5 Essential Things To Do When The Proverbial Hits The Fan
Life can be messy at times. Whether it’s business, relationship or health news that has knocked you off your feet there are 5 first aid actions you can take immediately.
- Move and breathe. Leave the room you’ve heard the news in, and go elsewhere, preferably outside, to breathe and calm down. Ensure you are looking out or up, definitely not down. Breathe slowly and steadily in for a count of 3 and out for a count of 6 to get oxygen back into your system and help steady you. When you’re ready move into Balanced Breathing, evenly in for 6 and out for 6, to calm your whole body.
- Accept responsibility. Not for everything, just for your contribution, through action or inaction. If you totally blame someone or something, you give all your personal power away. That leaves you feeling totally helpless and makes it difficult to move through it all. Taking responsibility is not about criticising yourself, it’s simply accepting you played some part in what happened, therefore you can play a part in resolving or dealing with it. (An extreme example, if you’ve heard someone died unexpectedly, then you take responsibility for loving them and including them in your life, and for any action or inaction that might lead to guilty feelings. Be kind and gentle with yourself. You are allowed to grieve in your way.)
- Reach out for help from someone who can. Some people are great huggers but will keep you down in the Pity Pit. You need someone who cares and who can help you think clearly and take practical steps. A practical friend, a professional expert, or a colleague as appropriate. Add a silent hugger if that’s what you need.
- Write down what needs to be done. There may be steps you need to take immediately to prevent matters worsening. E.g. call your insurance company, your solicitor, your backup childminder. Have a list with columns for Now, Soon, Later so you can jot them down in some order as they flood into your mind. You’ll feel more in control.
- Stay present. Allowing your imagination to run wild into the future, living all sorts of dreadful scenarios will make matters worse, and paralyse you. Remind yourself to breathe, and that “Right here, right now, I’m safe.”
Remember the wise saying, “This too shall pass.” You’ll get through whatever has happened, just as you’ve overcome other obstacles in your life before. (Even if it is a terminal illness diagnosis, you can pass through the emotional pain and find peace on your terms.) At some point you’ll be able to look back on it as a valuable learning experience. For now, breathe, and take one step at a time.