Coping In Tough Times
Perhaps you've felt this too, not feeling refreshed after the festive season and a bit of struggle to get back into work mode?
2020 was meant to have a magical start, wasn’t it? I mean, that number just feels special, doesn’t it? But how do you balance the excitement and hope with the heaviness of horrific bushfires and drought here in Australia?
I don’t need to re-describe what you’ve already seen and heard. It’s natural to feel strongly for those in trouble and want to help. Unfortunately, with our media exposure it’s easy to be mesmerized by the horror, absorbing more and more until you feel overwhelmed, totally inadequate, and perhaps even guilty that you are still living your normal life.
Feeling overwhelmed, inadequate and guilty hardly puts you in a strong position to help those who need you, does it? So, what to do? Let’s look at those three disempowering states one at a time.
- Overwhelmed. Your first step is to take back control, so turn off the TV, radio, and stop reading the dramatic news and social media posts. You already know how bad it is, and any significant new information you’ll hear from those around you. (Unless you are in the direct line of danger of course!)
Secondly, reassure yourself you’ll know what to do if it happened to you. Write out 2-3 plans for your emergency evacuation. Consider:
(1) If you find your home alight – ensure you and your family know to stay low (under the smoke) and go go go (get out immediately). Ensure locked windows and doors can be unlocked or removed from the inside in a hurry in the dark – practice in the dark.
(2) If you’re in a bushfire, cyclone or flood zone, what are your plans of action? What safety items do you need to have e.g. wet towels, battery radio, drinking water & food, fully charged mobile phone & charger, torch, emergency contact numbers, protective clothing, full tank of petrol, pet crates, essential documents etc? At what point do you evacuate, where and how will you go? Check your insurance cover is up-to-date now.
Write a checklist to keep it all manageable instead of churning in your head.
What you don’t know, FIND OUT now. Taking action and planning means you’ll stop feeling helpless, and will be able to be there for yourself and your family, in the unlikely event you face that situation.
- Inadequate. Work out what practical steps you can take to help, even the smallest amount has an impact. Give money to official appeals e.g. Red Cross or St Vincent De Paul. Give specific items to www.Givit.org.au Find out what others are doing and volunteer to help e.g. sew/knit/crochet for injured wildlife. Organise your own fundraising or support via your local school, community groups, church, friends and family. Pray. Send healing energy.
Remember: Share only the uplifting stories in conversations, and ideally talk about other aspects of life too. Give yourself a gold star every time you bring a smile to a face or get a laugh.
- Guilty. If you are feeling guilty because someone else lost their lives, their loved ones and/or home, that is only perfectly fine if you lit the fire or created the flood or drought. Otherwise, feeling guilty says you believe you are less worthy to live and thrive than others.
Do you really believe those suffering would want you to be suffering too? Aren’t you more use alive and actively supporting them? Do you really deserve to lose your home and your loved ones, or even to die? If so, it’s time to seek out support from a trained professional now to get you back on track. Lifeline Ph 131114
Children. Your children could also be feeling the same emotions, and it’s even more important they aren’t immersed in horror images, particularly with sound. Even babies who are too young to process the images on TV pick up on the emotions of those around them.
Be aware people handle stress, heavy emotions and hot weather in different ways, and it’s easy to get snappy and irritable with children who seem to be misbehaving, but who can be simply acting up for attention and feel noticed and therefore secure. Everyone needs reassurance that they are safe and loved. Even you.
2020, like every year, will have ups and downs, tears and laughter. It’s your attitude, and the choices you make about how you feel and think and act, that will determine whether it is “good” or not for you.
It’s my life’s work, my joy and pleasure, to help you feel great about yourself inside and out. To help you clear your ‘head trash’, heal emotionally and build your resilience so disasters don’t knock you out. You bounce back, wiser and even more determined to enjoy your life come what may.
For a chat about your needs and how I could help you feel lighter, calmer, more in control, book a time on this link today.