How To Cope When Faced With A Crisis

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th U.S. President

Have you ever had one of those “this can’t be happening to me” moments? Chances are that at some point in your life you will be faced with a crisis, big or small, and wondering how you’ll be able to make it through it.

At first you might feel shocked or overwhelmed by the situation you are facing. Some people feel numb or at a total loss and without a sense of direction. Others will move into a state of denial. These are all natural ways of trying to cope with the situation at hand.

Once these feelings wear off, it is important to know some strategies that can help you to cope and hopefully resolve your predicament.

Here are a few suggestions:

Be Patient – Some things just need a little time to work themselves out. Feeling isolated, irritable, guilty, or afraid are all normal reactions to a crisis. Be patient with yourself and with others. You can and will make it through this.

Open Up – Talk with a close friend or even a professional counselor or social worker. Expressing your feelings will help you process your thoughts and emotions. Keeping a diary or journal can also be helpful. Talking with someone or writing about your experience can help you release some of the pressure you are feeling and help you to maintain your sanity.

Exercise Care – Take care of yourself with proper rest, exercise, and nutrition. Avoid turning to alcohol or drugs to cope with a problem situation. Using drugs or alcohol will only give temporary relief and can create other problems.

Keep Up Routines – Whenever possible, keep to your routines and put off any major decisions or changes. Sticking with a routine will remind you that you can still control parts of your life and that you have the resolve to handle things normally.

Reach Out – Offer support to others who may be faced with a similar situation. Helping others can give you focus and purpose and remind you that you are not alone. It can also help you to be able to put things in perspective and see the “whole” picture.

Accept Assistance – Accepting help is not a sign of weakness; it is actually a sign of strength. You are utilizing other resources and acknowledging that you may not be able to do it all by yourself.

Have Some Fun – Yes, it is possible to be faced with a crisis and still take part in a relaxing or fun activity. Go for a brisk walk with your dog, play cards with friends, invite people over for a cookout or go out for a dinner date. Taking a break away from your problem can put you in a better mood and lighten your burden.

Pray or Meditate – Prayer and meditation are great and effective tools that will help you with your focus and perspective. They can remind you that you have faced tough situations in the past and survived – and you can do it this time as well.

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