Hurricane Irma provided a great example of a challenging life experience that leads to a flood of strong emotions and a sense of uncertainty. What makes a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, so traumatic is the threat to all aspects of your life. You may experience fear related to your well-being, or that of your family, neighbors, or even pets. Others experience the realization that the safety and security of their home and employment are at risk. And there is the fear of knowing that such a catastrophic event has the potential to create such devastation that your life will never be the same. That’s where a life coach comes in. A life coach can help you with perspective and teach you resilience from any life event, big or small.
Resilience refers to one’s ability to bounce back from obstacles. We were quite lucky in Tampa, considering what the devastation could have been. The aftermath of flooding and lack of power are true inconveniences. However, the real destruction comes with managing the emotions that surround such an event. I’ll admit that I felt too scared to even say I was scared. Even as a life coach who helps people every day with managing stress, expectations, fear, and dealing with the outcome, I still found it challenging to focus on work. I was irritable, short-tempered, and anxious.
Once it was all over, I experienced a mixture of emotions. I experienced shock seeing trees down with massive amounts of debris everywhere. Sadness in hearing the horrific stories of loss. Relief hearing heroic stories of survival. And yet I made my way to the grocery store to get supplies in a numb stupor, unable to process what could have been, what is, and what will be. I felt hungover for days! That’s what I call an emotional hangover.
You may wonder how you can be resilient if a life coach who seemingly has the answers about dealing with life events big and small can’t. Building resiliency takes time. The American Psychological Association recommends several steps for building resiliency and dealing with stressful circumstances. They include:
- Let yourself experience strong emotions while balancing your ability to regain focus.
- Tackle challenges head on, but give yourself space to rest and relax.
- Spend time with others and gain support.
As a life coach, I incorporate these steps, among others, to help people deal with trauma, big or small, and grow from it. Recognizing the impact of the experience provides some peace in understanding that even as things return to “normal,” trauma does occur so you can be empowered to bounce back from similar events in the future.
Building resiliency takes time and understanding. Whether your trauma is big affecting many like a hurricane, or small like a job loss, working with a life coach on dealing with trauma and learning coping mechanisms is key to personal growth. If you’ve wondered if life coaching is right for you, fill out my contact form and we’ll meet to discuss your goals and how I may be able to help as your life coach.