Shitstorm Survial Guide
How did the beginning of this new year start for you? The world seems to be plunged into a swirling shitstorm right now and that’s kinda how my own 2017 began. But having lived through a few shitstorms and I’m sure you have too, I think we get better at navigating them, right? I thought I would share with you my personal prescription on ss survival:
1. Self-regulation. When it hits the fan I’m reactive. My emotions are driving the bus, stress hormones are the gasoline and the highway signs point to hell, ETA 4am. A seriously lousy combination for dealing with stress. So what’s the answer?. Taking a breath, shutting my mouth, finding something to calm me down, dance, sing, jump on the spot, swear, whatever it takes.
2. Self-talk. Once I’m physically calmer, I ask myself the question “what is actually happening right now and what am I making up in my head?”. Chances are, I have taken the stressful trigger and just blown it up to catastrophic proportions. We’re wired to do that, it’s a survival mechanism. Great for figuring out how to save your family from an invading Army, not so great for survival in 2017. So, negative self talk, thanks for the heads up, now shut the F up.
3. Distraction. I’m not talking about burying your head in the sand, I’m talking about finding something to help calm the body, slow the critic and get yourself into a better state of mind before responding. If your mind is on board the crazy train you will derail. So stop the train, admire the view, take a walk.
4. Gratitude. What?! Now?! I am a firm believer that gratitude and appreciation is the foundation of happiness. Get a pen and paper, no not your cell phone notes app. An actual pen and paper and make a list of things you love and appreciate about you and about your life. Trust me, it will help you shift gears almost immediately.
5. Ask for help. Call your bestie, call your partner, pray, meditate. Do what feels right for you. But DO NOT get back on that bus, or train and end up back at step one! Before I begin any important conversation I set my intention. What do I want to get out of this exchange? It goes something like this, ‘I want clarity, I want helpful advice, I want excellent resolution, I want a great outcome’. Think that’s airy-fairy, woo-woo? To that I say, give it a try!
6. Everything is figureoutable. I stole that line from the unbelievably inspiring Marie Forleo. It’s something I remind my seven-year-old, but I forget to remind myself. Again, we are wired for survival and catastrophizing situations is our default. But I also have to remind myself that that’s a choice. I can choose to dwell on the problem, or I can choose to be open to a solution. In my experience, when you open the door of possibility just a crack, the universe will charge in with solutions.
Now I’d like to know how you’ve learned to survive stressful situations? The world is a better place when we feel connected and we share our stresses and vulnerabilities. So let’s connect 🙂
Written by: Rachel Matthews Burton, Host of Tabella