Life is going along fine. You have a new car, a great job, a new condo, and someone to share life with. Then BAM! It happens. Something unexpected hits your life. Maybe it’s a loved one receiving a terminal disease diagnosis, maybe it’s a job layoff, an incurable illness, job loss, transportation loss, or COVID-19 or something else. In the midst of it all, the concern is how to get through. How to cope in a crisis?
In this post, we’ll consider some ways to cope in a crisis.
–How much of a crisis is it?
–Basic steps to keep your sanity
–Who can help?
How Much of a Crisis is it?
Big or small, a crisis still can turn everything upside down. A small crisis might be accidentally leaving your credit card or debit card at home when you go to the store, leaving you without enough cash to pay for your items. That leaves you putting the items back and exiting the store without them.
But a big crisis, oh, that can flip things upside down and keep them there for much longer, maybe even years! The big crises often have far greater consequences. For instance, a big crisis might be losing your job and being unable to make car payments or get your rent or mortgage paid on time. That can have an effect like a snowball rolling down the hill. A job loss can start the lack of income snowball which gains momentum as the bills roll in and the amounts due grow bigger by the second. That can keep you from paying bills on time or at all, purchasing groceries needed, buying baby food or other necessities, and ultimately impacting your credit score. It may even cause a foreclosure or eviction unless another job can be found quickly. If the economy is bad, that also makes it less likely to get a job quickly. Now that’s a big crisis!
Basic Steps to Cope
A crisis can test the best of us and make it difficult to think clearly. We go into survival mode.
1. The only true help I have found starts with my relationship with Jesus. What does that do? Well, He’s always with me and can give me peace, strength, and ideas that I may never have otherwise. Read more about having a relationship with Jesus here.
2. Prayer. This step is simply talking to God. It helps us get the issue off of our chests when we tell Him about our problems and ask Him to help us. That’s what He wants us to do. He’s a good Father who wants to help us, so He’s waiting on us to share what we’re dealing with even though He already knows about it. Here’s the thing, He’s a gentleman, so He waits for us to ask for His help.
3. Stay calm. Without Jesus, we can’t experience His kind of deep, unexplainable peace. It’s amazing! We can be in the worst storms of life and still have His peace that allows us to lie down and have sweet sleep at night. I never had that without Jesus! Have you ever experienced that kind of peace?
4. Trust God. So if we know Him and we ask for His help, the next step is to trust Him to help us. He promises in the Bible that He will supply our needs. Philippians 4:19, in the New King James Translation of the Bible on Bible Gateway, says this, 19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
5. Learn all you can. Sometimes we create a crisis because of our poor choices. So if you’re in a financial crisis, consider what happened to lead up to that crisis. Was there anything you could have done differently? Is there something that you need to learn or to educate yourself on so a similar situation won’t catch you off-guard again in the future? Get advice from seasoned experts who truly have your best interest at heart. If something doesn’t sound quite right, be quick to get a second opinion.
Other times, situations may be out of our control. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic hit suddenly causing healthcare officials to call for a nationwide shutdown and stop the normal we once knew. Still, learn all you can and seek the help and support of others.
6. Go for walks. A quiet walk is a great way to clear your mind. I say quietly because chatting on the phone, listening to a program or a training definitely will not have the same calming effect on your body soul and spirit as absolute peace and quiet. Being quiet gives your mind a chance to detox.
7. Be still. Make time to sit still with pen and paper to let your mind process what’s happening and to come up with possible solutions. Running around in a state of constant motion or confusion will not be helpful. In fact, it will likely add to the stress of the crisis.
8. Reach out to others for help. If you ever think you don’t need help or if you feel like you can’t ask for help, then when you’re in a major crisis you’ll need to swallow your pride and ask for the help you need. Having worked with many homeless and near-homeless individuals, it always surprised me to hear some of them say that they didn’t need anyone else’s help. Really??? We can all use help at times. Those were typically the individuals who did not move forward to transition out of homelessness and rebuild their lives. So, by all means, ask for help’ but also do your part to move forward.
Who Can Help?
Sometimes a relative or friend can be of support when you’re in a crisis, but at times it can take more than that. The bigger the crisis, the more help you might need from different people or professionals. For instance, if the type of dilemma you are in is financial, then seek help from financial experts at your local bank, consumer credit counseling, accountant, or other sources. If it’s a physical situation, then connect with your primary care physician to get a referral to the appropriate specialist. When the crisis has triggered something emotionally, be open to talking with a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), someone at the mental health crisis line, or your pastor to support you and help you begin to process the dilemma. If your budget is limited and there’s a United Way in your area, try contacting them or calling their 211 Helpline to get help from community agencies. Individuals who have survived hurricanes and tornadoes often may need assistance from all of the groups mentioned above and more. Again, it depends on how much of a crisis exists.
We’ve looked at identifying the size of the crisis, the coping steps to take, and who can help during a crisis. I hope that my suggestions are of help to you. I have used what I’ve shared and used these tips to help others cope with their crisis situations. I would love to hear how you have coped in a crisis, whether large or small. Please share that in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to respond. Thank you for your time.
Your Rebuilding Lives Coach,