Table of contents:
- How to take care of yourself in times of crisis, when both time and other resources are scarce?
- Rule 1. Lower the bar
- Rule 2. We prioritize
- Rule 3. Optimize the load
- Rule 4. We say "stop" self-flagellation (and other "subversive" activities)
- Rule 5. More strokes
- Rule 6. Seeking help
- Rule 7. Ambulance yourself
Video: Taking Care Of Yourself In Times Of Crisis. 7 Effective Techniques - Self-development
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 20:18
How to take care of yourself in times of crisis, when both time and other resources are scarce?
There are periods in our life when everything changes dramatically. This can happen due to our choices, for example, having a baby, moving or changing a field of activity. Or it can happen against our wishes (illness, death of a loved one, divorce or accident). In any case, at the moment of a crisis, life presents us with tasks that we are not yet ready to easily solve. These tasks require us to restructure, change our ideas about ourselves and the world. And there is usually no textbook at the end with the correct answers at hand.
If you suddenly find yourself in a hole, the
first thing to do is to stop digging.
Over the years of psychotherapeutic practice, I have formulated seven rules that help "stay on your side" and pass the crisis stage as carefully as possible.
Rule 1. Lower the bar
There is nothing worse in a crisis than perfectionism. Demanding high results from oneself at the time of restructuring often leads to nervous breakdowns.
What do you need? Accept the idea that in times of crisis we are simply not able to do everything at the same level. It is very strange to demand records from an athlete with a broken leg. But in life we do it all the time. It is imperative to bring your level of expectations to reality.
The "permission to be imperfect" technique
Perfectionism is quite difficult to cope with on your own, as from the point of view of internal logic, this strategy seems to be correct (although in fact it often depletes than allows you to achieve success). Affirmations help to "bypass" the internal logic. As often as possible, say to yourself the phrase “Now I allow myself to be imperfect. I will do everything to the best of my ability, as I can. The main thing is to do at least something, at least a part."
Rule 2. We prioritize
At a time of crisis, we easily lose our bearings - what is important for us now and what is not. We can desperately cling to the preservation of the old way of life or, conversely, try to very quickly become someone else. As a result, we dissipate forces, which are already few in number.
Technique "one week - one priority"
Ask yourself, "What will be the most important things to me this week?" For example, if you have just had a baby, it may look like this: this week is to work out feeding (the baby and yourself), the next week is to deal with hygiene procedures, the third is to establish the daily routine. If you are experiencing a move or a job change, then the priority of the first week may be to get some information, then to define clear rules of behavior for yourself (what is possible, what is not), etc.
Rule 3. Optimize the load
Usually our life consists of many things. Moreover, they “come” to our diary for various reasons. These can be things that are really necessary and / or bring pleasure or benefit. But also there you can find tasks that someone has handed over to us or we perform them out of habit, out of guilt, or to keep ourselves busy. So, at the time of the crisis, resources may not be enough for the second category. But if they are still on your list, you run the risk of constantly finding yourself in a situation "I can't do everything that I planned". And there it is not far from self-condemnation and self-criticism (more on that below). Therefore, your to do list also needs to be revised.
Crisis case analysis technique
Make a list of all the things that you are currently doing / planned to do in the coming week. And then categorize them into two categories:
- 1st category - things that are vital to do (your well-being really depends on this);
- 2nd category - things that need to be done based not on real necessity, but on some internal rules (to be “good”, “correct”, because they asked someone to be happy with you, etc.)).
I recommend deleting cases from the second category from your list for a while. For example, it may be vital for a novice mother to feed her baby, ensure her hygiene and sleep patterns, and provide herself with a normal psychological state. At the same time, a lot of other things that are considered "correct" by relatives and society (sanitizing the apartment twice a day, dinners for the whole family from three dishes, daily long walks) are completely unnecessary, but take a lot of energy, literally exhausting.
