Sometimes when challenging things happen, there is something explicit you can do to alleviate the problem. You get a nail in your tire? Patch it. There is a miscommunication with your spouse? Talk it out. You do poorly on a test? Study harder next time. You feel lonely? Initiate with a friend.
Other times, there is less that can practically be done to change the situation. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, being abused, a hard break up, financial strain, a natural disaster.
In these situations, your natural instinct may be to do something that is not helpful at all, something that may actually exacerbate the problem. You may isolate, turn to alcohol or drugs, spend beyond your means, cut yourself, etc. The good news is, there are other ways to cope. These ways of coping are not magical and will not make all your problems go away. What they will do, however, is help you get through the distressing time as gracefully as possible. They may help you hold yourself together and get the support you need so that your response to the problem doesn’t create even more problems for you.
In light of the myriad of natural disasters recently and the looming threat of attack on our country, here are eight tips that can help you manage your distress: