Updated: May 5
Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of delivering a keynote presentation to a room filled with business and community leaders. It was fabulous to be in a room filled with top achievers. What a wonderful way to kick off this month!
The topic we discussed this evening was how to weather life's storms. We all experience them. Some small, some challenging, some devastating. As leaders, we also experience those in our organizations, homes and communities dealing with trauma, disappointment, heartbreak and challenges large and small. Some of you have storms from years ago that you've never recovered from. Some of you are in the midst of a storm, and others have been avoiding facing their storms for too long now.
One thing I've learned is that regardless of the type or size of your storm, the recovery process is the same. Here is what I shared last evening:
Seven Steps to Recover From Life Storms
Take Care of Yourself First Remember you cannot care for others well if you are hurt or sick. Address your injuries first. You may need to repair a wounded pride, broken heart, broken bone, empty checking account, etc., but whatever the damage, take care of that immediately.
Clean Up The Mess Whatever mess was created from this situation, clean it up now. Don't avoid this. It may be a torn screen, branches in the yard, neglected friendships, neglected housework or paperwork, an apology or medical appointments, whatever mess was created from this situation CLEAN IT UP. You'll feel so much better when you do. Remember, ignoring a mess won't make it go away.
Locate Available Resources You'd be surprised at how many people skip this step. Call your insurance company, your therapist, clergy person social worker, or best friend. Find out what's available. Once you know you'll be able to make a plan for recovery.
Ask for and Accept Help You do NOT have to recover alone. Depending on the size of your storm, you may need a therapist, surgeon, loan from the bank, handyman or maybe just a girl's night out. If you're like me, asking for help is difficult, but please do not skip this stip. If you don't ask for help, no one will know that you're struggling.
Write Out Your Recovery Plan This step is crucial. Until now you've been gathering information, but there is still work to do. Recovering from any type of storm is stressful and takes a while, so it's very helpful to have a written plan that you can refer to. It's also nice to be able to see how far you've come, and it's extra special when you've fully recovered and get to trash that list once and for all.
Help Your Neighbors. NOW you can help your neighbors. Most of us will take care of everyone else before addressing the steps above, which means that you are operating from a place of pain and exhaustion. If you complete steps 1-5 before helping your neighbors, you'll be coming from a place of strength and empowerment.
Finally, WEATHERPROOF Yourself Against Future Storms Each difficult issue that we overcome in our lives become a lesson. What did you learn? Remember these lessons to protect yourself against future damages.
I hope this checklist helps you as much as it helped me. Remember, take care of yourself first, accept help, remember the lesson and empower others to do the same. I know you are strong enough to handle whatever challenge you are facing right now and that for most of us, life is filled with more sunshine than rain. I believe in you and look forward to seeing what you accomplish once you get your storm recovery sorted.
Here's a video that I created for rainy days:
For me, embracing strategies 4 and 5 near the end are what helped me finally get back to myself again.
If you are feeling lonely, overwhelmed, isolated, anxious, depressed, or worse, remember that many people care about you. Think of how you feel about others when they are feeling sad, alone, anxious, or afraid. You genuinely want to help them, right?
Know this: people feel the same about you.
Ask for help from a friend, family member, clergy, therapist, counselor, or doctor. If you need to ask more people, then keep asking until you get the support you need.
Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
It may not seem like it now, but one day soon, you will be smiling again. Soon after that, you will find yourself laughing.
That is when you'll realize that this storm has passed.
Your courage and is strength are an inspiration to others. You are here for a reason and the challenges you face will help you to fulfill your unique earthly purpose. You are strong, resilient, and made for great things.
Please forward this video message to anyone who needs it right now.
Want to print out these tips?
Find a printable version of this video here.
Important: This inspirational message is not meant as a substitution for medical or mental health advice or therapy. Be sure to seek advice from qualified professionals or emergency services when necessary. Remember to look out for others and offer help when you can. We're all in this experience together.
I'm Beth Caldwell and my favorite thing to do is help women who are ready to stop being frantic, step into their purpose, and finally lead a life that you don't need to take a vacation from. Details on my coaching program can be found here.
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