How to Cope During a Crisis
During the recent flooding that impacted many of us last week, I began to reflect on crises. Just like many other people, I have been through a personal crisis. It’s amazing how quickly you realize during a crisis that life does not stop, even though it feels like your own world has come to a halt. It is an interesting phenomenon that at a time when It feels like your life is crumbling, someone else might be having the best day of their life. This same realization hit me during the floods. I was a lucky one. I live in a neighborhood away from the major flooding and had little impact during the storm. I chose the time at home to stomp in water puddles with my young kids and dance in the rain. It was an amazing day. I then logged onto social media and saw the disaster that was hitting Cypress. People were losing cars, personal belongings, and were trapped in their home for days with no power. I felt guilt. How could the same storm that brought me beautiful memories with my family be destroying other families just miles away? However, I remembered past crises that I’ve been through and realized this is part of life. The day someone loses a loved one, their neighbor could be bringing home their newborn child. The day someone announces their pregnancy, there is a friend that is dealing with infertility. The day you get laid off work, your neighbor could have just earned a promotion. The day your divorce is finalized, could also be your best friend’s wedding. The examples are endless. How do we cope with this?
First off, it is important that individuals realize that almost everyone is enduring a crisis in their life that no one knows about. I recently attended a lecture. The speaker asked for people to privately respond if they are currently going through a work or family crisis. 75 percent of the class responded yes. That sent a strong message to me. It means that almost everyone that you interact with is struggling with something. We as a society are quick to judge people’s actions, and rarely acknowledge that there may be a reason that someone made a mistake or acted in a negative way. We need to learn to give people the benefit of the doubt because chances are that person is struggling with something.
Second, we need to reach out. During times of personal crisis, I rarely spoke up. I have family and friends that would have helped. Yet because of the phenomenon of the world not stopping, I felt like I was a burden. This is not the case. Individuals going through crisis need the support and help from those that are not struggling. Be direct in your needs. Whether that is calling a friend and just asking to talk, asking a family member to bring a meal, or seeing a mental health provider because you can’t shoulder it alone. Reflect on what you need and let others know how to help you.
Lastly, remember this too shall pass. Yes, people’s homes are still in need of repair, but there has been a rainbow after the storm. I have watched so many people step in to help out. I’ve watched our community stand and build together, and I have been proud to be apart of an organization that has helped so many out. I know that homes and cars will be repaired and valuables will be replaced. This too will pass. But in the mean time, please don’t forget to ask for help or to help a neighbor out.
Written by Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPC-S
Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and owner of Heights Family Counseling. Amy has been practicing for fifteen years. She has doctoral level training in the areas of child and adolescent counseling, marriage and family therapy, and adult counseling. Amy Rollo provides counseling and evaluation services in the Houston Heights and surrounding areas. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives. Read more about Amy's counseling style by visiting www.heightsfamilycounseling.com