Life is full of surprises. There are times when situations overwhelm you and you feel you can’t take any more, and then suddenly you’re pleasantly surprised in the form of relief.
That is the break that sometimes keeps us from breaking apart.
At other times things just keep falling apart all around you while all you can do is helplessly look on, wondering what to do and what not to do.
What do you do at times like these? How do you keep it together when things all around you are falling apart?
Books, friends, family and personal experiences have taught us enough ways and means to cope up, but sometimes you need a neutral person to share their experiences to either give you new insight or just to give you an assurance that you’re handling yourself well, when a crisis is threatening to topple you over.
These are my 10 Hacks that work. Click To Tweet
Some from the arsenal of my personal cope up mechanisms, while others that have been shared by people I have seen using and benefitting from them.
Take a shower, wear comfortable clothes: You are wondering if you read right? Am I joking, is the question on your mind at this first hack? Let me assure you that I am not. Bathing is a soothing activity and associated with feeling fresh and starting anew, which is why most of us bathe each morning, before we start our day. Bathing works on a subconscious level where it washes away all that was accumulated and helps us start afresh. Have a hot shower, shave if you’re a man, and wear your ‘comfort clothes’ and you will notice you begin to feel better.
Keep yourself Nourished and Hydrated: Anxiety robs you off your appetite and food is usually the last thing on your mind when you are worried. And if you do eat in stressful times you tend to reach out for junk food and sugary treats. This choice is what gives you instant gratification, and as that wears off it increases your anxiety. Try and eat at fixed meal times and choose healthy food. Keep sipping on plain water through the day. When you keep yourself nourished and hydrated you feel better, and when you feel better you can think clearer.
Maintain a routine: One of the first thing that tends to go haywire in times of stress is your routine. Sleepless nights mean drowsy days. Lack of proper sleep means fuzzy brains, which leads to attention and tolerance levels that dip dangerously low. All this adds up to make you feel worse than you already do. Maintain a routine. Lie down in bed at bedtime. If you can’t sleep, read a book. Set an alarm that would ring to wake you up at your usual time. A routine gives you a sense of control and maintains a sense of balance, and control and balance are good companions to have in a time of crisis.
Keep your circle small: The more people you discuss your problem with the more you magnify it. Talking to different people means listening to varied advice from different sources, which just serves to makes you even more confused and vulnerable than you already feel in a difficult time. Speak to the least number of people, and only people whom you can trust. People who know you well, who understand you, and who will tell you what you need to know and not what you want to hear.
Write it all down: Writing down things puts them in better perspective. Make a list of all your blessings in life and you will slowly begin to realise that at any given time you have a lot more than you think you do. The other thing to do is, write down how the current impossible situation in your life is making you feel, be brutally honest when you pen down your feelings. When done, rip the paper to shreds. This exercise serves to make you feel powerful, that you are bigger than your problems and you should control them instead of letting them control you.
Give yourself a stress corner and stress hour: Thinking about the problem every waking moment does not help. Chalk out a stress time each day, for instance by giving yourself an hour to think about what steps to take towards solving it. Similarly, mark out a place at work or home, which should be the only place you are allowed to think about it. This may not seem easy to do, but it is not an impossible task either. As once you manage to do so all other hours of your day and areas of your living and work environment become stress free zones.
Change of scene, divert your mind: Watch a movie, or a play. Go for a night out with friends or do something new and fun. Try a new activity that you’ve always wanted to. Enroll in a hobby course, something that would keep your hands busy and mind concentrating on it, like Quilling or Wood work to give an example. Creating something is a confidence booster and apart from upping your confidence, you’re learning a new skill.
Breathe: When you concentrate and take deep breaths they supply oxygen to your brain, and oxygenation of the brain reduces anxiety levels. Deep breathing also calms you down and relieves tension. Regular deep breathing also helps you sleep. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, breathe.
Remind yourself you are a survivor: We’ve all been through situations we thought we would never face. We’ve all survived what we thought would take us down. It may have been a very difficult time, or times, but we survived them, didn’t we? What makes you think you won’t surpass this one too? You can and you will, chin up!
Walk away, if you can’t salvage it: If after doing your best and trying everything you can there still seems to be no end in sight or no way to salvage the situation, then it is wise to walk away. Remember, walking away is not always a sign of weakness but when done wisely it is a sign of strength.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educative purposes only. This is not medical, legal or other professional advice. Please read and/or use any of this information at your own risk.