Having a personal crisis is just plain difficult. Regardless of the nature of the crisis that you find yourself in, here are some tips for how to keep moving through your days with the ability deal with the crisis and be of use to your family.
Take care of yourself
- Give up some things - When things were most crazy, I had to give myself permission to let go of some personal commitments that I am ordinarily deeply involved. I quit working in the nursery at church. I quit singing with the my church choir even though its one of my favorite things, it was just a time commitment that I couldn't fulfill. I also put away blogging for a while, simply because there wasn't room in my brain. I was reduced to the bare essentials. Picking them back up now that things have calmed is a joy.
- Pursue normalcy whenever possible - Whenever you can stick to your normal routines. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Eat right and exercise so that you don't get sick. Being sick is something that no one dealing with a crisis has time for. Going to work was the most normal thing that I did and because I was busy while I was there, it was in some ways a relief.
- Pamper yourself - When things are really nuts, that 30 minute pedicure or the 5 minutes at the drive through of Starbucks may be the only peaceful parts of your day. Enjoy them
- Set up communication routines - Because my dad's illness was our crisis, there were lots of people who love him dearly who wanted regular updates. In order to save myself from having to repeat myself so often, I created a communication routine so that everyone received the same information in an orderly fashion. For me, that meant that every day, I spent time writing a Facebook update. Those updates were a great way for me to process our circumstances but they also allowed me to share the latest news with all of the wonderful people who care for my family. It turned into the easiest way to get up to date information to everyone.
- When people ask how they can help, give them an answer! That was really hard because at first I couldn't think of anything.... but then the laundry started piling up and the $12-15 a day parking started cutting in to the budget. It's ok.... other people can cook meals and do laundry and help with gas costs.... only you and your family get to walk through the storm.
- Be with friends - Burdens are easier when they are shared and some folks can help you most by letting you talk.
- Cut yourself a break - Sometimes when you can't be everywhere and do everything. Don't waste time trying to justify the choices you are making. When dealing with a crisis, you can only do what seems right at time.
- Celebrate small victories - There is joy even in the difficult times and taking time to celebrate those small moments can really brighten an otherwise dark time.
- Seek the Lord - He hears us when we call out to him. His joy is our strength. His strength is perfect and His grace is sufficient. He heals broken hearts, He still does miracles and isn't surprised by anything.