Your heart drops, you feel a little faint and the world seems to pause for a moment as you try to catch your breath.
A life crisis has just shaken your life.
Death, divorce, unemployment, a negative medical diagnosis are some of the life experiences that change your life in an instant. The change can leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused.
A former client explained her transformative life moment. “One evening as I was leaving the office to go home, I got the call that my mother had just passed away after a long illness,” She tearfully recalled, “I wondered, what will Dad do? How will he make it? What about the rest of the family?” She went on to explain a similar feeling of overwhelm just nine months later when I got an early morning call from her sister saying that her Dad had passed earlier that morning.
After a major crisis erupts in life many emotions may spontaneously show up such as confusion, loneliness, sadness and even anger ~ it’s okay to just feel what you feel (however, if thoughts of harming yourself or others occur, please do seek immediate medical attention).
During this time you may want to take time away from any activities that call for complicated decision making or critical detailed thinking since this may or may not be possible.
Note of Encouragement: Your journey towards recovering from a life crisis is made up of many small steps put together. All you have to do is decide to start with that first step. Just decide and do it!
Let ‘If Only’ Go…
After an unexpected life change you may have thoughts of guilt, regret or anger. It’s natural to think, ‘if only’ or maybe there was ‘something I could have done differently or done more of’ to result in a different outcome.
Control Negative Self Talk
The reality of your life now is different then it was prior to the major life event. During this transformative time, negative self-talk could become your norm, but doesn’t benefit your progress toward moving forward. Because you have struggled doesn’t mean you have failed even though a negative voice inside might try to tell you otherwise. Be conscious of your self talk.
Note of encouragement: Let your future, prove your past wrong. Don’t spend time wondering ‘what if,’ as you journey forward think of what can be.
Your Next Steps
So what is your next move? There is no simple or easy answer on how you actually take your first steps out of the initial shock of a major unexpected life transition. You can only begin where you are ~ that could mean small steps.
A small effort like getting out of bed no matter how much you want to stay under the covers could be a small step. But if this is your current reality, get up and be proud of yourself!
Being around supportive friends and family who will not be critical or push you to go beyond what is comfortable for you is important to getting through this transitional phase of life. Staying active can keep help you avoid negative thoughts or extended periods of self-pity. Also when we accept a new situation, we make a huge step forward. Sometimes the biggest stress comes when we try to fight the change and try to stay where were are or in the past. This is especially difficult when you have no choice but to accept your new situation.
Have you found yourself in the middle of a life transition? Are you seeking support and/or information on successfully getting from where you are now in to where you eventually want to be?