- I Am a Quaker.
In Case of Emergency
Please Be Quiet.
Here's what we know about crisis:
- Crisis throws your normal way of doing things up in the air.
- Crisis can bring panic.
- Crisis interrupts what you know about your life or yourself and makes you scramble to figure out what to do next.
- You feel out of control in a crisis.
- It's hard to see clearly in a crisis.
- Emotions are very loud in a crisis, and problem-solving (which comes more from the rational parts of our brains) has trouble being heard.
- Crisis often involves others as well as you, so you are dealing with the chaotic feelings and fears of many people--not just your own.
- Our sense of "shoulds" can get stirred up in a crisis ("I should be handling this better," or "I shouldn't cry," or "My dad would have known what to do about this--but I don't.")
- you get married
- you find that job you've been looking for
- you have a baby
- you start training for a new position
- you buy a great new house
- you take a major step toward a new dream
Some situations resolve all on their own--you get used to the new job, you fall in love with your baby, your dream gains momentum and you feel more confident about it. In those situations, some simple techniques can help us support ourselves while crisis situations are working themselves out:
- take three deep breaths and exhale completely;
- say a favorite prayer or mantra;
- focus your eyes intentionally on one beautiful thing and really feel it;
- use an old EMDR trick to look straight ahead and then move your eyes first as far left as you can and then far right. Doing this a few times gets each side of your brain talking to the other, which increases oxygen and helps you feel more able to problem solve;
- recount the facts of the situation to yourself or others. This anchors the situation to what's really happening and turns down the volume on the fears, anxieties, and "what ifs";
- begin naming everything you can think of to be grateful for. I know this one sounds difficult, especially if there's a lot of upset in the situation, but I'm convinced that there is always something to be grateful for--even if it's only that you don't have to face the circumstance alone (which is a major blessing).
Many blessings--beauty, joy, peace, and light--right where you are today!