Last week I was listening to Dr Mark Porter's podcast, 'Inside Health' which was discussing mental health and crisis. A Lady rang into the show and quoted the Canadian author and speaker, Brian Tracy - "If you’re living a busy, normal life, you will probably have some kind of crisis every two to three months”. Initially, this quote came as a surprise to me. When I hear the word crisis, images of starving people, war-torn villages or drought come to mind. It seems bit disingenuous to say 'I'm having a crisis', especially if it’s going to be 4-6 times a year! Perhaps a more British way to put it would be, 'I'm having a really bad day', like a crisis, just without the melodrama. Either way, our emotions towards a given situation are a by-product of past experiences and we will each respond differently to a given situation.
We each live and fight our own battles day in, day out. What may be a crisis to you, may seem trivial to someone else. The important thing is not only what we perceive to be a crisis, but also how we tackle it; this will determine its overall impact on your life. The problem that frequent 'bad-days' present is they disrupt the natural rhythm of life. Most of us are striving to be better at something; the piano, our job (leading to a promotion or better pay), being a better friend or losing some weight. So how do we navigate through the darker days and minimise the disruption?
As Tracy alludes, PREPARE for these blips. Expectation is different to preparation. Being prepared involves considering possible scenarios and deciding how you will tackle them. It's no good expecting to have a bad-day every 2-3 months but once it arrives, you have no idea what to do.
Remaining close to those who you can trust is crucial for managing tough days. As my partner says, 'A problem shared is a problem halved'. If you are not a talker, work to decide what your strategy will be. As we've learnt, setbacks are common. Spending time to build a 'mental toolbox' will mean you navigate back to the straight and narrow a little quicker.
Don't be too harsh on yourself. Introspection important but remember, there comes a point when the thinking and pondering needs to be realised. You must take action and keep moving forward.
Unfortunately, none of us are spared this phenomenon. My most successful weight-loss clients recognise that not every day will be a good day, especially during times of serious change. They also work hard to develop strategies to see them through. These vary from a 5-minute walk outdoors to holding a family meeting in the evening where everyone sits down (although I'd prefer the meeting to be standing) and thrashes through the issues at hand.
If you are attempting to change your lifestyle for the better by losing weight, starting to exercise or eat better have you considered what you'll do when things are not going as planned?