Crisis – not a vocabulary word we truly want to understand, but one that can’t be escaped in life. Crisis is a word with a negative connotation. As I thought about this word today, It seemed to me to be a stand-alone word and I could not easily think of an adjective form of the noun. With an internet search, I did find the adjective crisic, meaning related to crisis, but was unable to find a single example of its usage in a sentence. I’ve never used crisic in a sentence either. Clearly, crisis is a noun in a category all by itself.

 I have had quite a few crises (the plural form) in the last few years with losing beloved family members, changing jobs, and experiencing health issues. My road has been a bit rough, to say the least.

 Lately, though things have evened out into a relatively peaceful path. My job has been going well,  my students have been phenomenal,  I’ve been creating the new website and finishing the book, everyone I love  has been happy and whole…

Until last weekend, then another crisis boulder appeared on my personal road. My precious 17-year old kitty had an episode and had to spend the night in the animal hospital. Luckily, for now, he seems to be recovered though we still don’t know what caused the problems in the first place. He is back home and asleep on the bed where he belongs. 

Nonetheless, he is an old man, and will not last forever; no one does. So soon, once again I will be facing a personal loss and crisis.

Most people have their own crisis of some kind or another. Moving to another country can cause many crises. Breaking up with significant others, quitting a job, even failing a class…

These are all crisis making moments. How can we overcome these times of difficulty? 

I’ve found three helpful techniques for times of crisis.

1) Stick to your calendar routine as much as policy.

Consistency in times of difficulty can give one a sense of control over events even as other events spiral out of control.

Despite my concerns for my kitty and sadness at possibly having to say good bye forever, I still got up and sat down to work on the computer. Now, I was not able to be creative and work on the new book liked I’d planned, but I did some web site building for my ESL 201 course, which was basically copying things from one calendar to another. It was soothing in its familiarity, and I had a sense of accomplishing something rather than just curling up in a ball to cry.

2) Speak kindly to others.

Other people may be in the same crisis as you; striking out in your stress, anger or grief can make a bad situation even worse.

On the way home from the animal hospital last night, Mr. C was upset as was I. He often copes by zoning out in front of the TV. When he asked me if I wanted to watch our Sunday night show, I almost snapped at him. I almost struck out for his caring more about “Sherlock” than Nyx. However, I took a deep breath and quietly said I would rather not watch TV right now, but needed some time alone. While neither one of us were happy, I didn’t worsen the situation, which is always a plus.

3) Take care of yourself.

This is often the hardest thing to do when stressed in crisis. However, it is essential for if you don’t take care of yourself, then the situation will only worsen.

I forced myself to go to bed that night even though I had no kitty next to my head purring his way to sleep. Sleep is an essential part of a healthy life. I made myself eat breakfast and lunch as I waited for the vet to call with Nyx’s results. Rather working to the point of exhaustion, I took breaks. I stretched. I sewed a few therapy pillows. I listed some favorite songs and read some of a favorite book. Basically, I took care of myself the best I could while waiting.

The road of life twists and turns through the good times and the bad. Life doesn’t stop while we are in crisis. Mr. C still had to go to work. Classes start as normal. Assignments are due. The world turns and turns.  The road keeps going. Finding a way to successfully deal with personal crises is needed. I hope you find yours too!