“This is hard and I will get through this 1 step at a time.” During an unexpected event or crisis, we are faced with dealing with a new reality and it takes time to incorporate what happened into our every day lives. Identify the steps you need to take first, write them down, and focus on each step one at a time…if you look at everything you have to do, you will become overwhelmed. Remember you can only do 1 thing at time and focus exclusively on that 1 thing.
Once you recognize, name, and accept your feelings, you feel less out of control. You can then find a comfortable place to express your feelings. During periods of extreme stress and grief, it is very hard to hold back your feelings, particularly your tears and anger. This is normal so describe this as grieving or sadness or anger…you are not falling apart…you are grieving or feeling angry-sadness. It is important during this time of intense feelings to own your feelings and NOT hurt yourself or lash out at someone else.
Sharing our story is how we begin to accept whatever happened and integrate it into our new reality. It may be that you just need to let go of your expectations of how things should be and talking about your feelings and beliefs is the beginning of that process.
Making everyday decisions…deciding to get dressed, do the dishes, or go to work, for example, gives you a sense of control and feels comforting as it is a familiar activity. Be realistic with what you can do and remember everything right now will take you longer to do. Avoid making major decisions based on the stress you feel right now.
You will not be as productive as you normally are. Accept how much you are able to do right now and recognize it will not be this way forever. During periods of extreme stress, prolonged stress or after a crisis, your ability to concentrate and focus on tasks is diminished and it will take time for your concentration to return so give yourself extra time and be gentle and accepting of yourself and what you can do.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides consultation, personal problem coaching and support regarding personal and workplace difficulties that are interfering with your emotional well-being. After a problem consultation, you may receive two community referrals as needed.
The self-sssessment series provides information that will help you decide if you have a problem with one of the difficulties listed. After you do your own self-assessment and think “Maybe I have this problem,” you may want to read “Do I need counseling” or contact the Employee Assistance Program at 815-753-9191 to further discuss your problem and options for dealing with it.