Thursday, May 8, 2014

COMFORT: Manage yourself so you can manage the crisis

Suki in her TDI  work outfit OU 2014
This month is dedicated to creative and resourceful coping strategies for all ages. I have noticed over the years that many people (self included) go into overdrive when life gets intense.  In a futile attempt to fake normalcy during crisis we push to get everything to look just like it always does, except there is this pesky crisis thing. We delude ourselves into thinking that we “don’t have enough time” to take care of ourselves in desperate times. If this sounds familiar and you are wondering how to fit it all in, consider this:


Manage yourself so you can manage the crisis. A new normal will come and you will get to the other stuff later.

Let go of the ordinary “to do” list when you are faced with a life storm.  Make simple meals. Eat healthy-ish take out.  Forget the laundry. Do the minimum in each of the automatic but wonderful ways that you maintain your life so you can take time to restore your emotional and physical self. Consider breaks to exercise, meditate, pray, talk to a friend, rest, and if you are lucky enough to have a pet - grab some floor time with your quiet confidante.
Therapy Dog Tales

Last week Suki and I took a drive down to Norman, OK to visit the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house.  The tense quiet was a clear sign that we arrived just in time to kick off the beginning of finals week.  Within moments the entry was filled with girls in bare feet squealing to get Suki’s undivided “puppy love.”  Suki gave them all some one on one time and listened while they shared stories of pets at home, complained about late night studies, and wished aloud that Suki could come back every day. 

The Alpha Chi sisters recognized their need to take a break and receive comfort and support.  Before long laughter, joking around, and lots of smiling replaced the eerie stillness. The break time offered an opportunity to recharge.  There will still be time to finish research papers and cram for the killer physics exam. We were only there for an hour but we left the sorority house a much happier place than when we arrived.