There are ready-made checklists to help families prepare and cope with severe storms (go here). Severe winter storms are like a mirror of life’s inevitable storms. We can prepare (in case) or be caught off-guard (at risk). From Florida to Georgia to The Carolinas, records are being set for severe weather. In the Northeast, a winter storm has manifested itself as a Bomb Cyclone. According a New York Times report, those “winter hurricanes” are caused by two air masses clashing amid a rapid air pressure drop. Thousands without power, schools and roads shut down, and potential for coastal flooding. Although the winter bomb reads like a summer hurricane, its wind damage potential is quite less intense. Still, all storms need to be taken seriously. Getting caught off-guard is a slippery slope, especially for those without tools to cope.
As if aligned with a force of nature, storms can come blasting into our lives (with little if any notice), evoking a fight or flight response. Cancer — Alzheimer’s — PTSD — whatever “storm” we must face, survival-mode kicks in. Instinctively, our sympathetic nervous system will be triggered to adapt – to either stay and deal (fight) or run away to perceived safety (flee). What appears like 10 feet of snow to one person may be as a dusting to another. And yet, when illness, loss, or grief sets in, sorrow ensues, and one’s hope for the future is threatened. Mild or severe, how “the storm” is viewed can make all the difference in the world.
You see, we don’t always get to choose what we go through, but we can always choose how we go through it. Storms often turn into slush and mud long before they can be cleaned up. Simply lending someone a hand or ear can be a God-send inside the storm. Read below about 4 ways to cope when heavy stuff falls into your life. And, if changing my G-rated “s” word into an expletive “s” word helps you plow into newfound hope, you go right ahead!
Consider 4 ways to cope when life’s storms hit:
- Grab a shovel. Like clearing a walkway after a snowstorm … getting rid of hindrances, distractions, and toxins before a path can be forged onto more solid ground.
- Hire a plow. Like watching the snowplow put the excess in a dump-truck to prevent a melt-down from causing a flood … an army of helps is essential to rise above and beyond life’s storms.
- Sprinkle some salt. Like coating the ice to lessen the risk of falling … having friends and family and prayers of encouragement will bring courage to each step, throughout the storm.
- Bury your head in it. Like taking up refuge inside an igloo, invisible to the outside world … sometimes we just need a time out and away … emerging with a clearer mind and more capable of weathering this storm (and life’s inevitable next one).
What helps you to cope during life’s inevitable storms?