Crisis Mode Explained… and Contained
Hi Everybody, I’m Maggie O’Connor at BreakthroughMFT, helping you reach your Breakthrough Moment.
My last post talked about how we really can only live in crisis mode for two weeks, and I understand that you might say things like, ‘well I LIVE in crisis mode’ or I’ve been living in crisis mode for the past three years. I say to you – No. You’d be dead.
Here’s the difference between living with a crisis and living in crisis mode. And we’re all learning that right now.
In ‘crisis mode’, there’s a singular focus. It’s like an extended fight or flight. All your time and energy is focused on this one thing. Your cortisol and adrenaline levels rise and your entire amazing body is working just to get you through this one thing.
You ‘lose track of time’ because your awareness of everything outside of that area of focus is severely diminished.
But we can only go like that for so long – it’s about two weeks on average.
When the crisis continues anyway, you need to find a more sustainable way of being. This may have been signaled for you recently by an emotional breakdown – and you make total sense to me! That’s your body letting you know that you can’t keep going like this.
If you’ve ever had a loved one with a chronic illness, you might be familiar with this dynamic of needing to figure out a way of being that lets you work, play and have some semblance of a life outside of treatment and caring for them, so that you can sustain.
Right now, coronavirus is creating an environment your body is struggling to handle. Why wouldn’t you feel stressed?
We need to find a way out of the crisisSelf- care is how we pull ourselves out of crisis mode, how we create new energy for ourselves so that we can handle when we do need to be stressted.
Give your body some space to recover – feed yourself with structure to feel predictability, with exercise to sheathe your nerves against stress, with laughter and fun and creativity to feed your mind and heart. Get the comic relief, whatever you need to sustain yourself through this.
SEE PEOPLE you care about on FaceTime, Zoom or whatever you use to maintain that cornerstone of sanity only our relationships can hold.
Some days will take more out of you than you can put in; and that’s okay. So go ahead and give yourself that ugly cry, forgive yourself and ask forgiveness for your irritation and frustration. Remember you are only one person and you are doing the best you can. Find your tribe and lean on them. It’s the only way we get through.
Stay safe. Be well.
I’m Maggie O’Connor at Breakthrough MFT, hoping this helps you to break on through.