The importance of embracing life’s beautiful moments and periods of calm became even more appreciated recently. The last few weeks have been tough ones. Right after some wonderful, relaxing vacation time, my mom took a bad fall, ended up in the hospital for a week, and is now home. As you might imagine, when there’s an accident, family emergency or other unexpected crisis, everything changes…at least for a time.
It’s not that we’re completely out of the emergency state, but that high alert, going-to-the-hospital-every-day part has ended. Now we’re in the emergency aftermath and navigating the necessary changes. During the high alert stage, there were a few things that helped.
Not that I’m wishing emergencies on any of you, but if you do find yourself in a challenging situation, maybe one of these success tips will help you. I’m also guessing that you might have one or two of your own to add, so please do.
5 Proven Success Tips for Life’s Emergencies
1. Let Go – Remove all the non-essentails. Are there deadlines that can be shifted? Are there appointments that can be rescheduled? Are there goals you wanted to accomplish, but are unnecessary right now? What can you let go of to simplify the demands on your time right now? You’ll need extra thinking power, strength and energy to focus on the emergency situation.
2. Breathe – There will be many questions and decisions to make. Some will need to be made fast. Others are better made more slowly. Emergencies get our adrenaline pumping. If your heart is racing and you’re feeling panicked just pause. Take some long, deep breaths. Let the oxygen flow to your brain. Calm your system. Your mind will be more available to make better, calmer decisions.
3. Connect – You are not alone. Having the love, support, and care from family, friends and professionals will hold you up when you are in crisis. The Westchester Medical Center staff was amazing. They took excellent care of my mother, but also showed care and concern for the family. And I don’t know what I would have done without the loving support of my family and friends. Their loving messages, calls, and care packages made all the difference.
4. Return – While emergencies require more of our time and energy, it’s absolutely critical that we activate the basics like sleeping, hydrating, eating, and getting fresh air. Hospitals can easily bring out the worst in us with the harsh lighting and our tendency to pump ourselves with large amounts of caffeine and sweets. However, if you can take some fresh air breaks, eat healthy meals, drink extra water, and minimize the sweets, your body and mind will thank you. You’re under more stress than normal so make sure to “feed” yourself in positive ways.
5. Laugh – Even in the darkness of crisis, there is light and humor. Laughter can work it’s magic. It can lift your spirits and those around you to create a positive, healing mood. Even during some very difficult days, there were moments of laughter and singing with my mom. I treasured and embraced those. They helped sustain me through the rougher periods.
There were other things that helped during this time too, like having a chart of my mom’s medications and health history, and doing a few “normal” activities. The stress wasn’t eliminated completely, but each of these strategies helped me cope better with what was happening.
And lastly, the thing that helped me the most was taking one day and one decision at a time. I tried not to project too far ahead. Especially when there is an emergency, the situation is constantly shifting. Remaining flexible with choices and options really helped.
What success strategies have worked for you during emergencies? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation.