Crisis Intervention: What to do during difficult times

"Our greatest strengths are born during times of change."

This morning I gave a sermon at our local Unity Church and, after the service, I stayed for a while to talk with members of the congregation. It didn't take long to discover that, like many in our online community, people are struggling. I listened as men and women shared stories of having to work overtime without extra pay just to keep their jobs, families who are worried about losing their homes, or business owners who have watched their income drop dramatically over the last few months while expenses have increased at the same time.

What do we do when faced with a life crisis? How do we deal with the fear and anxiety that wreaks havoc in our minds? Well, while I don't profess to have all the answers, I do know what it's like to be gripped by financial fear, to be woken in the middle of the night by racing, anxious thoughts, or to be so overwhelmed by responsibilities that I think I'm going to explode. These experiences have taught me a few things that have turned my life around and I'm hoping they might help you, too.

Affirm good in your life. While I know it can be hard to believe that things will be okay when you're in the thick of it, it's critical to take control of your thinking. When I'm afraid or worried, I remind myself that my thoughts always precede my fear and anxiety. In order for me to feel afraid, for example, I first have to think fearful thoughts. So, to counteract this reality, I start my day by planting good thoughts in my mind. I fill one page in my journal with spontaneous, positive affirmations. Here are some of my favorites. Feel free to borrow them.

I love life and life loves me.

I believe in the power of miracles.

I welcome good into my life with open arms.

My life is a continuous stream of miracles.

Abundance flows to me in surprising ways every day.

I am constantly presented with wonderful opportunities to improve my life.

The world is conspiring in my favor.

When I'm going through a particularly tough time, I read my list throughout the day, too.

Ask for help. Please don't suffer in silence. If you're out of work and need a job, ask the people in your life to help you brainstorm ideas. If you're a business owner who needs to increase sales, be sure to let your friends and neighbors know. If you're worried about the basics like food, shelter, or healthcare, please call upon the support services in your community. I remember when I was struggling to pay my rent and needed medical attention. I swallowed my pride and asked a local hospital for help only to discover a special program that provided services for people in need. If you don't speak up, the people around you may not know you need support. And, if you do ask and feel like it falls on deaf ears, try things like contacting a local church, community center, or state office for resources. More and more communities are putting these types of services in place and it's good self-care to take advantage of it.

Pray, not only for yourself, but others, too. It's during our toughest times that we have the greatest opportunity to strengthen our faith and spiritual skills. While it's important to take practical steps to care for yourself and your family, it's equally important to take spiritual steps. Pray for guidance. Pray to see signs of grace. Pray for Divine Intervention on your behalf and on behalf of those you care about. Pray for the courage to take risks or to reach out for help. And, while you're at it, pray for those in your family, community, workplace, or church, who need a miracle. Ask that all be lifted, healed, and given what they need to not only survive, but also thrive.

We will get through these difficult times. I have no doubt whatsoever. Please keep your heart and mind open for those near you who need a helping hand. Sometimes the best way to deal with fear is to put the focus on loving another.

Take Action Challenge

This week, do one thing every day to affirm that life is abundant, improving, filled with miracles, or delivering to you what you need most. And, look for one person to support as well. Be open to receive and anxious to give.



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Author Information

Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and her new book The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials.

Books from Cheryl Richardson

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