Family Ties, Intimacy, Medical Issues, Mental Health, Relationships, Saying Goodbye, Therapy, Toolkit

Holding it Together When Everything is Falling Apart

Real life includes stress. Sometimes that stress can feel like your entire world is caving in. Divorce, illness or death, job loss, financial problems, heartbreak – these are some examples of circumstances that can make you feel completely overwhelmed and at a loss for how to cope. You may question whether or not you can even make it through.

Here are some tips to hold onto your sanity during overwhelming circumstances:

  • Go ahead and cry. When things are falling apart, you may be feeling pain on every level. If you are sad or scared or worried and feel like crying, go ahead.
  • Call in your support system. Are there friends or family you can talk to and confide in? There is no shame in seeking emotional support when you need it. If you don’t have a support system to lean on, take advantage of community resources like support groups, or make an appointment with a counselor to assist you through this time.
  • Care for your body and spirit with special attention and gentleness in this time of stress. Eat healthy, stay hydrated. Get enough sleep. Start or end every day with a short time of silence: Get up a half hour earlier to make time for it, if you have to. Take a walk, meditate, listen to music, or just rest quietly as you gather your thoughts.  Allow yourself to be aware of thoughts, fears, anger that come up. Notice each passing thought or feeling – then do your best to release them and center yourself.
  • It may feel like a lot in your life is out of control. Take a minute to consider what might be still in your control. If you have lost your job, for example, you can spruce up your resume and set a goal of making contact with ten potential employers a week. If your home is in foreclosure, work with your mortgage company and explore your options for housing. If your relationship has broken apart, reach out to others and redefine who you are. It’s important to allow yourself time to grieve, regroup, and heal. It’s also important to take steps forward – even baby steps.
  • Remember who you are. When your life falls apart, it can feel like you have lost yourself. We each have core strengths that define who we are and how we embrace life. What are your gifts, talents, skills and unique ways of being? How has your tenacity, creativity, sense of humor, resourcefulness supported you over the years? Remember, all of those qualities are still there. You are still you.

As you move toward healing, you will probably find that you can give thanks, also, for the life lessons that come with times of struggle. Sometimes life lessons come at great cost, but you can come out of this situation on the other side, intact and healthy.

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