Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When Life Can’t Get Worse

As a therapist I often see people when they are juggling two or three major life problems. The barely-recovering economy makes financial challenges a given for most people right now. Add a seriously ill family member, and a relationship problem to the mix, and you have a recipe for a personal crisis. 

To quote Winston Churchill: 
“When you are going through hell, keep going"
However, we need a strategy, and the best way to survive a crisis is to SIMPLIFY. I mean really simplify. Take a very close look at your calendar and ask yourself what items are non-essential. At first glance, you may feel that everything on the calendar needs to stay. Look again. Anything that is not absolutely helpful for making you feel better or keeping you or a family member healthy has to go.

During a crisis our bodies and minds are tapped out. We need adequate sleep, nutritious food, and quiet time. The play-date for your four year-old, a trip to your cranky aunt's house, dinner with the neighbors- unless these events will restore your energy and perspective, cancel. No detailed explanations necessary, just a sincere apology.  Describing your reasoning or current situation takes valuable energy and can be very upsetting.
Calendar full? Pare it down a bit.

Use the time you freed up to take care of essentials. Sleep. Eat some fresh and tasty food. Do only the crucial household chores and then hang out with a child or a pet. Sit outside. If you are a loyal exerciser or yoga practitioner and you do not have the time or energy to get to class, let it go. You will not lose your fitness in a week. Your yoga practice can consist of a five-minute savasana for a while.  

 It may take longer than you expected, but the crisis will pass. Keep life slow and simple. When the crisis passes, you may even decide to keep some of your new habits.

Be well,


 Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter

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