We’re not in control of so many aspects of our lives. We can’t control what the other people in our lives are going to do, things can go wrong at work, and then there’s the weather… There’s a lot to manage in normal, grown-up life, but throw in a natural disaster, or freak weather that now seems normal, and life gets crazy real quick. So, what to do when disaster strikes?

Keep Calm To Manage The Fear

The world is scary. You don’t have to be in recovery to feel unbalanced. Any number of things can make anyone feel shaken.  You just have to know what to do. Safety becomes number one. Getting in contact with people and maintaining forms of contact with family and friends is critical. Confirm for others that you and anyone you’re responsible for are safe. Let someone know immediately if you are not safe, physically or mentally. If you’re in harm, call for help. If it’s more emotional, make sure you have a list of people handy you can contact by phone, computer, or whatever other means you’re using. Write phone numbers and emails down in case your phone loses power and you need to use someone else’s.

What Matters Is Staying In The Keep Calm Solution 

Once I’m sure I’m safe, here are the things I do to keep calm.

    1. I call someone and make a plan for the next day, three days, or week. Whatever is called for. That person could be a significant other, a parent, a sponsor, a reliable friend, or a professional of some kind. It always helps to make a plan with someone who can check in on you and cares for your well-being.
    2. If possible, I get to a recovery place and do a recovery thing. For me, that’s a meeting, meditation class, yoga or hiking. Getting out of my head and into action of some kind always gives me that space to detach a little from the problem and return to it when I have more perspective and tolerance.
    3. I work a program and don’t spin about the problem. That means I pay extra time and attention to self-care, nutrition, and staying connected to friends. That’s also the time I show up to work or life and just do the next right thing. I try not to think three steps ahead and focus entirely on what I can do that day.

We can’t control what happens but we can control how we react to it. Having three basic actions to take one the situation is safe helps me to keep calm and carry on, no matter what’s going on.

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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.

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