We will all encounter times in our lives when it feels like everything comes crumbling down around us. Recently, emotions have run high as many of us have been torn apart due to politics and fears of an unknown future.
Whether it’s due to a political scenario, natural disaster, or personal crisis, I’d like to offer my advice on what to do if your world feels… well, apocalyptic. If you feel like the sun might not rise tomorrow, please consider these three things.
1. Turn inward towards your own immediate needs first.
As the saying goes, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else – the oxygen mask scenario. If you find yourself in an unsafe or unstable situation, take action to get yourself somewhere safe. If you need to stop and grieve, do so. If you want to feel anger and despair, do so – don’t let it bottle up inside, vent it constructively (and probably privately, in a safe container). Any and all emotions you are feeling right now are valid and OK. They’ll probably come in waves; when it comes to situations like these, nothing is linear (such as the 5 stages of grief). And, ask for help. Look for allies – they might be in surprising places. You’re not alone.
2. Then ask, what requires your attention the most.
Once you have found yourself on stable footing – even if momentary – and you can find some inner calm, ask yourself, what requires your attention the most right now. This is difficult, but if things have gone sour, you can’t fix everything and you can’t help everybody. Thus, where do you need to focus. For example, is that focus need to be on your children, in your local community, supporting a specific organization or group? The worse that things are, the more than we have to come together to make it better.
3. Lastly, decide what is the best use of your resources.
Last but not least, when it comes time to take action, consider how best to utilize your resources. In most cases, this is time vs money (which do you have an abundance/surplus of), but also, consider other resources – for example, if you have a blog following or a platform, how will you use that? Do you have technical skills that are useful, or just practical things like you have a car and can drive people who need helped? Of course, don’t forget #1 – make sure you are ensuring that you are safe and being taken care of so you can show up fully to help where you feel called.
In closing, I leave you with a message I included in a recent edition of our weekly newsletter. When it feels like you can’t go any further, when the cards are stacked against you, when it is very likely that the sun might not come back up tomorrow – ask yourself this question: What do I know for sure? Write about it in your journal. Explore it deeply. The answers you are seeking are in here.