Coping with a Crisis

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 There’s a lot that’s going on throughout the country, and with all the uncertainty in life, it can be easy to get carried away and overcome by the torrent of emotions, that we are all going through. These past months (and arguably ever since covid-19 reached our shores), we have been a relentless storm, with one wave of the problem after another, be it a new variant, the Xpress pearl disaster, the economic crisis and now the ongoing political crisis.

 As important as emotions are, it’s also important we learn to manage them. That doesn’t mean suppressing them, only directing them in positive and helpful ways that won’t send us down a spiral of self-destruction. Easier said than done of course, but it is necessary, to not only maintain order, but also for the ongoing people’s awakening to lead us to a better tomorrow, one that is without bloodshed.

 Coping with one crisis isn’t easy, and facing multiple ones in such a stretched period of time is difficult, but here are some things you can do to better cope with the ongoing and upcoming crises.

 Be prepared

 The scouts have it right, and the best thing to be in the middle of a crisis is to be prepared. It saves you the initial panic of having to consider what you can do, and even if you do feel panic creeping in, you have that self-assurance that you are prepared and ready for the challenges you have to face.

 One of the best things you can do is to prepare a family 72-hour kit. Knowing that you have immediate food, water and other basic necessities ready for any circumstances to last you a couple of days can be crucial for your successful response. Once you have supplies for 72 hours, you can start focusing on building a weeks or a month’s worth of supplies.

 With the prevailing situation, it’s not going to be easy, but trust me when I say that over a period of time, you can easily build a strong food and necessities storage for that rainy day over an extended period. With an imminent food shortage on the horizon, now is the time to prepare.

 Being prepared is not only about physical needs, but also psychological needs. There are many things you can do to train yourself to be effective and calm when a crisis hits. Remember, panic is a physiological response, control your body to control your mind. Have action plans and strategies in preparation for possible circumstances. We can’t predict the future, but if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.

Get to work

 The way things are now, it might not be the best idea to take a break from the news. It’s important to stay informed as things are very uncertain, especially as this crucial time draws near. However, the danger is consuming all that information and simply letting it simmer inside.

 Don’t allow yourself to stagnate in your thoughts, and get to work after setting all the affairs in your home and life in order. That should be well taken care of when you have prepared yourself well. Get involved in peaceful protesting, and aid groups and keep an eye out for ways to help the people around you. Direct the emotions you may have into a productive task that can bring tangible results, which is the most effective way to address any negative thoughts or feelings that may cloud over you.

Reach out

 These are uncertain times and it’s easy to let the dark clouds linger with you. If things become a little too difficult to handle on your own, it’s important to have a close family member or friend to confide in. If it seems difficult to share personal thoughts and feelings with people you know, Sri Lanka has a number of helplines that you can reach out to for someone to discuss these troubles with. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when needed.

Take care

 Taking good care of yourself is essential. Make sure you’re getting a healthy amount of sleep, have a balanced diet to the best extent possible (eating healthy can be expensive and difficult sometimes given the circumstances), and make sure to take breaks and rest. It’s important to work, but not to overwork yourself. Have a balanced life.

These are only four main aspects you can focus on while coping amidst this crisis, but there are plenty of other actions you can take as well. Take some time for yourself and assess your immediate needs and tailor your plan for yourself.

 Stay safe out there.

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage