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How to bounce back from difficult situations

Women are remarkable creatures; versatile, nurturing, intuitive and able to withstand more than most, but sometimes even the strongest women feel weak and vulnerable. Whether it’s a divorce or the death of a loved one, financial upheaval, illness or a retrenchment; when personal crisis affects us, we are usually caught unawares and unprepared, and it can very quickly become an overwhelming event.
There are a number of practical techniques that will help you to deal with any negative emotions and help you to bounce back.
Knowledge is power
When going through a crisis, it’s normal to feel completely alone, or that no-one really understands what you are going through. Researching and gaining information about your challenge is the first step in regaining a sense of control over your situation. The internet is a great place to find organisations and resources that educate and support people going through similar situations. It’s amazing how much support is out there if you only look!
Tough Times have a sell-by date
When you are in the midst of a personal crisis, you may battle to think beyond your current reality. Reminding yourself that every crisis has a beginning and an end will help you put the situation into perspective.
If you are having a particularly bad day, when even getting out of bed requires super-human effort, acknowledge how bad you are feeling, and then work through those negative emotions for that day, and that day only. If you feel low, but able to function, give those emotions half a day, and if you feel just slightly “off”, give those emotions an hour. Once the time is up, give yourself a mental shake and carry on with as positive an attitude as you can muster (even if it feels forced). Sometimes, you have to fake it to make it!
Break the crisis down
There will be times when you feel as if the crisis is bigger than you are. Dividing the crisis into several smaller stages, instead of viewing it as one big overwhelming mess, makes dealing with each phase as it comes up so much easier to manage.
Spend time alone
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take some time alone to catch your breath and absorb all the changes that the crisis has brought. By spending time on your own, you will slowly start to get to know the real you, the pre-crisis you again.
Don’t be afraid to let loved ones know when you need some time to yourself; they have your best interests at heart and will give you the space you need if you ask them to. Although spending time alone is an effective coping mechanism, be careful not to completely isolate yourself from others either.
Accept help
Recognise that you cannot do everything alone. The right people are placed in your life just when you need them – look out for them and gratefully accept the help they offer. Say YES to anything that will help you heal or that will take the pressure off you for a bit. Your awesome, incredible and very human self will thank you for it later!
Do something that brings you joy
When you are going through a crisis, it may seem like the LAST thing you should be doing is trying to find some joy. Give yourself permission to feel some happiness. Even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, then do it! Doing what gives you pleasure takes focus away from the negative “now”, and gives you a break from all the stresses of the crisis, boosting you up for any tough days ahead.
In order to emerge stronger from a personal crisis, you have to BELIEVE. Believe in the power of human resilience, and the generosity and kindness of mankind. Believe in your inner strength, but most of all, believe in yourself. If you use your emotions and circumstances to work for you, you will not only survive, but THRIVE!
© Ruth Hamilton 2016

TEL: Ruth 078 052 8878

Born to Shine Magazine