How to Cope With a Crisis

Everybody faces challenges in life. Here we look at how to cope and what to do when things go wrong.

Hard times don't last forever

We'd all love life to be a never ending stream of successes, high points and happiness. But part of the human condition is to also experience the lows of life. Facing change, loss, sadness, or setbacks is something we all have to come to terms with. It's how you deal with these negatives that will define your outlook, happiness, and even influence your future. In fact, the difficult times you experience can help you appreciate the high points much more keenly. So while you can't always avoid a crisis, you can learn how to deal with whatever the world throws your way to create positive outcomes from the toughest of situations.

Keep calm & carry on

Everyone can learn how to cope better in a crisis. It's your reaction to events that really counts. So rather than panicking and feeling helpless, learn to adapt, recover, and move on. Plenty of issues can seem hopeless at first, but you can almost always turn around stressful situations to find light in dark situations.

Cultivate these characteristics to combat a crisis:


Don't dwell on the negatives. Deal with problems in a pro-active way, then move on. Take note of what went wrong to avoid it happening again. But wallowing in negativity creates more negativity. Be a survivor, not a victim.

See the bigger picture

Know that this crisis will pass - no matter how overwhelming it seems right now. The crisis might be small or it may change you forever, but it will diminish. Understand that you can and will get through this crisis and emerge into a happier state.

Personal power

Your crisis may be precipitated by others but it is always within your power to choose how to deal with it. Take back your personal power by making the choices and taking the action needed to move out of the crisis. Don't sit around and blame your misfortune on others. Take the time to allow yourself to dispel initial anger or hurt, and to heal, then set it aside and move forward.

Can-do attitude

Instead of panicking, stay calm and put your problem-solving skills into action. Try looking at the issue from a fresh angle - nothing is impossible to solve. Believe you can find a solution and you will.

Ask for help

Strong people know when they need to ask for the help of family, friends or professionals. Don't suffer in silence.

Crisis-proof your life

Follow these tips to give yourself the best chance of staying strong during a crisis:

1) Believe in yourself

Know that you can cope with whatever life throws your way. Your talents and abilities will see you through the dark days. What skills do you have that could benefit you in this crisis? What talents do those around you have to help you out?

2) Embrace Change

Life is constantly changing, so you can move with the tide or break against it. Learn to be flexible and to adapt to shifting situations. Try to see the positives in situations that may at first feel uncomfortable because they are unfamiliar to you. How can you use this change to your advantage? Think about the benefits of a particular change of circumstances instead of the negatives.

3) Take Action

A crisis seldom has the outcome you desire if you just sit back and watch it happen. Instead, think about what steps you can take to lessen the impact of the crisis or even to create a positive outcome from what seems like a negative situation. While you may not immediately find the perfect solution, taking small steps will help you to start to see a way out of the crisis.

4) Cultivate a sense of purpose

It's easy to feel lost or powerless during a crisis. But if you can turn a bad situation into something constructive, you will be aiding your own recovery as well as helping others.

*Set up a support group or website for others in your area or beyond to discuss the same kind of issues you are facing.

*Raise funds for a charity which helps people deal with the problems that are affecting you.

5) Look after Yourself

Don't neglect yourself during a crisis. You need to eat well, exercise, sleep enough, and chat to friends in order to maintain your physical and emotional well being. 


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