Sh*t Storm: A seemingly endless series of unlucky events, or negative occurrences. [as defined by urbandictionary.com]
We’ve all been there. Nothing is going right. It’s one thing after another.
I’m not talking about having a bad day or dealing with Murphy’s Law or even throwing ourselves a pity party.
I’m talking about the kind of storm where there are one or more of those life altering type moments. It could be an illness or injury of yourself or a loved one, a death in the family, a layoff, or some other tragic event. The things that we have little or no control over.
The really BIG stuff.
Eventually, it stops. But the mess…the chaos…the rubble it leaves behind. It’s overwhelming. It can affect every part of your life: Your relationships, your sanity, your finances, your health, maybe even your soul.
How do you get back to normal? Or create a new normal?
Many times when this happens we just get numb or stuck on the fact that this was not part of our plans, or “Why me?”. Sometimes we create a loop in our minds of “If only….” or get ourselves worked into a state of denial.
We have to accept that even though we don’t want this, it is the new reality. We have to work without something we had or work around something we never wanted.
This is not easy. Especially if we did everything right and it was thrust upon us. It sucks. There may be crying, screaming, and stomping involved. And cussing. It isn’t called a Sh*t Storm for nothing.
It is, however, necessary to move on.
Even once we’ve accepted it, there can be so much chaos and discombobulation that it becomes difficult to find a starting point to start repairing our life.
Reinstitute a Beneficial Habit
Pick just one habit from pre- Sh*t Storm days that is comforting and will benefit you in one or more ways and signal to you that you are moving in a positive direction. It will give you a sense of control and purpose amid the mess. If you need to, start habit tracking so you make sure you do it.
The habit that I rely on is cooking dinner. Despite being busy, I have historically always gotten dinner on the table. When a storm hits, there is usually a lot of running around and disruption that often ends up on grabbing fast food or eating out to a large degree. Cooking brings back a sense of normalcy for me.
It also benefits me in a myriad of other ways and adds to my holistic health:
- The food I cook is tastier and healthier
- It is better for my budget
- It is a chore I find relaxing
- Some of my best memories are around the dinner table and I want to create more of them
- In my upbringing, cooking and feeding people is an expression of love and gratitude, and the act of making dinner brings me back to that
- It requires me to focus on something other than what is not working in my life
This particular example may not work for you. You may find you get similar benefits from exercising, cleaning, fixing things, or practicing a hobby. If you’re way down deep in it, you may have to start with something as simple as getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, and getting dressed.
Once you can manage that one habit, then add another one. And another. And another. And pretty soon your life will start coming back together.
Be patient with yourself. Nothing in this situation is a quick fix. It may take longer for you to be ok than you think.
Even once you are going through all the right motions, it still may take longer to get your emotions sorted out. There is no time table on this. If you have set backs, just start again. Forgive yourself when you falter.
Learn to Say No
Don’t take on more than you can handle, which may be less than before the storm. It may just be temporary or it could be forever. Learn to tell people that, no, you can’t take on another commitment at this time.
Learn to Say Yes
There will be people close to you who want to help.
Letting people help does not mean you are weak or less than or looking for charity. It means that there is someone there who cares enough about your wellbeing to be there for you. Accept the help with gratitude and get stronger so that one day you can pay it forward.That gratitude stuff that keeps getting preached...it's real. Click To Tweet
Find a Reason to Smile
Find something to be grateful for. Yep, that gratitude stuff that keeps getting preached…it’s real. There are blessings in your life if you look. The more light you put on them, the quicker the darkness goes away.
Go through them in your head at the end of your day. Make a list. Tell them to your friend or your dog or your cat. Say a prayer. Whatever works for you. Just find those reasons and give thanks.
Rely on Your Spiritual Connections
Whether you are religious or not… Whatever spiritual practices you employ…Whether you believe in God, Jesus, Allah, The Universal Life Force, Divine Energy, Ki, Chi, The Great Spirit, or a Higher Being…get back to your spiritual roots and find strength and healing there.
Chances are when the physical things of the storm are over, and even some of the emotional ones, there is often a spiritual crisis left over.
Sometimes we ignore or forget the spiritual portion of our lives but it is part of our holistic well-being. You need to take care of yourself mind, body, and soul. If one piece is missing, the other parts don’t hold up as well either.
Make a Goal
Making goals give you something to work for and keep you moving forward. A very basic goal could be to get up and concentrate on one day at a time. It could be coming back stronger from whatever set you back. It could be helping others through the same type of storm.
Your goal is personal, it should be what you want and not what others think it should be. It is ok to make a series of smaller, more doable goals than one big one.
Did you make your bed? *High Five* Did you get your to do list done? *Applause* Did you say no to the PTA request for help? *Cheers* Were you able to laugh today? *Big Hug*
Be proud of even the little things…they are your path back to normal. Whatever that means.
Last Thought – My Perspective
I have been through many more Sh*t Storms than I care to remember. There has always been a silver lining from the experience which may take a lot of time and perspective to uncover. That silver lining is knowledge and strength. I learn a lot from each experience because they are all a little different. I also become stronger because now I know that if I can get through that storm, I can get through the next one.
Your turn- What do you do to recover from a Sh*t Storm?