Many people around the UK attended bonfires or watched fireworks this weekend. This is in celebration of the failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5th November 1605.
With all the noisy bangs from the fireworks this got me thinking about what we do when things in our life go bang.
Perhaps you just got made redundant from your job or found out your partner cheated or you’ve just been floored with a cancer diagnosis. Life can really stick it to us at times. We can get anxious, stressed, depressed and just want to run and hide rather than face what’s happening.
When life goes BANG here are five points to help guide you through. You don’t have to go through these in any particular order, you will likely find one flows into the next quite naturally.
Face it head on – It can be so easy to bury your head in the sand and hide away from your troubles. I mean who wants to be a grown up sometimes? However, ignoring the issue will get you nowhere and will prolong the pain. Life goes on and you need to deal with things as they arise. Whether you shout or scream or go to a wreck it room and smash the hell out of things to get your anger and fury out. Maybe you just want to cry which is a cathartic way to release your feelings. Hiding from them will not help anyone.
Support – Lean on family and friends for help. Ask them to help you pack up boxes if you are moving out or look over your CV if you need to find a new job. Telling your family you have cancer will be the hardest day, no-one wants to have to deliver that news. They will be there by your side to get you through treatments and to listen to you when you need them. Talk to them about your fears and let them help you. Remember the song ‘Lean on me, when your not strong’ by Bill Withers. This is what you need to do.
Plan – Make a plan of what you have to do and want to do. The have to do’s are the things you must do to get you through the situation you are in. Write a list of all the things, get help with it too. If you are separating from a partner, what things must be done, speak with a solicitor, find out what legal rights you both have and what you want to do about your children, how will this work, what about all the things in the house/flat. Does one person want to move, if so, when and how will the bills work. Think of the practical steps you have to take. Once you have thought these through and actioned many of them, you can then look at your wants. Such as where do you want to live next, what area do you want to live in, do you want to purchase that sofa/tv/computer your partner never wanted. If you lost your job, think about what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. You might have a new career path in mind.
What about if you have been given a terminal diagnosis, you might not feel like planning for anything, but think about what you want to do now and over the coming weeks or months and think about what you want to do for your final farewell. Make sure your loved ones know what it is you want. Perhaps you haven’t yet done a will, or you need to update it. It is horrific to have to think of these things, but if it gives you peace of mind to know you will have left everything in order then do it.
Time – You need to remember it takes time to process what’s happening. Be kind to yourself and let yourself grieve. Whether it is a lost job, a broken relationship or coming to terms with an illness, you are not going to be ‘over it’ overnight or ever. You might want to get away for a few days to think things through or go and stay with family to get out of the same routine or even just going for a walk to help clear your head will be enough. Try not to rush things and give yourself the time and space you need to deal with the situation.
Self care – We are so good at getting on with things, going from one thing to the next without thinking about our mental and physical health. But you need to ensure these are both taken care of, regardless of your situation. Try to fit some time in to go for a walk or watch your favourite comedy or book a massage. Instead of reaching for the cake or chocolate in times of stress, call your friends, go for walk or run or try yoga. We are good at helping others and will happily tell them what to do, but when it comes to ourselves, we rarely take that moment to notice what the situation is doing to us physically and mentally. Write down how you are feeling, it can just be words rather than sentences, get it all out and down on paper and then write down what it makes you want to do, like eat cake, or drink too much or scream. Eating cake will be amazing for the 10 seconds you are actually eating it, but it won’t help the situation in the long run, so think about what can help you now for your own self-care. Do what feels right for you.
Things go BANG often and navigating through them can be the biggest challenge you have ever faced. But take deep breaths and know you are not alone, reach out and talk, plan what you want to do and take the time you need. When life gives you lemons, get juicing and make yourself the best lemonade possible.
Have a great week, take care and look after you!
Love Emma xx