Staying organized through a crisis
Jan 20, 2020
The best laid plans…life can really throw us curve balls. It can be anything really that becomes our crisis. as it upsets our everyday life either for the short term or long term. It’s the broken washing machine, the flat tire, the sick child, chronic illness or an unexpected life or death situation. For even the most organized person, a crisis can cause alot of clutter, disorganization and chaos.The reason for this is an organized life is a balanced life, crisis brings along with it everything but balance.
How do we stay organized through a crisis?
- Have systems already in place. Your systems should be the foundation to everything in your everyday life and in all areas of your life: spiritual, relationships, financial, mind, body and your home. For some of us, everything must have a place and be in its place. Others may need to have systems that allow them to have a more open approach easily laying eyes on things needed to feel balanced. Still others may be a combination of both. In a crisis these will provide you with continuity and stability when everything feels out of control. They also have the ability to make life a little easier when your mind is stretched is traveling in alot of different directions. For example, knowing where you keep important papers would be a source of comfort if there was need for you to find something such as the insurance information.
- Acknowledge the crisis. This is no time to bury your head in the sand. The more you know the better you can prepare. In situations where time permits, research may be beneficial for a health crisis and the need to find a specialist. Perhaps, you have to face a harsh reality which requires major decision making on your part? It is necessary to go on the offensive and keep a clear head.
- Trust your system until it NO longer works. This sounds strange but it is something I’ve seen. When a situation leaves someone feeling out of control, they’ll go and redo their systems that have been working. The system is not part of the crisis but it will be when it gets a redo in the middle of a crisis. The decisions being made during the crisis will likely be based on emotion. Let’s take a flood in your home as an example, many of your systems may be thrown off as repairs are made. You may likely have to relocate things or even yourself until the work is complete. This would be an opportunity to pause the system until the situation is under control.
- Tweak whatever is needed for balance. Don’t be afraid to adjust as necessary. Maybe you had little ones when your systems were set up and now they’re older. It is possible to make changes that will enhance better workflow. I remember having the snacks arranged in our pantry at a lower level so my children when they were younger would have easier access. As they got older it was no longer necessary for this and made more sense to move them to a higher level. Perhaps due to a physical condition you are having trouble maintaining your system, this is a great time to adjust by simplifying or streamlining.
- Have an outlet. Don’t try to go through this crisis on your own. Having good support through friends, family members, your church community really helps. Healthy habits are the best ones to fall back on and will allow grace to outshine grief or stress. Quiet moments, let your hair down moments, blow off steam moments, whichever resonates with you make great outlets.
- Focus on positivity daily. You can use positive affirmations, people, places, music, bible verses or quotes. Make sure that you carry them with you throughout your day this helps to have a handy pick me up. Even if you aren’t going through a crisis, positivity is the way to go. Give yourself permission to deal with the issue at hand and then move on to finding the positive in it.
- Recognize it’s temporary. Even in the case of chronic illness there are times when it’s better than others. So the crisis portion is temporary. Being able to take this situation in as temporary offers a mindset that is much healthier in the long run.
- Breathe. When it feels like it’s raining down on you hard, BREATHE! This sounds contrite but it is so very important. Breathing really helps the brain by supplying it with oxygen that it is robbed of in a stressful environment.
- Take a time out. If you are a caregiver, you really need a time out! Plan them periodically during the day for a few minutes. I would stress that it is important in chronic care giving that you have help. This help is your time out so you can de stress. Maybe it’s anywhere from a couple of hours to a whole day. This is true even with new moms. A new mom is a care giver for that infant. Caregivers need a break. A body can only deal with stress for so long with the increase in adrenalin levels and then it can break down and become ill. So seek solace. Take a step back from the emotion so when you return you can make better decisions. It’s good to have a team of people to choose from so there is always going to be someone who can help. Schedule this, waiting to the last minute is likely to provide less than favorable results.
- Be grateful. It seems odd to say this but anyone who has ever been through a crisis will tell you they were thankful because it could have been worse. They can tell you who they were thankful for throughout their experience. Expressing your gratitude in word and action allows you to look outward. Carry along a journal so you will be able to jot down thoughts of gratitude on this journey. You will have them once the crisis has passed and be able to remind yourself and others of the beauty that can come about from any situation. It might be a nice gesture if after a long hospital stay you were able to bring in a treat to those who cared for you or a loved one. This is never expected but always appreciated. Maybe the good samaritan who came to your aid in the crisis of a car breaking down could find themselves with a thank you card from you. Little gestures like this are good for your soul too!
“A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry. It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or to choose badly.” Desmond Tutu
A crisis doesn’t have to turn your life into clutter, chaos and disorganization unless you were already close to that state. Rather an organized life is the foundation to get through a crisis. Taking the time when life is not in such a state of flux will reap you benefits later one. Sure, there may be times of chaos during a crisis but when the calm comes you can easily reset your organized life.