Rule 4. We say "stop" self-flagellation (and other "subversive" activities)
In times of crisis, our Inner Critic is especially active. This is due to the feeling of instability and the fact that we really may not know how to act correctly in new situations, we do not always behave rationally (which immediately becomes a reason for self-condemnation). It is impossible to become a parent in one day, but we can constantly "spread rot" to ourselves for imperfect parental behavior. Situations of a break in relations, as a rule, cause constant self-reflection on the topic "where did I make a mistake." We can also feel guilt after the death of a loved one, to which we had no direct relationship.
Not now technique
Observe yourself and every time your Critic begins his speech, tell him in response: “Not now. I'll think about it another time. " Repeat this phrase like a worn-out record as many times as necessary.
If Criticism does not stop this and you feel that your mood is deteriorating, use the "five sounds" technique - it helps to completely stop the inner voice. To do this, say "stop" to yourself and listen. Your task is to find in the outside world and identify five sounds. While listening, your mind will be cleared of critical thoughts. If you are in a place with a lot of sound load, find not five, but seven or 10 sounds.
Rule 5. More strokes
In times of crisis, we especially need internal support. Because the sense of identity is lost (we no longer understand who we are) and the sense of well-being is usually undermined. And we can strengthen the internal support during this period either through past experience (but it may not be in relation to a specific crisis, many things in life happen for the first time), or through stroking.
Planned stroking technique
At the end of each day, take 5-10 minutes to create a stroking plan for tomorrow. It can be anything: say pleasant words to yourself (or remember pleasant events in life), see your favorite photos, eat something tasty, read / watch / listen to what is interesting. The main thing is that there are at least five points. Prepare a list and go to bed with anticipation. And the next day, be sure to implement this plan.
Rule 6. Seeking help
Do you know how to ask for help? Are you doing this? In my work, I often come across internal prohibitions that relate to this topic (“you don’t need to strain people,” “you have to cope on your own,” “no one cares about you,” “if you ask for help, they will think that you are weak”, etc..). These rules do double damage at once: firstly, they do not allow us to ask for help from those who can help (has the resources), and secondly, they deprive our loved ones of the opportunity to feel significant and needed (after all, when we help, we feel our value).
The help that is real technique
This technique has two options, depending on the starting point.
Option 1. Make a list of people you think are close enough, those who, in your opinion, will agree to help you with something. And next to each name, write what you could ask her / him for. Only as clear and specific as possible. Not “helping with the child,” but “sitting with the child for two hours on Saturday while I …”, not “supporting me,” but “listening to my fears about the move and saying what it looks like from the outside,” etc. The clearer and clearer the request, the easier it is for a person to respond to it.
Option 2. Make a list of what you are missing now (what you need help with). This can be free time, information, feedback about doubts, etc. And opposite each item, write who could help you with this. Then - there is little to do: really ask for help. Yes, you may be refused. But without asking, you are not giving yourself a chance to check it out.
Rule 7. Ambulance yourself
In a crisis, there are times when emotions roll over and it seems that everything is bad and hopeless. It is very important to be able to provide yourself with emergency psychological assistance.
Harry Truman (President of the United States in 1945-1953) was once asked by the media representatives: "How do you manage to maintain mental balance with excessive psycho-emotional stress?" In response, he admitted that he had created an “anti-stress shelter” in his head, where he periodically mentally retires to rest and restore mental strength. I suggest doing the same.
Mental Shelter Technique
Retire for a few minutes, close your eyes, take a deep breath in and out. In your imagination, "build" a small cozy room for yourself. Hang your favorite pictures there, paint the walls in colors you like. Decorate the room however you like. Place your favorite recliner there. Or other furniture. A beautiful landscape is visible through a small window; for example, a sea beach on which slow waves roll, or a forest, mountains.
Build this room in your imagination as carefully as possible, pay attention to every detail, to every little thing.
Every time you begin to feel a growing inner tension, retreat for a short time to your "resting place." Tell yourself, “I need to get some rest. I go to my quiet room. I'm already in it. " Imagine yourself sitting in a comfortable chair, completely relaxed. In this room you are completely safe, nothing can disturb you; there are no worries, they remained outside the threshold. There is no need to make decisions, to rush somewhere, to worry about something. This place belongs only to you, and you can always be there.