Just when you thought you’d reached your limit, life throws more unexpected challenges directly in your path. How can you possibly go on?
Life is kicking many a*ses right now. The floods have devastated parts of NSW and QLD, the rain won’t stop and while it might be having a rest from front-page news for a bit, COVID is still raging.
It’s fair to say that many of us are confronting some pretty severe unexpected challenges. Being bombarded by life’s less favourable side has both an emotional and financial cost. The devastation wrought by the unplanned can feel overwhelming, relentless, hopeless… and expensive.
If you’re in the trenches right now, there’s sadly not a lot of words that will make you feel better. It’s really all about putting one foot in front of the other over and over until you get through it. We have to remain stoic and get it done, because we must.
That said, there are few things that might help you feel just a bit better as you face yet another of life’s unexpected challenges.
1. Take a moment
The instinct is to plough straight in and take action to fix whatever you’re facing, but that might not be the best approach. Instead, take a moment or two to assess the bigger picture and make a plan. You should save yourself a few mistakes and you’ll feel more in control once you’ve got a proper plan of attack in place.
Once you’ve found your momentum, remember to take a moment regularly. To reassess, recalibrate and rest. Which brings us to our next point…
2. Look after yourself
Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do in any situation and never more important than when you’re facing ongoing stress.
When your body and mind are strong, you can tackle whatever is thrown at you.
Remember, you don’t have to shoulder burdens alone. Check in with your neighbours, friends and family and keep your connections strong.
If possible, try to eat a wholefood diet, get some exercise, practise daily mindfulness and allow yourself the opportunity to sleep well.
Actually, you probably won’t sleep well, but you can try.
3. Trust that you’ll be okay
It’s a very hard thing to do when you’re hit with unexpected challenges, but trust that you will get through it. It will be extremely tough going, but you will get there.
This is where all the clichés come into their own: the light at the end of the tunnel; the sun coming out in the morning (*not lately); tomorrow being a better day.
All of the above might not be true for now, but they will definitely be true eventually. Trust that you can endure whatever you’re facing and go from there.
If that’s just not possible for you and you’re struggling emotionally, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
4. Record everything
Take pictures and videos of whatever you’re facing. Not just for the memories (this is probably not something you’re going to want to reminisce over), but for your insurance record.
Document the what, how, when and why so you have good evidence to support any claims you need to make. Take photos, videos and even record yourself explaining exactly what happened while it’s fresh in your mind.
Lodge any insurance claims as soon as you can – most can be lodged online. Your insurer can also offer you support during your crisis. Many provide an emergency response that includes temporary accommodation.
For free legal help with insurance claims and appeals, policy coverage, clean-up costs, total loss settlements and temporary accommodation entitlements, visit the Disaster Response Legal Service.
5. Sort out the financials
While your money might be the furthest thing from your mind in the moment, it pays to make some quick checks as you go.
This is exactly why you have an emergency fund, so don’t be scared to dip into it to get yourself what you need.
If you haven’t got any funds to support you right now, start making calls to get financial help if you need it. Here are some of the services and charities that offer emergency support Australia-wide:
- Department of Social Security emergency relief
- Centrelink Disaster Recovery payment
- Ask Izzy
- Salvation Army 13 72 58
- Red Cross 1800 733 276
- St Vincent de Paul Society 13 18 12
- Anglicare 1300 111 278
- CatholicCare 13 18 19
You can find a full list of organisations here.