“There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” — Henry Kissinger.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit our shores, we’ve had to change in many ways. As a result, social unrest has erupted all over the world. Living in these hard times is hard enough without having to deal with a personal crisis.
So, how does someone deal with their problems when the whole world is changing?
Here’s what happened to me.
About a year ago, I quit my day job to deal with my mental health problems and how they were affecting my life more and more. Since I can remember, I’ve had trouble with self-worth, how I look, and wanting everyone to like me. I would later be told I had Major Depressive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Cluster B Personality Disorder.
Because of my disabilities, I made up a character of who I wanted to be. I told myself that the character would hide my insecurities and make me feel more confident. Instead, it got out of hand as the line between reality and fiction got blurry. I had a complete mental breakdown a week before the news started to talk about me.
I was called a con artist and called a liar. To make matters worse, no one wanted to hear my side of the story.
I already had the skills I needed to be successful in my job, and I used those skills to get a lot done. But as my character’s mask fell, the news and the public started to question my skills and achievements.
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Along with my mental health getting worse, I had to deal with a number of personal tragedies, such as being forced out of my home because of increasing public harassment, my mother’s death, my father’s decision to leave the family in search of a new partner, and the theft of everything I had ever owned.
I thought I was worthless and thought about killing myself every day. I worried about my wife’s health while I was in and out of the hospital and she was dealing with a media storm. The unflattering and incomplete story written about me made me worry that my first child, who was just born, would be bullied soon. I was very lonely and depressed because I had spent so much time building business connections instead of making and keeping personal connections. And I didn’t have a strong support system.
It was hard to decide to live. I’m still having trouble. And while I may not be thriving, I am getting by and putting myself back together. I couldn’t have predicted that a year ago.
Through trial and error, I’ve picked up six habits that help me stay strong. When done every day, they will help you get through a hard time in your life.
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Embrace the moment
You’re in the place you are. Seems a bit obvious, doesn’t it? Even a little bit patronizing. The fact that it’s true doesn’t change. We worry about the past and the future so much in our daily struggles that being in the present feels like a luxury. But it’s not a nice thing to do; it’s a duty.
If you can’t take responsibility for where you are now, it will be hard to move forward. No matter how good or bad, big or small, the choices you made led you to where you are now. You can’t go back in time, and you don’t have much say over what will happen tomorrow. You can only control what you do right now.
Radical acceptance is based on the idea that a person’s suffering is directly linked to how much they want to feel pain. When you stop thinking about the past and putting your fears into the future, you can start to heal. If you can’t take care of yourself in real time, you’re no good to anyone, least of all yourself.
Every morning when I wake up, I feel scared because I start to think about bad things that happened in the past and what that means for my future. I don’t waste any time putting an end to this. The thoughts just keep coming back. Our brains are set up to work against us.
If you think your past will decide what happens next, it will. If you accept where you are, on the other hand, you turn off the mechanism.
Reset your system
I take a cold shower every morning. Why? It gives my nervous system a shock and wakes me up. This trains my brain to turn on without much effort.
When you’re going through a hard time, everything can seem like a challenge. Facing a problem can be so scary that even small tasks that have nothing to do with the problem can be too much. You can waste time very quickly.
By putting your body through something extreme on purpose, you can drown out negative feelings. The focus shifts to what you are doing right now, which gives your crazy thoughts a new way to make sense. This lets you find the motivation you need to keep going.
Resetting your system is a must if you want to stop putting things off. Getting my mind and body out of their comfort zones has done great things for me.
Elevate your heart rate
Getting your heart to beat faster helps move oxygenated blood more efficiently through your body. Over time, it increases your stamina, which is basically all of your energy. With a longer life, your body is better able to use the fuel it takes in, which makes you stronger and smarter. In other words, getting your heart rate up makes your mind work better.
One of the fastest ways to do this is to do fast cardio, like doing a bunch of burpees, going for a run, or swimming. There is no link between the level of effort and the result. For our purpose, it doesn’t matter if your heart rate goes up quickly in 5 minutes or slowly over an hour.
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In a crisis, it might seem silly to be grateful for anything, but if you stay open to gratitude, you’ll see things more clearly. This will help you think more clearly about where you are right now.
During a hard day, I might need to look at something to help me. Sometimes it takes me a while to notice one act of appreciation after another until I can finally change my biting point of view to a benign one. The more I give, the more I get, which makes my point clearer.
Create a routine
When you’re in a crisis, it’s easy to throw rules out the window so you can take care of what needs to be done right away. Instead of giving up on your roots, think of new ways to stay consistent. You can balance out the crisis by setting up a daily routine.
I don’t mean simple things like brushing your teeth or taking your medicine. Setting up activities that let you express yourself in a positive way is part of the routine I’m writing about. Taking time to feed your soul during a crisis is very important to your recovery. My habits make me feel at ease and boost my mood. I give each of them time every day.
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It’s easy to see yourself and others as the bad guys. Don’t. You will feel full of anger, and that anger will drain you dry.
Instead, think about what you can do without getting sidetracked. Everyone deserves better. You might have to forgive yourself and others more than once a day. I’ve noticed that the more you do something, the less you have to do it and the easier it gets.
Life was made to be confusing. So, hang in. Even though you can’t see it now, you’ll get through this. You’ll come out of it a little stronger and smarter.