I’ve been there.  When something big and negative happens in life, most people fall into crisis mode.  That means that you either fight, fight, or freeze.  That also tends to mean that rational thought processes fly out the window.  This is actually totally normal, since it’s a millennia old survival mechanism: Survival and escape is the name of the game.

In the modern world, though, escape is not what we need to do in order to ensure our survival. Here are a few tips to get your mind working on a way to get you through the crisis.

First, tell yourself that the worst is over and the immediate danger is past. I like to say those words out loud, since it can help to actually hear them. Assuming that you, personally, are not in the hospital because of whatever happened, you’re in a pretty good position to start dealing with it.

Second, take stock of what tools and resources that you have in order to help get recovery started.  If you lost your job, do you have access to a phone and Internet, so that you can start getting your resume out there?  If someone you love is in the hospital, are you able to take time off of work to help them with their recovery?  If you have been served with legal papers, do you know what you need to do in order to respond to them? (If not, do you know how to access legel representation?)

Do you have family or friends that you can call on to help you? If so, put the call out for help. Furthermore, don’t forget your extended circle of friends.  Sometimes this involves people that you only know by way of the Internet (we call them “box people” in my family), but those relationships can be just as solid and meaningful as in-person relationships.  Sometimes, they are even moreso.

Finally, take a breath and figure out what you need but don’t have in order to start the recovery process.  That can be something as simple as someone helping you move house. Sometimes, this is bigger, like figuring out how to get funding. Other times, it’s needing particular services to address the problem, like a mechanic, or talking to your insurance adjuster.

Once you have these three things taken care of, you will be much better prepred to get back to a new normal. It will take time and effort, but taking these three steps will help you be more calm and able to rationally figure out what you need to do.

You will recover.  Life will go on. It just takes some work to get there.  You can do it, I have faith in you.

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