Learning How to Weather Disasters
Some people think it is a disaster when their vacation plans get crunched, or they miss their favorite television show. Other people know what real disaster is when their home is flattened by a tornado, and suddenly becomes firewood. Others know what real disaster is when their golden retirement becomes a nightmare with a cancer diagnosis.
We all do our best to take financial and medical precautions with insurance, savings and regular checkups. But sometimes we get hit with a string of health, financial and assorted other losses in a short amount of time.
I have seen the affect too many hits can take on people who normally hold their own most of the time. They age rapidly, lose their focus, lash out, or shut down in stages of depression.
One fellow aged successfully, but as he looked around all but one of his six sisters and brothers, were gone. He was normally a strong outgoing person, but the clouds of depression moved in and he gradually gave in, changing from a contented retiree to someone else.
Whatever the tone of the disaster, immediate or long range, serious, or less serious, we all need to have some skills and resources in our pockets to handle the hits.
Putting Things In Perspective
PsychCentral endorses my favorite one – learn how to put things in perspective. They say resilient people know the difference between disappointment and tragedy. Losing a great real estate opportunity is disappointing. Losing a son or daughter is a tragedy. Resilient people learn to ask what the bottom line is. With the loss of a loved one there really is no easy answer. Time, faith and reaching out to others in pain, often become the path back.
But in the case of financial setbacks, or serious health issues, resilience and perspective become very important. Learning to dig deep and know who you are and who your real friends are can be a big help. If you are starting over financially, take it one step at a time, and move forward, learning as much as you can about how you got there to avoid repeating mistakes.
If you are facing personal health challenges, get the best advice and resources that you can and then focus on your own attitude. I have seen people with serious heath challenges rally and go on to live a long life.I saw one lady have a heart attack in her sixties and go on to live an active life well into her nineties. She was tough, focused and determined. I saw another lady get hit with diabetes in her fifties and stubbornly refuse to follow doctor’s orders on sugar and exercise. She barely lasted into her late sixties and the last years were a nightmare.
If you find yourself facing a disaster, reel in all of the support that you can, stay in touch with your friends, dig deep to find your own strengths and look around. You may find your disaster looking a lot smaller than you thought as you see others facing even tougher hits. Perspective is all.