All change brings about some level of stress or unease, at the very least. We are humans and we tend to lean into our habits. However, we also like challenges and want to shake things up from time to time. Sometimes, change does not come from our own choices and the stress from these situations can almost feel unmanageable. These are times of crisis. Here are tips on dealing with a major crisis.
Disclaimer– I am not a doctor or mental health professional. These are ideas that have helped me, these tips may or may not work for you. If you are having a hard time dealing with depression you should talk to your doctor or mental health provider. If you are having thoughts about death or suicide call 911, a hotline, or mental health provider.
Tips On Dealing With A Major Crisis
Assess and Focus
The first step to dealing with a major crisis should be to assess and focus. Try to take a step back and look at the situation you are in. Is it financial? Emotional? Is it about a personal loss? No matter what take a moment and assess your current situation and how it might change your life going forward.
Once you have assessed your situation, take a moment to recenter yourself because I know it can be overwhelming when you are really being honest with yourself about what is truly going on and what is at stake. Take this moment to focus on what is important. Sometimes depending on the extent of the crisis just getting through the day should be looked at as an accomplishment. Focus on your family and their needs. Think about what you need to get through each day, or hour or minute. Order take out or let your kids have a little extra screen-time. Don’t be too hard on yourself because sometimes it really is just about surviving.
Learn to Say “No”
This is a huge one for me. I have always had a hard time saying “no.” I guess most people would call me a “people-pleaser.” I know that sometimes we mistake saying “no” as being uncharitable or unkind. However, that is not the case. Sometimes, for our own mental health, we have to say no. You can stretch yourself so thin that you make yourself sick. Plus, when you are already in the midst of a major crisis, it is essential to make sure you don’t add to the stress that you are already feeling.
If others know about your current situation, they will probably be more open to being understanding or offering assistance. Let your friends and family help you out. I know that it can be hard to admit when you need help, but it’s imperative when you are dealing with major loss or changes.
Focus on Stress Relief
If you are currently in a state of constant stress because of your situation it is important to focus on stress relief. Here are a few options for dealing with stress:
- Take a walk
Here are more ways to relieve stress.
Seek Balance and Avoid Creating Addictions
Be aware of how much time you spend on doing one particular thing. You need to seek balance and avoid creating addictions. I truly believe that too much of anything can be a bad thing. You don’t want to spend all day eating, in bed sleeping, exercising, or watching TV. You need to get up and get yourself balanced to keep you healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Be mindful of creating new addictions. For example, drinking more than usual or to an unhealthy extent. Try to avoid addictions to electronics or social media. Personally, I know that Facebook or other social media can be very hard on my mental state if I allow myself to spend too much time each day scrolling through them.
Avoid Major Decisions
Try to avoid making major decisions when you are in the middle of a major crisis. For example, changing jobs or moving to a new home or town are choices that should be made when you are in a better mindset, if possible. Major decisions require a lot of thought and sometimes when you are in the middle of a lot of change you aren’t able to give enough attention to other parts of your life. When you are in a crisis your judgment is often impaired.
Process Feelings and Practice Self-Care
It’s important to take the time to process your feelings and practice self-care. It is essential for you to put words to your feelings and situation to help you process and move forward. This can be done in many different ways. You could journal, talk to a friend, or talk to a professional. Either way, find what works best for you.
You want to focus on self-care because you don’t want to add to your current crisis by not staying as healthy as you can. Try to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. These things are essential to your physical health and mental health as well. Find the time to still do things that you love and that brings a smile to your face. Do you love reading? Watching movies? DIY projects? Find time to do what makes you happy.
Keep a Calendar and Write Down Goals
Keeping a calendar or writing down my goals is huge for me when it comes to dealing with a major crisis or stressful situation. By writing down my goals or keeping a task list, it gives me some sense of control when I am in the middle of an uncontrollable situation. Structure really helps me feel productive and not spiral out.
Avoid Pressure, Expectations, and Comparisions
Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself, setting too high of expectations, or comparisons to others. Pressure, expectation, and comparisons are only going to lead you down a dark hole that you don’t want to go down. Give yourself time to heal and realize that everyone is different. You can’t go by how quickly someone you know “bounced back.” Life is tough and you don’t want to add to it by being too hard on yourself.
Limit Cell Phone Usage
Believe it or not, holding on to that cell phone keeps you connected to a lot of drama. Sometimes, I have to disconnect when I am dealing with a lot in my personal life. This does not mean total isolation because that can have a negative effect on your mental health. However, you need to be mindful of the types of people you are hanging around. Negative people and situations are definitely not a good idea when you are already dealing with a major crisis.
Practice patience with others and yourself. You need to remember that everything takes time. Love yourself and others during this time and remember to be patient. It’s ok to feel like you aren’t yourself during major change. However, be patient and hold on to the fact that this too shall pass.
Be Kind and Give Grace
Be kind to yourself and others. It’s important to remember the power of words. Give grace when you can and leave people with a good thought instead of a negative thought. When you are going through a major crisis, you must remember that you don’t know what others are going through so give grace and use kindness.
When you do reach the end of the crisis tunnel, take a moment to stop and look at what you can learn from this situation. Make note of what you found helpful during this crisis because it can be useful in the next crisis.
Seek Professional Help (If Needed)
Please, be aware of your mental state. Reach out for professional help if you are in a dark space and you can’t see yourself being able to dig out of it on your own or with family and friends. Seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Please, seek help if you do not feel like you can handle this on your own.
Please, remember that you are never alone. As someone that fights depression and anxiety, I know that the belief of being alone is how the darkness starts to take hold. Fight back. Take a deep breath. Look over these tips on dealing with a major crisis and find what works best for you and your family. Remember this too shall pass.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31