5 Ways You Can React to a Crisis Situation with Empowerment
It’s happened. In an instant everything is different. Everything that was imported, scheduled, and pending goes into a state of suspended animation. The phone call, text, or knock on the door you receive that 99% of the time is benign. This time it is the reaping of grim news that has changed your world forever. It is all too easy to lose yourself in the enormity of the crisis. To have the wave of significance swallow you whole. To let the situation render you powerless. How can then we prepare ourselves to react in these times of crisis to navigate through these troubled waters towards healing shores? These 5 tips below will act as your crisis compass. Explore how to head into a crisis and come out feeling empowered.
1) Stay Calm and Assess: I know – staying calm is the worst thing to say. So before you enter this state of calm I suggest letting it out. Scream if you need to scream. Something has just rocked your world. Yes, you are going to get down to business and deal with it but first, give yourself a moment to let out this cry of upset. Then get down to business. Find your composure and start thinking of powerful actions you can take. Gather your thoughts. Assess the situation objectively, understanding the extent of the crisis and its implications. By maintaining a level-headed approach, you can think more clearly and make informed decisions. What really needs to happen? What do you need to do in order to start that process?
2) Seek Information and Knowledge: Knowledge is power, especially during a crisis. Stay informed by seeking reliable sources of information. Understand the facts, evaluate the available options, and identify potential solutions. Educating yourself about the crisis at hand will empower you to make better choices and take appropriate actions. Use your resources. Is there a member of your close friends or family that has experience in this area? This is the time to call upon those resources to empower you to both act and heal.
3) Focus on What You Can Control: You couldn’t control this from happening or you know it never would have come to pass. Now that we are dealing with the fallout what can you control? Directing your attention to what you can control can help you regain a sense of empowerment. Identify the factors within your sphere of influence and channel your efforts toward them. Whether it is your mindset, actions, or support you provide to others, focusing on the controllable aspects will enable you to make a positive impact. Below are some suggestions on actionable items you can get to work on right away:
Create a website with information and donation links (Venmo or Grubhub or the like) so that other friends and family have a streamlined way to contribute to those affected.
Make a geography decision – are you near the people affected? Do you need to travel? Make those decisions.
Are there children or pets that need to be cared for? Can you help with those arrangements to help focus your or the affected people focus their energy on healing?
Often in crisis situations plans need to be made. Services need to be scheduled or arrangements need to be made to adapt to a new way of living. Can you start taking those steps to proactively react to this new normal?
4) Build a Support Network: During challenging times, it is essential to surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or professionals. Reach out to trusted individuals who can offer guidance, emotional support, or practical assistance. Sharing your concerns and seeking help when needed not only provides you with a support system but also empowers you by reminding you that you are not alone in facing the crisis. Plan to process this life change. Whether it is immediately or 3 weeks after the dust has settled. Do you need to take a weekend and go to the woods or the beach and process this grief or trauma? We can spend so much time in a crisis reacting and supporting others that this crucial part is so often overlooked. Make the time to personally process your grief as well.
5) Take Action and Adapt: Empowerment lies in taking proactive steps to address the crisis. Identify actionable strategies and implement them systematically. Be open to adjusting your approach as new information emerges or circumstances change. Embrace flexibility and adaptability, as these qualities will empower you to find innovative solutions and overcome obstacles.
Reacting to a crisis in an empowered manner is a transformative approach that can help you not only overcome the immediate challenges but also grow stronger in the face of adversity. By staying calm, seeking knowledge, focusing on what you can control, building a support network, and taking proactive action, you will cultivate resilience, regain control, and emerge from the crisis with newfound strength. Remember, in every crisis, there is an opportunity for personal growth and empowerment. Also, this is awful. It sucks. It could be the worst possible thing that you never let yourself imagine. Don’t forget to make time for yourself to heal. You are strong but healing makes us stronger.