How to manage a crisis without losing your shit

We've all had them. Those unexpected, nasty surprises that come from nowhere on an otherwise pleasant, sunny, late Thursday afternoon. They blow up your world, blindside you, stun you, and immobilize you. Whether we're talking personal or professional crises, it doesn't matter. Sometimes they're temporary, with a thankfully quick fix, but most of the time, they take a long time to resolve. So you go into survival mode, figuring out how to manage a crisis without losing your shit on those around you, especially your loved ones. How the hell do you do that? How do you hold it together?

Break it down. - What do you need to do right now, in order to get through the day? What are today's minimal emergencies you need to get ahead of? It can be so overwhelming to look at the big picture that we become paralyzed, even depressed, which is dangerous. Sometimes survival mode means knowing what you have to get done one hour at a time, one day at a time, and that is it.

Reduce your stress, get rest. - Yeah, it's obvious and clichéd, but it really does help, particularly if you're struggling with insomnia while you're in survival mode. Does running help you relax? Binge watching Netflix? Yoga? Cooking? If you don't already have an outlet that helps you burn stress and rest, get one ASAP, and make every effort to keep it healthy. When we're in crisis management mode, we're vulnerable to slipping into bad habits, addictions, etc.

Delegate, delegate, delegate. - What can you assign away? What do you trust others to manage so that you're less overwhelmed? Share the burden as much as you possibly can, in order to lessen your psychic load. When we free up our mental clutter, we're more likely to come up with new solutions to crises, and that much more able to enact them.

Be with others. - When we have a crisis it's so tempting to isolate ourselves until we clean up our proverbial living room, whether it's out of shame or pride. Don't give into this impulse, as isolating yourself at this time can make you vulnerable to depression. Be with those whom you can trust, who are non judgmental, have your back, and respect your boundaries. Being with people who inspire and support us has a way of making us feel connected, and able to face up to whatever daunting challenges lie ahead. Have your support system intact and nurture it.

The weird thing about managing an unexpected crisis is that once we have it under control - essentially having an idea as to how to tackle it while taking care of ourselves - the crisis is usually not as nightmarish nor as horrid as it first seems. Having a go-to coping strategy helps us keep from losing our shit on those around us. That is so important to remember, because once we lose it, it's pretty hard to take it back. Then that becomes a whole other kind of crisis altogether.

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