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Tips for Living a Productive Life During a Crisis

I am not going to say anything new, but it is all worth saying again... It is what worked for me, when I really needed to reset my life..

1. Don't check Facebook more than once or twice a day.  If you are in the midst of an argument, breakup, or divorce; don't look at it at all.  Facebook is the ultimate emotional minefield.  There is no reason to subject yourself to potentially distressing images/posts that will push your imagination into overdrive.

2. Eat well and take yourself for walks.  When you are not feeling your best, you may forget to take care of yourself.  If you make an effort to force a few healthy routines into your daily activities, you will have the energy to start moving in the right direction when your will returns.

3. Don't write "to-do" lists; write "what I did" lists.  Often we start our days full of lists we are eager to complete.  In truth, our to-to lists will outlive all of us.  There is an infinite number of things you could do!  Instead, make a list at the end of your day, of all the things you did do- Even if it was just cleaning the cat litter.  Because let's face it, that is quite an accomplishment!

4. Turn off the TV and read.  Nothing is worse than watching drama, fictional or reality-based, that wraps up in 30-60 minutes when you are living through emotional chaos for weeks on end.  We are an impatient era.  With our microwave meals, cell phones, email; we expect instant gratification.  Reading requires patience.  It helps us slow down.

5. Be gentle with yourself.  If you feel like you need to sleep, sleep.  If you feel like you need to eat, eat.  There is no guilt in healing.  If you are in pain, you need to accept you are in pain... Only then can you relax, listen to your body and heart and mind- and begin to give yourself what you need.

6. Don't rush.  There is a vicious cycle between impatience, stress and tension.  When you worry about these constrictions, they compound.  When you tell yourself, "I don't have time to waste," you are invalidating your pain.  Don't rush it.  Let it run its course, like the flu.  When recovery comes, accept it and begin again slowly.  Your timeline will correct itself at its own pace.

7. Clean.  Your home.  Your body.  Your teeth.  Simple routines are meditations.  Do them slowly.  You show yourself respect by showering and putting on clean clothes each day.  Sweep your floor.  When you recover, you will want these things to be done.  If you start while you are feeling down, you will be ahead when things start to turn around.

8. Don't listen to too much advice.  While it is good to have a support system of friends and family... and it is good to go to therapy, you can become more confused when overloaded with other people's opinions.  Listen to yourself first.  It may take some time before your mind starts to make sense again, but no one has the answers except you.

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9. Find outlets to express yourself.  Writing, singing, playing, drawing, painting, sculpting, sewing, cooking, baking, running, taking photographs... the possibilities are endless.  If you do not have a specialty, try something new.  What's calling you?  By allowing yourself to pour your emotions out creatively, you may find answers you did not realize were within you.

10.  Pray.  Even if you do not have a higher power, you can pray.  You can hope.  You can let yourself wish for whatever you want... as long as you realize and accept that events may not unfold as you would like.  Know what you want, then let it go.  Believe that events will unfold in the best way possible, even if it is not immediately noticeable.

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