitor our own progress.
Experience your emotions: it is not healthy to suppress negative emotions. It is healthy to acknowledge these painful emotions: anger, fear, worry. Put some allotted time to consciously face and accept these emotions.
Take Small Steps: work on a basis of day to day, hour to hour, (or minute to minute if things get really challenging). This is like holding on for dear life itself.
Identify those things you can begin to work on today.
Do one thing which is ‘normal’ before the crisis came along -this helps to keep a sense of control when life seems anything but.
And when the crisis is over, it is important to find ways of unwinding from the stress which you have experienced. Go on holiday. See a therapist to help you move forward.