- Try not to make important decisions during a crisis
When we are in crisis our sense of judgment is often impaired. We tend to see things in black and white, and consequently may make poor decisions. It is important to keep in mind that crisis is a temporary state of affairs that will generally pass. Therefore try to put off making any major decisions until the crisis is over, when you will be able to think things through more clearly and in a more balanced manner. When in doubt about what to do, consult someone whose judgment you trust.
2. Do not take on additional responsibilities
It is typical during a crisis to feel enormously strained and experience difficulty functioning in our daily lives. Try to avoid taking on any extra responsibilities that may cause more stress. This is the time take good care of yourself and your loved ones.
3. Do not pressure yourselves to meet others’ expectations
Do not be overly hard on yourself and try to live up to others’ expectations as to how they think you should be reacting. Crisis is a normal reaction to painful circumstances, and sometimes it takes some time for the heightened feelings to pass. Some people take longer than others to recover from crisis. Be patient with yourself. It may take more time for things to improve than you expected, or than those around you expected.
4. Share with those you are close to
Sharing with people who are close to us opens up a channel for support. The effect that receiving support from loved ones has on us is inestimable. Sometimes it is enough for a friend to just listen to us to make things better. Talking with someone can be enormously helpful and may provide a welcome outlet for our deepest, innermost thoughts and feelings. It may allow us to discover how others care for us. We may find that we are not alone, and that our friend or relative has gone through similar experiences. During a crisis people often withdraw from social contacts and wish to be left alone, but this is rarely beneficial. If you are feeling down try to spend time around people with whom you are comfortable.
5. Maintain routine
Returning to your regular routine usually is very beneficial, and enables you to regain a sense of control over your life, organize your thoughts and regain your strength.
You might wish to try some relaxation exercises that will help you feel calmer and allow you to feel more in control of your feelings.
7. Learn from your own experiences
Remember how you have handled crises in the past. What did you find helpful? Remember that during a crisis thinking can be clouded and we may find it hard to recall when times were once good, or imagine that at a time in the future things will be good again. We have to remind ourselves that we have what it takes to cope with difficult situations, that there are positive aspects to our lives and that others do care about us.
8. Focus on what helps you
Find out what it is that works for you and that makes you feel good and do it as much as you can. Learn to release both tension and your emotions in a constructive way. Do things that you enjoy like sports, hiking, walking, having coffee with a friend, cooking, watching funny movies etc. Many people find it helpful to express themselves through writing in a journal or diary. This helps them clarify things for themselves and explore how they truly feel.
9. Seek professional help
If you find that you are having a hard time coping with the situation, or that the situation is not getting better on its own, consider reaching out for professional help. Sometimes a crisis is just too large for us to handle on our own. In some instances, a crisis can trigger a mental illness that had been dormant. In such cases, professional intervention can be enormously helpful. There are many centers staffed by trained experts in the field who are there to help you, in addition to free mental health services offered by all health care providers in Israel. Reach out if you feel the need to seek professional help.