Photo by Ben Whiteon Unsplash
No-one is immune
Most certainly, every one of us will be faced with some form of crisis during our lifetime - be it the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a devastating car accident, or a natural disaster like the coronavirus pandemic we are facing these days.
Our response and how we choose to deal with such an incident can have far-reaching consequences, whether positive or negative, on our physical or mental wellbeing.
In this blog, we will take a look at the mental stages a person might go through as well as useful tips on how to overcome a crisis.
What counts as a ‘crisis’?
A crisis is any event that is going to (or is expected to) lead to an unstable and dangerous situation. It can affect an individual, a group, or a community.
Each to his own
It is important to remember that the word ‘crisis’ has a different meaning for every person.
For example, – a little boy whose dog just died might experience the same emotional crisis as someone who has just been diagnosed with a severe illness.
It is your opinion and your experience of a particular situation that can deem it to be a crisis or not.
Nobody can tell you that what you are feeling is not ‘real’ and not ‘crisis’ worthy. How you’ve handled a crisis in the past, can also influence how you face a current one.
Different types of crises
A situational crisis is the type of crisis that happens without warning. You can lose your job, your husband wants a divorce, or a freak accident happens.
The other types of crises might be less noticeable. It does not mean it can still have a dramatic effect on what you feel and think! Examples of a more personal crisis can be a developmental crisis (such as becoming a teenager) or an existential crisis (such as a midlife crisis.)
Is my body experiencing a crisis?
Possible signs that you are going through a crisis might include feelings of numbness, feelings of guilt, anger, grief, withdrawal from normal activities, and a change in sleeping patterns.
You may also experience the following mental stages:
- Uncertainty – in times of crisis, we are very uncertain as to what to believe, which information to rely on, and how to react.
- Feelings of fear and anxiety–the situation at hand might leave you feeling fearful or having quite a bit of stress – often impairing your judgment and influencing your decisions.
- You feel hopeless and or helpless – you may feel there is nothing you can do to make the situation better or that you have no power over what is happening and what the result will be.
- Denial – you refuse to acknowledge and accept as to what has happened or to what will happen.
What can I do in times of crisis?
Try to focus on the most important thing – now, today. Your primary focus should be to get through the day – a significant accomplishment in itself when you are feeling vulnerable.
Take it easy on yourself and only do what you can. Another helpful hint is to find what makes you happy and what gives you joy – and do that.
- Accept the situation.
This does not mean you have to approve of what is happening, but it is vital to acknowledge it and accept it. Remember, God won’t put anything on your path that you can’t handle.
Try to relax. Although easier said than done, there are numerous amount of stress-relieving exercises you can do to help you feel more relaxed and in control of your feelings.
- Get support
Reach out to family and friends. You might be feeling to do just the opposite, but more often than not, having someone who listens and who supports you is the best medicine.
You might also benefit from seeing a professional (psychologist) or a doctor or even joining a support group.
- Allow yourself to feel….
You will go through numerous emotions – allow these feelings of sadness, anger, and frustration and work through them.
- Routine! Routine! Routine!
Stick to your routine – this will provide a sense of security as it will help you regain control and to organize your thoughts.
Look after yourself – physically and emotionally. Make sure you are physically safe. Get enough sleep and remember to exercise as physical activity influences our mental health.
More blogs to come on this topic
Of course, during the current crisis that all of us are experiencing, things are slightly different. A lot of us are cooped up and unable to use all of our regular resources of self-help.
In our next few blogs, we aim to address that.
How can you lift your spirits while you are alone in a lockdown? How to deal with anxiety and depression? We hope to bring some hope and information your way!
God is with you
At Largest Heart, we believe that God will not leave us nor forsake us in our time of need. In times like these, isn't it wonderful to find comfort in the word of God?
We leave you with the following:
‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’. (Philippians 4:6-7)