We all have a favorite ways of coping when things get tough: denial, addictions, organizing, depression. Here’s another to put in your tool box.
1) Look carefully at the problem. Notice how really, really bad it is. Identify every issue that you have no idea what to do with. This is important for stage 2 and stage 6.
2) Feel sorry for yourself. It is a big problem. You have no clue what to do. You don’t deserve this. But you only get 20 seconds.* Set a timer if you have to.
3) Gather information. Somebody somewhere has been through the same thing. Or something similar. And they have probably written a book about it or a blog.
4) Identify who can help you. ASK THEM to help you.
5) Get to work. Rest up when you need to. Repeat.
6) Recognize when you have made it through to the other side. Congratulate yourself on making it through such a big bad thing. You are awesome! [High five]
* I seem to get stuck here. You may get stuck in different places, but if you are like me and get stuck in the self-pity party, here are a couple of tips to break out:
1) Envision someone you know who has gone through something similar but worse. For example, my grandmother was a single parent during the depression.
2) Think of someone who has been through horrible circumstances and has emerged as a beacon to others. Persons that particularly inspire me are Nelson Mandela, Corrie TenBoom, a patient I had years ago who, with her husband raised 18 children on a coal miner’s salary.
3) Think about what the benefits are to the people you love.
There you go. Up and at ’em.