As most of you probably heard, there was a huge hurricane that made it's way along the Eastern US Coastline this past week - Hurricane Matthew. We live in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and were required to evacuate. In my 32 years living in Northeast Florida, this is the only time I have ever been involved in a MANDATORY evacuation. It was nerve wracking to say the least! Is my house going to be ok? Are people going to be hurt or worse? Will our city recover?
All those scary thoughts went through my mind over the 3 days we couldn't go home. We were lucky enough to have my husband's parents to offer their home to us, so we were safe. Luckily we came home last night to a house that finally had power turned on and just some large downed branches in the yard. The only issue we had to deal with was extra yard work and some spoiled food, grateful doesn't even begin to cover it. It got me thinking about how to keep a positive mindset in times of stress. Here are five ways to cope!
1. Don't Go Negative
It's easy to give in to all those negative thoughts when you have a stressful situation. Whether you are dealing with a hurricane, job loss, or personal stress keep those negative thoughts at bay. Being negative will only bring you down and keeps you from seeing the positive in the situation.
2. Make a Plan
Instead of stressing about how awful your situation is make a plan for how you will deal with it. Action can keep you in a motivated mindset and having a plan for how you will tackle your situation can help calm you. Let's say your company has restructured your job. Find out how you can get unemployment and redo your budget. If you received a severance package, figure out how long you can survive off those funds. Next think about your next move, do you want to get a similar job to what you have or try something new? Decide and then start looking! Make a plan to get your resume in order and start applying.
3. See the Silver Lining
Sure, stressful situations are stressful! But they can often lead to something better. Maybe you have hated your job for the last 4 years but haven't had the courage to quit? Make this the time that you really think about what you want to do in life. Give it a try, what is holding you back? No matter how terrible the situation may seem, look for the positives and it will help you through.
4. Know Your Strength
Sometimes we forget how strong we are and don't realize what we can endure. Whatever the situation is, you can make it through as long as you believe in yourself. The only person who can do this is you though. You can't rely on other people to build you up and validate your ability to get past your situation and rise above it. If you are feeling like you aren't quite there, try listening to a free podcast or reading an inspirational message. A thousand people can tell you that you can do it, but if you don't believe it likely wont happen.
5. Consider Your Blessings
When you have an issue that is rocking the balance of your normal life, make an inventory of the great things in your life. Maybe it's your health, your family, where you live, or your friends. Focusing on the positives in your life will help you get through the difficult periods in your life and help you focus on the important aspects of your life. When we had our recent staycation at my in-laws and even there were without power for about 12 hours, I focused on how grateful we were. We have a loving family who helps us out in our time of need and we actually had a great time! In the end we knew if there was damage, we had insurance to cover it. Sure it would be an inconvenience but in the end everything would be just fine!