Watching the news of Hurricane Dorian miss Puerto Rico and then-decimate the Bahamas has been heart breaking. Watching someone’s world fall apart is a terrible experience. It’s even more gut wrenching when it’s your own world and those of people you love. None of us will escape this. It’s an inevitable consequence of being human in a beautiful, but often dangerous and unstable world.
I remember a friend once describing it this way:
You're sitting at the stop light thinking you're on top of the world. Five minutes later, a simple phone call can change your world forever.
I’ve had this experience many times and every time is just as devastating. Knowing that I’ve gotten through hard times helps, but there are steps I now take that have gotten me to a better place faster. These are some of the steps, there is no order, but it’s help me find a method for the madness.
1. Remember to HALT: Hungry, angry,lonely, tired.
To prevent a crisis or help a crisis, I examine where I am in the present moment. If I’m hungry, I eat; if I’m angry, I cool down; if I’m alone, I find people; if I’m tired, I go to sleep.
2. Seek help.
If it’s a problem directly affecting you, seek professional help when you're able. If it’s someone else, don’t be afraid to seek help. If it’s a natural disaster, safety is your number one priority, everything else comes after.
3. Remember, baby steps.
Sometimes even getting up and getting dressed is hard, but do it. Go through your normal routine if you can as soon as you can. When you go through the motions, it helps you find a new normal.
4. Remember nothing lasts forever.
It will pass whatever it is and something good will come out of it.
5. Feel your feelings.
It’s okay to cry, to get angry, to be numb, and to be scared.
6. Feel the feelings, then go forward with a plan.
I feel it’s important to keep moving even if it’s something as simple as errands.
7. Don’t make a major decision after a crisis.
It’s best to put off all major decisions if possible.
8. Find a higher authority other than you:
God, Buddha, Mohammad, Jesus, anything other than your own wisdom at this time. It’s tough when life happens, but it happens and it’s always better to have a game plan than none at all.