There are few things in life as destabilizing and emotionally crippling as a major health crisis. Often, in a split second, your life is turned upside down by an auto accident, an unexpected medical diagnosis, or a life-threatening illness. How you deal with a major health crisis can make or break you as an individual and shape the course of the rest of your life.
The most critical step you can take for handling a health crisis is first…do nothing. By that I mean take a deep breath – take a couple – and compartmentalize for easier handling all the elements that make it a crisis. Break down the mental, physical, and even financial aspects of the situation you find yourself in and begin to plot a course of action to systematically deal with them all.
It’s crucial to understand your illness or injury so that you’re dealing with facts, not fear and conjecture. Get a grip on those facts and learn about the various aspects of your illness or injury – knowledge creates familiarity and familiarity vanquishes fear. Now you’re ready to take on your health crisis and find a way to fight through it:
Step 1: Handle the mental elements first
Start by addressing all the mental aspects of your health crisis – the stress, feelings, fears, emotions, and grief. Take some time to quiet your thinking and analyze what you’re feeling and why. Once you have a handle on the emotional and mental elements of your illness or injury you’ll be able to move on and make better, more sound judgements about the physical and financial components.
Step 2: Determine how to handle the physical aspects
The injury or illness that’s causing you serious problems may be adversely affecting various aspects of your daily life – your strength, mobility, capabilities, and more. Take stock of what you can and can’t do and what you need to do. Then get help with the things beyond what you can do. Get support. There is a wealth of specialized assistance available in the medical and mental health communities, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. The belief that we have to do everything alone is often more painful than the reality of the situation. Give yourself permission to be a little selfish. Prioritize your health and wellbeing – you deserve that.
Step 3: Work to stabilize financial concerns
A major health crisis can affect your ability work and may even affect the work lives and schedules of those around you who may be tasked with helping you with care, transportation, and more. As a result, income may be disrupted and budgeting to take that into account may become necessary. If you’re concerned about losing your job you may want to consult with an attorney to ensure you’re protected under the law and take steps to file any appropriate claims that can help with expenses. Learning to become your own health advocate and getting a grip on your financial and insurance situation will go a long way in reducing stress and enabling you to focus on recovery.
A major health crisis offers us the opportunity to better understand ourselves mentally and physically so that we can successfully confront our fears and grow as an individual. Any health concerns, large or small, enable us to become better advocates for ourselves, putting us in a position to handle future events with greater confidence.
Therapeutic Journaling can help you to explore how you are feeling and help you process the information you are receiving from family, the medical community and others. Are you looking for ways to get started with journaling about your health, please consider trying one of our downloadable courses titled Get Healthy in 24 Days.
If you want to learn ways to unlock the secrets to managing the devastating impact of a major health crisis while being a full time mom, please download the free eBook titled Avoiding the 24/7 Motherhood Struggle Through Journaling.