It’s one of life’s most pressing questions and terrifying conundrums. How do you rebuild when your world comes tumbling down?
As humans, we’re vulnerable, but there’s always a tendency to expect that bad things happen to other people. You read tragic tales in magazines, and they tug at your heartstrings, but there’s always a part of you that never expects to be in a situation that demands the sympathies of others. Sadly, there’s no way of predicting what is going to happen next, and many people do face challenging situations, which cause them to have to struggle through the rubble and try and rebuild.
If you feel like your world has come crashing down around you, hopefully, you’ll take comfort from this article.
Assess the situation
Every situation you come across will provoke an emotional reaction.
It’s completely natural for your ability to think rationally to be impaired when you encounter a situation that flips your life upside down. When you’ve had time to process that emotional response, try and focus on your head, rather than your heart.
It’s essential to let yourself go through the process of crying, lashing out or feeling angry, disappointed, sad or hurt, but it’s also wise to take that next step when you feel ready. Assessing the situation in a practical and pragmatic way will enable you to identify solutions or ways to move forward. If you’ve lost your job and you’re already in debt, for example, working out how much you owe and who you owe is a logical first step. This isn’t an enviable task, but it’s important that you know where you stand. The next stage is to seek advice and explore your options.
If you’ve lost somebody close to you, think about how you’re going to cope. You don’t have to struggle alone.
There are people, charities and health professionals who can help you when you’re ready to reach out. If you’ve lost your home and everything in it, turn your attention to getting back on your feet once you’ve digested what has happened. There may be practical solutions, such as claiming on insurance, and you may feel a lot better once you’ve organised temporary accommodation, for example.
Find ways to cope
We are all unique, and difficult scenarios and traumatic events affect us in different ways.
It’s very common for bereavement, relationship breakdown, illness, and unemployment to trigger responses that can be difficult to manage. Many people experience depression as a result of loss, and some may turn to drugs or alcohol to survive from one day to the next and block out pain. Money worries and uncertainty about the future can lead to anxiety and break-ups can impact your self-esteem and confidence.
When you feel like you’re swimming against the tide, it’s so important to try and find coping mechanisms that work for you. There may not necessarily be a miracle cure, but search for tonics that give you strength or ease your pain or anxiety.
Practices and therapies like meditation and exercise can help to suppress stress, alleviate anxiety and provide a welcome distraction, while talking treatments and medication can prove beneficial for those battling addictions or habits that are starting to take control of their lives. You can find additional details about programmes and facilities online. Talking to others can also be cathartic. Even if you just speak at somebody and they don’t offer any advice, getting things off your chest and clearing your mind can make all the difference.
Even simple things like spending time with friends or offloading to a relative, or even a pet if you’re home alone, can help.
Take your time
We live in a world where everything moves at 100 miles per hour.
If you’ve been through a breakup, you’ve lost a loved one, you’ve been injured in an accident, or you’re struggling to cope with an addiction, you may feel pressure to bounce back and recover as quickly as possible.
Pushing yourself too hard and putting too much pressure on yourself can be counterproductive.
Take your time, let time be a healer, and get back to ‘normal’ whenever you feel ready. There’s no time-frame for grief or universal recovery period for an injury or an illness. Don’t let others push you or make you feel guilty if you need more time off work or you’re not ready to see your friends.
Just focus on yourself for a while.
Lean on your family and friends
They say you learn who your friends are when you’re going through a rough patch.
If you’re battling an illness, you’re coming to terms with a death in the family, or you’re worried about what is going to happen in the future following a breakup or financial worries, lean on those around you. Don’t feel guilty for crying on the phone to your best friend or for sitting and talking to your sister for hours on end. If they needed you, you’d be there. That’s what friendship is all about.
Surround yourself with the people who genuinely care about your happiness and your wellbeing. Forget about those who can’t be bothered to get in touch. Focus on your core group and use their love and support to build strength. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Don’t dwell on the past or wallow in self-pity, but tread gently.
There’s no point in being self-critical or giving yourself a hard time.
There are times in life when it can feel like everything has collapsed around you.
If you’re going through a difficult time, and you’re struggling to overcome challenges that have been thrown at you, take time to heal and recover, use your heart and your head and try and identify constructive, effective ways of coping.
Take comfort from those closest to you, and don’t beat yourself up.
It may feel like everything is going wrong for you at the moment, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.