October 12, 2020

4 Ways to Embrace Crisis as Part of Everyday Life.


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Fires, pandemics, mass political unrest, and economic precarity—it seems like 2020 is just one wave of crisis after another.

Amid such overwhelming crises, it’s easy for panic to set in. Many of us wish we could run and hide, go to sleep, and wake up when it’s over.

But we should do the opposite—and I should know. The best thing we can do in times like these is turn toward crisis and embrace it as just another part of everyday life.

Life is filled with crises—big and small—from illness to layoffs to breakups, and we can’t know when they’ll happen. I talk about my journey in my new book, Make Room for Joy, and how I learned to embrace crisis and weather the storms as they come.

Abandoned at birth, betrayed by loved ones, and a twice-over breast cancer survivor, I know crisis, and I want you to be able to survive and thrive through complicated times just as I did.

Over the course of my life, I’ve developed a few core pillars of how to approach and embrace crisis, and cultivate radical resilience along the way.

Here’s what we can do:

1. Shift your perspective by seeing crisis as normal.
Trauma, suffering, crisis, disappointment, and struggle are all part of life. In many ways, they’re the most important part of life. They come for us all the time—sometimes small and personal, and sometimes huge and societal.

Crises are as much a part of life as anything else, and this is how we should see them—that way they never come as a surprise.

2. Prepare for crisis and train for it.
Because crisis is a normal part of life, we should also prepare for it as we would for anything else: train for it. The more you mentally prepare and train for the inevitability of crisis, the better you will persevere.

Open yourself up to a broader perspective—one that makes room for crisis. The simple act of shifting your perspective on crisis and complications prepares you to embrace it and experience more joy in the middle of them.

3. Learn to find joy even in the midst of crisis.
Checking in with yourself and defining for yourself what you need right now is the key to finding joy and thriving through any crisis—big or small. No one can define it for you, but learning how to listen to yourself and your needs will be a blessing during times of crisis.

One step and one need at a time will see you through until the next moment—and the one after that.

4. Use crisis as an opportunity to stop, regroup, and redefine your vision for the future.
Crisis has its virtues—it paves the way for seeing what is really necessary and what you need to weather the storm.

Taking time to smell the roses, your child’s hair, or just enjoy some chocolate because it’s what you need to get through this day is exactly what it takes to grow through a crisis, and this clarity can be carried into the quiet parts of life as well, making you more resilient for the next big challenge.

By following these pointers and cultivating the empathy and resilience needed to weather storms alone and with our fellow beings, we’ll find that crisis isn’t the life-stopping force it used to be.

If now isn’t the time to embrace crisis, when is?


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