When Life Gives You Lemons
For one reason or another, many of us go through times when we feel we’ve taken a bit of a beating and get stressed. While in general life has its blessings and its many up points, the inevitable downward spiral always comes around eventually. It’s not something most of us like to talk about, which is odd, given it happens to every one of us. At some point, we all have times that make us feel our luck has run out.
The cause for these dips in optimism are as varied as they are unexpected. It can be a situation outside of your control; feeling stressed from a friend’s bad situation reflecting in our lives.
Work problems and financial concerns; even concerns about the economy can bring us down. Difficulties in our personal relationships can overshadow things, all mingling with the usual stresses.
Some things are even harder to deal with. The sudden onset of physical illness, either through an accident or as a result of a disease. Be it temporary or more permanent, it can leave us feeling stressed and vulnerable. Mental health issues are increasingly on the rise also, with many of us going through periods of high anxiety or depression.
While the causes may be endless, the risks posed by going through a rough patch are extreme. When we are bogged down worrying about something, we begin to lose focus on the things that we are usually aware of. While you may be offered medication or partake in counseling, we infrequently seek the help we need to keep us safe. We’re not just talking about personal safety here either – but mental and emotional safety as well.
The next time you are in a bad spell, there are several areas that you need to focus on. Yes, it sounds almost impossible, dragging your attention outwards when the pain is internal. But you have to focus on the fact that things will eventually improve. You don’t want to mar the celebration of a return to full, normal function by having to clean up the mess from when you were low.
The Internet is a ubiquitous part of everyday life now, and the idea that you need to protect yourself from it may seem strange. Yet for all of its scope, the internet is also the new hotbed for scams on the vulnerable. You may be aware that the physical level of crime has been decreasing year on year for nearly two decades. Good as this sounds, a large part of the reduction is because the problems have now moved online.
One of the major risks when you’re going through hard times, is to overspend, looking for the quick rush of shopping as a pick-me-up. Removing all of your credit and debit cards from online accounts becomes a must. Go as far as outright closing accounts for stores which only deal in luxury or frivolous items.
If you are usually in the habit of online dating, this may be a time to put it on hold for awhile. First and foremost, you’re not emotionally going to be in a state where it would be beneficial to begin something. Secondly, your vulnerability leaves you open to catfishing and similar scams.
The more we try to tell ourselves we’re fine, the less likely we are to confront our problems. Then when those problems only increase, we begin to bend under the strain. As we do so, one of the first things to suffer is our working life.
It is no good making mistakes and perhaps even going through disciplinaries and then explaining you’ve been having a bad time. At that point, it will always seem like an excuse, a feeble justification you’ve put together to save your skin. The only way it can be effective is to pre-warn.
Communicate Your Concerns
Request a meeting with your direct superior. You don’t have to spill your entire story to them; a brief overview of the difficulties will suffice. If you can’t stomach the idea of talking with them, then write it down.
A good employer should acknowledge and take things into consideration. A great one will see if they can offer support. If you get any other response, then at the very least you have material for an employment tribunal. Companies should not expect their workers to be emotionless drones. So long as you have given warning, they are obliged – even if only morally – to give a little slack.
If things are so bad, or your health so poor you’re struggling, then request a sabbatical on health grounds. You may think you can’t afford it, but can you afford to lose your job by not doing so?
This aspect is definitely something to focus on if you are new to having issues with mobility, for reasons of health. Even if you have just broken a wrist, everything that you do in public is something you need to scrutinize.
Criminals look for people that they perceive to be vulnerable, either for physical or mental reasons. It’s one of the factors in why the elderly are so frequently targeted; it is assumed they will be frail, easily led. Unfortunately, the same disgusting attitudes go towards people with disabilities.
And unpleasant a subject as it is, disability hate crime is something that exists. Some people seek to punish and humiliate those they perceive as weaker. Even if your health issue is only a temporary setback, you have got to face head-on the sad reality you now have more of a target on your back.
The same applies to cases of mental distress. With depression, you are less likely to notice the world around you. This, in turn, can make you a mark for someone’s ill intentions.
If you don’t already have one, now is a good time to invest in a personal safety alarm. These are referred to as rape alarms, but they can also warn of any other situation you need assistance with. When you’re walking – or using a wheelchair – in public, have it safe at hand, even if you have got someone with you.
If your condition has meant you can’t drive, you’re going to have to find alternative transport. The stories of cab drivers refusing physically challenged passengers never go away, so reticence to use these and public transport is natural.
Thankfully, there are specialist companies who meet the demand with a higher vetting of their drivers. Look for transport companies, and if you want more information, you can find it at Ride-Right.net and those in the same industry.
Finally, make sure you’re practicing some of the obvious. Lock your doors at night. If you don’t have an alarm system, consider getting one installed. These may seem basic, but in the middle of a bad patch, they’re the kind of things that get forgotten.
In cases of mental health problems, this one goes without saying. The only way that you can recover is to acknowledge the issue and find some way of coping with it. This may involve treatment, either medicinally or with talking therapies. It’s also a good idea to keep your friends and family aware, so there is support there if required.
If you are dealing with an injury, physical illness or stressed time – well, your emotional well-being is rarely a focus. There’s a good reason for this as well. You’re focusing on the everyday practicalities of getting through to tomorrow. Something has to give, and the first thing to go is usually our discipline and mental health. We don’t have time to focus on that, we tell ourselves when we’re struggling to stand up to prepare a meal.
This is particularly insidious, as the more we push the stress and upset away, the more likely it is to be able to do damage. So acknowledge the issue at the very least by seeking support. If you can’t tell friends without feeling embarrassed, then enlist the help of a therapist.
Meditate When You Feel Stressed
It’s a good time to build good habits. Meditation has been proven to be useful for a myriad of different conditions, and could help bring balance and structure.
Or it doesn’t have to be that focused. Instead, try and set a little bit of time per week to do something just for you. A time and some space where you have some freedom to do as you please and forget the other issues.
On A Final Note
When things are bad, it can be almost impossible to think that they will ever improve. You may see the ideas mentioned above and struggle to find a reason to do them, at a point where you can’t see the wood for the trees.
So remember this: if things can suddenly go wrong, they can suddenly go right again too. Your luck will change, and you want to have as good a life as possible to go back to. Injuries will heal, stress will fade, health conditions will be improved with treatment and with time. Just keep in mind you have to get yourself through to that point, and you will get there.