In life, there are going to be those times where things take a turn for the worst, almost suddenly. Maybe someone you love died unexpectedly, maybe you lost your job, maybe your loved one was diagnosed with cancer, maybe you lost your house. Be it whatever, these hard times can really take a mental toll on us, and if we don't handle the situation in a healthy way, we can do further harm to ourselves that has already been done.
I've recently been going through one of the most difficult and emotionally taxing times in my life following a sudden, disheartening experience, which I do plan on writing about in the very near future (For those of you reading this who know me, you pretty much know exactly what I am talking about). It has been a month of emotions combined with every thought and reaction imaginable, and I won't lie, I seriously didn't think I'd ever fully bounce back from this.
However, I took it upon myself to figure out what I could do to ease the situation and help me get through this period of confusion and uncertainty. Through doing this, I have lessened my anxieties, calmed my emotions, and turned this negative situation into a positive, hopeful one. Here are 5 of the many methods I personally feel one should use when going through such a difficult time themselves:
Allow yourself to react
When you go through a situation that is very painful, traumatic, shocking, etc, you need to allow yourself to react. It is not healthy, mentally or physically, to bottle your emotions up and pretend nothing's wrong. Do the opposite: cry, scream, punch a pillow, whatever you need to do to. Let the feelings pour out of you. It's really the only way you can start to mentally heal and begin the process of moving forward.
Talk about It
Please, talk to as many people you trust about what happened. Call your loved ones, close friends, whoever you have in your life who you know will be there for you and who will help support you during this time. Talking about a difficult situation can help you feel like you are slowly releasing your frustrations and ties to the problem. You can also get invaluable advice and comfort from many people. The day my sudden situation occurred, I immediately, before anything else, called my loved ones/friends and they let me cry and react however I had to. Getting it out when it first happened definitely has made the healing process go so much faster and easier for me. Knowing you have a strong support system to guide you through a tough time is definitely something to help bring comfort and peace, I know it has for me.
Don't guilt yourself
I can't stress this enough. Do not blame or guilt yourself over whatever it is that happened. You can't turn back time. You can't undo what's already been done. You can only figure out how to go on from here. It is natural to find yourself feeling guilty or that what happened was your fault, but you can't think like that. You have to come to terms with A) it's over and done with, and B) this was not something you could have controlled. Guilt will not help you at this point, but what will is forgiving yourself and acknowledging that the problem is not all on you. You did not deserve what happened, you do not deserve to suffer, but you do deserve to live a life of health and positivity.
Find someone to empathize with
Know someone else who is either going through or has gone through a similar situation? Talk to them about it. They will know exactly what you are feeling and can offer pinpointed advice to help guide you. This person can serve as your closest ally during this time, as they know what you are feeling and what you can do to get through this.
Forgive and let go
At the end of the day, you need to just forgive. Forgive yourself, forgive whoever else was involved, just forgive. Living the rest of your life with resentment, hate, and anger regarding what happened will only hurt you in the end. It won't be overnight, but in time you'll find that the experience you went through doesn't seem to have any power or effect on your life anymore. Once you can come to terms with this notion, the rest of the moving-forward process will be so much easier.
Life is full of obstacles and the unexpected. We can't prevent such things from happening to us, but what we can do is learn how to cope and manage each situation to the best of our abilities. It is a sign of strength when you come out the other side, knowing you handled a difficult situation as positively and thoroughly as you could.