We all know what the “dark period” is – serious and prolonged troubles that occurred after unpleasant changes in life.
A loved one went to the hospital, you are experiencing a painful separation, lost your job or cannot find a new one, are faced with financial difficulties and so on.
Such a situation is continuous continuous stress. More often than not, we hear that we need to “get together and fight,” but this strategy works only for a short period of time – and forces run out for a long period of time and exhaustion sets in.
I tell you how to survive difficult times, taking care of yourself.
Accept that there will be less energy
And do not scold yourself for this. Any serious troubles cause prolonged stress, and this is a very energy-consuming condition for the body. Do not try to demand as much from yourself as you did in normal mode – it is better to reduce the number of cases, leaving only the most necessary.
Of course, the most difficult thing about this is not to perceive the breakdown as failure.
Society imposes on us that only effective, rational and super successful people can be “good”. And even if trouble happened, a person should “pull himself together” and “fight”, and not “slacken”.
But in reality it is impossible to accomplish this: if you broke up with a partner, fell ill, quit or faced another serious nuisance, you will still be sad and you will feel less energetic than before. It’s better to take this into account when planning your business.
Plan your vacation and leisure
Yes, they are required. Of course, leisure does not necessarily imply a noisy and fun pastime – it’s just about any kind of recreation and entertainment that you usually like, and those that you can now afford because of your moral, physical and financial condition.
Even if it’s just a chocolate bar and a cup of tea in a bed with a blanket. Or going to the movies. Or cooking and eating your favorite food for the series.
The secret is to plan them – write them down in a daily planner and lay them on a schedule. In stress, many of us are inclined to turn on the survival mode: load ourselves with deeds to the limit, try to immediately solve all problems.
But the idea of exhausting oneself with work in order to forget oneself is not as good as it seems. Unpleasant thoughts will still find a loophole, and they do it especially well at night, in silence, when there is no longer any resource for business – therefore, many who adhere to such tactics suffer from sleep disturbances.
You are not a robot and must regain strength. In addition, a relaxing holiday helps to better understand yourself and your feelings, and this is important for mental health. Especially in difficult times.
Do not be cruel to yourself
This means not pushing yourself to the limit with deeds, eating on time, not overdoing it with alcohol, cigarettes or junk food (because health problems haven’t made anyone else crisis easier), not locking yourself at home in isolation, but also not force yourself to go to all events in a row, just to “cheer up”.
Monitor health and strength, which in this state, as we have said, end much faster than usual.
Perhaps for some time you will not be the most reliable friend and business partner – but save yourself.
Not to be cruel to yourself yet – and this is very important – means not to listen to the inner critic when he says: “Let’s look at things soberly. Nobody wants to live with you because you … (you have a non-living character, you are not able to interest anyone, etc.)”
Or “The employer refused you because you are not capable of anything.” Or “If you are trying for the third time and nothing comes out, you must admit that this is not for you.”
What to oppose to this voice? Compassion for oneself and recognition of those feelings that lie behind him: anger, anger, disappointment, despair.
Undoubtedly, troubles cause a whole palette of negative emotions, and they can last quite a while.
Yes, lessons can and should be learned from any failure or crisis. But self-flagellation does not help.
Find someone to share experiences with
In difficult times, many people feel like “hiding in a hole”: sitting at home, trying to solve problems alone, minimally communicate with others and not tell anyone about their troubles. This is a natural reaction.
Firstly, there is a component of denial in it: until I tell anyone about unpleasant events, it would seem that they did not happen. Secondly, undoubtedly, not all people in a crisis situation are useful (the next point is about this). Thirdly, communication requires strength, and in a crisis they are very limited.
Still, sharing the difficulties with those who support us is very important.
This reduces stress, makes us feel that we are not alone and, in the end, helps to cope with a difficult period.
Try to talk about your difficulties with at least a few close people who are usually not inclined to criticize others and make harsh judgments. Perhaps you should warn them that you are experiencing difficulties, it is difficult for you to talk about them and you are waiting for support.
If there are no good friends left in your environment, your relatives are not ready to support you (and this happens), think about a little more distant acquaintances. It is important to get human support and to be listened to.
In an extreme case, the Internet can come to the rescue: closed groups, acquaintances who had similar troubles or thematic forums.
Just before you talk about your difficulties in a community, make sure that there are rules for environmentally friendly communication: the participants support each other, there is no victimization, no one is bullied or ridiculed, and no ratings are given.
Otherwise, you risk getting new wounds on top of the old ones.
Avoid people giving categorical recommendations
This paragraph primarily refers to those whose difficult situations can (or seem to be) influenced. Those who part with a partner or whose relationship is in crisis, those who emigrated or chose to stay, those who have difficulties at work and are dissatisfied with it, and so on.
At such a moment, many of us begin to be given advice: “Stay at your old job, you always have time to leave”, “Go to interviews outside working hours”, “Leave the country”, “Stay”, “Try to establish relationships”, “Do not let her more chances, nothing good will end ”.
However, even those whose difficult situation cannot be influenced in any way (for example, a loved one died) also manage to give recommendations: “Distract yourself from something”, “Cry less”, “Hand things out as soon as possible”.
Categorical recommendations and persistent advice during the period of hesitation is a clear evil.
Although, it would seem, why not listen to them, especially if they are given by an authoritative person for you who has taken place in this area — successful in work, happy in relationships, and so on?
But, firstly, someone else’s experience and someone else’s choice may not suit you. You don’t know, and you’ll probably never know at what price a colleague managed to save the marriage, what a friend who moved to another continent lost, and how successful a friend’s decision was to go to programmers by throwing translations from a foreign language.
Sometimes a person defends a decision that he made, not at all because it was so successful, but to prove to himself and others that it was his choice that was right. And even if he really considers this choice to be good, it is not a fact that your values coincide.
But most importantly – the more you doubt, the more you need people who do not give any advice at all.
Because now you need not someone’s leadership, but unconditional acceptance as a person.
Regardless of the decision that you make, you need people around you who will consider you good or good, expensive and valuable, no matter what happens to you and around. And the necessary solution in such conditions will sooner or later ripen by itself.
Try not to make “sudden movements”
Having experienced severe stress, we sometimes experience an irresistible desire to do something to rectify the situation. This is a natural reaction of the psyche.
Usually we try to do this in two ways: either return the situation at least some certainty – or, on the contrary, escape from it into some kind of brave new world (“I’ll leave and start a new life in a new place”).
Usually the consequences of rash decisions and the stress from them in the end are harder than what you experienced at first.
Therefore, if you left work and are looking for a new one, do not settle for the very first offer without going to a few more interviews. Avoid in a panic to decide to immediately return to the old one if there are no responses to your resume in the first week.
If you part with a partner, resist the desire to return everything after the first bout of acute anguish and do not rush to immediately start a new relationship.
Having experienced a bereavement, learning about a disease (your own or a loved one), think at least a month or two before you radically change your life: move, change your occupation and the like. Such an attempt to escape from a difficult situation and difficult feelings will be unproductive.
What to do instead? It is very useful to fix feelings on paper or give them a place in some other way: put sad songs that you associate with your situation, draw, dance.
It is not necessary to plunge into melancholy, fear or grief “to the fullest”, it is enough to give your heavy feelings a place and a short time – at least half an hour, even fifteen minutes.
It really heals a little and makes the situation bearable, unlike attempts to escape from it.