As creatures of habit and routine, we have a difficult time when something entirely outside the scope of our control disrupts what we perceive as the norm. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is unfortunately a perfect example of an event that has the power and the potential to completely throw us off balance and render us vulnerable. For better or for worse, change is the only constant factor in life that we often have no control over, and instead of throwing in the towel and letting the negative events in life overwhelm us, we can reclaim control in one aspect of our life: how we respond to change.
The events themselves are too often beyond our ability to change them, but we can learn to stay centred, grounded, and balanced amidst the turmoil. It takes time to master such skills, but fortunately, it’s these challenging moments that will help us hone these skills to perfection. Here are a few strategies to help you stay balanced during a crisis, whatever it may be.
Spiritual and physical self-care
You might be experiencing some anxiety due to the ongoing health crisis, or you could be dealing with a major life change such as divorce. It can become exceptionally difficult to focus during such situations, because we’re bombarded by negative news and information constantly, or we’re trying to come to terms with closure and the imminent new beginning, which can be intimidating for many.
That’s precisely why focusing on yourself through self-care habits can make all the difference in how well you cope. Tend to your own spiritual needs by doing what you can to mitigate the situation for those around you, but also find healing activities such as yoga, meditation, walking in nature, or cooking to enrich your daily routine with something that brings you joy – as simple it can be, it will enable you to grow more resilient.
Don’t go it alone – ask for support and guidance
If you’ve just discovered you have a life-altering illness such as cancer, and it feels as if your entire world is crumbling around you, the sheer feeling of powerlessness can be overwhelming. The crucial truth to remember is that you’re not alone. There are hundreds of people facing a similar diagnosis, and many survivors who can help you navigate these uncertain times in your life.
You can do some research and find a trustworthy cancer fund with support groups created precisely to provide guidance and emotional support to those in need. The inspiration you get from these conversations and the practical advice they can share can be truly invaluable. Keep an open mind, find a local community, and you’ll restore your sense of balance and resilience in time.
Process your emotions
Staying balanced during critical situations isn’t about rejecting negative emotions, it’s about embracing them and processing them in a healthy way. Grief, for example, is a healthy, natural response to losing a loved one, but too often people feel that it’s not “appropriate” to express such emotions.
Whether you join a support group in your community as we’ve mentioned earlier, or you book a few sessions with a therapist, you can give yourself the relief you need and talk about your emotions with someone who understands. Opening up to someone is a crucial element of healing, and one that will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, and gain new insights into your spiritual and emotional needs.
Build your purpose
The crises we face in life come with daily emotional oscillations when we feel lonely and fearful in one moment, while we feel eager and empowered the next. In some circumstances, such as when we lose our job or face a critical diagnosis, we feel powerless against the new truth that has enveloped our life. In these moments, you can work towards discovering and rebuilding your purpose, through different activities.
For example, volunteering in a local centre for the elderly or doing some charity work can allow you to feel purposeful and become more grateful for every fortune you have in your life, small pleasures included.
Relinquishing control in the face of the unexpected can be one of the most difficult moments in your life. It can happen when you lose someone you love, end a marriage, or get a scary diagnosis – whatever the cause, you can hold on to these aspects of your reality to rebuild a sense of purpose and stability. Let these bits of wisdom help you navigate the crises in your life and embrace the learning curve that comes with them, because there’s an opportunity in every change to grow stronger and overcome, one day at a time.