It’s important to have a ‘lifeboat’ prepared for those hard times.
In a recent post, I talked about how I like to visualize my mood as a buoy in the sea. There have been times in my life when ocean waves would wash over my buoy, but then it would always pop back up. When my husband died, my buoy went complete under the water and when it finally came up again, it was listing on its side.
I’ve talked to lots of folks who use ocean imagery to describe their emotions. People talk about huge, scary waves breaking over them as they stand in the surf. Or how they’re feeling lost at sea, and desperate for some kind of lifeboat.
We all have hard things happen in our lives. How do we keep from drowning?
First of all, let’s talk about life triggers that can cause the waves to come. For example:
- Getting fired.
- Breaking up with a significant other.
- Death of a family member or friend.
The overwhelm from the waves is particularly hard when we’re vulnerable. For example:
- In the middle of the night.
- When we’re alone (and lonely).
- After some kind of crisis happens in our day (doesn’t even have to be large).
I’ve learned by experience that, when I’m doing well, that’s the time to prepare my lifeboat (or repair my buoy). Then, it will be ready when the stormy seas arrive.
People ask me, “What should I do to prepare my lifeboat?” Here are some of the suggestions I’ve given over the years:
- Call a trusted friend.
- Call your therapist/sponsor
- Go for a walk.
- Take a bath.
- Go to bed early.
- Watch a movie (happy, funny, sad, intriguing, suspenseful – depending on what works best for your need).
These are the lifeboat supplies I’ve used and suggested to my clients. I hope they’re helpful for you too. I’d also love to hear what supplies you’ve put in your lifeboat.