Crisis, Resilience and Immunity
In the middle of a crisis, a moment of deep desperation, somebody recommended a book to me, the title telling you to 'Love yourself, and look forward to the next crisis’.
I remember perceiving this title as cynical, what does self-love has to do with managing a crisis, surviving a time of trouble, of desperation, of pain and loss?
In such moments in which we experience loss and sadness I believe it would be great to have somebody who just listens and maybe does not have a recommendation, a tool or a method of how to get out of the crisis as fast as possible. As tough it is to endure a crisis, it does not help if we are told that it will be over soon, that one day we see the light at the end of the tunnel etc.
As adults, mostly we know that we will survive, we somehow will get out of the mess. What does help, then? First of all, I believe it is relevant to accept being in a crisis, to feel lost, to be angry, sad or to grieve. We have to acknowledge our own feelings first of all, and give ourselves the time we need. Maybe this is the self-love which is meant in the book's title?
Often, we do not grant ourselves what we so readily offer to others: understanding, time, patience, a loving attitude, support, forgiveness. So, in that sense, if we can learn that from our crisises and know that each crisis has its meanings, we might not look forward to those situations, but we can rest assured that each time, we get out of crisis, we are at least a little bit wiser.
Being a life coach does not mean I can manage crisis all by myself, and can deal with whatever comes my way. Quite the opposite: because I have been through quite some rough times, I know how lonely one can get, how nice it can be to talk with someone who is just there for you. Friends are great, but some concern cannot be shared without fearing secret judgment or without receiving biased advice.
When crisis strikes, the life of everybody around you seems so much better, so much easier and more pleasurable, lighter, brighter. Thinking of your own life, we are hard-wired to see the bad stuff popping up and we really have to make a conscious decision to focus on the good things in our lives, and keep going, at least. Depending on disposition and experience, for some this is easier, for others not. When stuck in crisis, it is important to remind oneself that it has been done before and it will not last forever.
Self-Love and Resilience have a lot to do with each other. An automated reaction to stress is that we either want to fight the situation, flee from it, or we just freeze and hope it will pass, somehow. But if all these options are not available, what do we do? We need to take good care of ourselves, and the most important part is to take care of our health. The better we take care of our health, the more resilient we get, the better we can cope with the stress any crisis will bring.
Regular meals, excercise and good sleep are essential. Here is a great podcast on how to support your immune system and I found these books quite helpful to understand HOW VERY IMPORTANT a healthy gut is to your immune system and your overall well-being: ‘The Mind-Gut Connection’ by Emeran Mayer and ‘The Psychobiotic Revolution’ Scott C. Anderson with John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan
Looking for support and asking for help is not a sign of weakness, quite the opposite. It is the first step towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s be there for each other!