Keeping Your Sanity in a Crisis

Tom Hanks was definitely unprepared to deal with the crisis he faced in the hit film Cast Away.

But he ended up adapting pretty well for a guy who did not see another human being for five years. He learned how to start fires, catch fish and open coconuts. And eventually made a raft to get off the island.

Mentally? Well, Tom’s situation got the best of him and he created an imaginary friend in “Wilson” after drawing a face on a volleyball.

Hey, we all have our breaking point.

But that movie got me thinking… How would I keep my sanity or faith if I found myself in a crisis that lasted that long?

Keep the faith

Regardless of religion, if you believe in God, or a higher power, you can survive about anything by exercising your faith.

Having this belief that a higher power, can help give us the capability of staying positive no matter the situation. That frame of mind will help you deal with the pressures associated with the emergency.

Objects as friends?

Well, what if you are alone? Another way to cope is, interestingly, what Tom Hanks did. It’s called anthropomorphizing objects. You treat an object as you would another human being. You speak to it, discussing every imaginable subject.

(Now, if that object starts talking back to you, you know it’s time to find a different approach.)

Finding a pet in your circumstance is another possibility. To stay sane while adrift for 76 days in the Atlantic Ocean, American author Steven Callahan pretended that the fish under his raft were his dogs.

He made friends with them – at least the ones he didn’t spear to death and eat – and talking to them helped keep his mind active.

The Power of Comfort Foods and Routines

Imagine that you have six full month’s worth of food stored up. You have ample water and supplies set aside. You’re ready for anything.

Now imagine that you actually have to rely 100% on what you’ve stored. No more trips to the grocery store. Restaurant meals, and even fast food, are out of the question. It’s you, your family, and your stored goods.

Preparing food or holding a family routine can be enough to power people through tough times. Comfort foods do, actually, bring a degree of comfort and reassurance. The foods are familiar and are linked to happy memories. Never underestimate the power of these small items or routines, in the midst of a crisis.

We all need to be prepared for a crisis with emergency food, water and other supplies. But we should not neglect the mental component of dealing with disaster. Remember that during these hard times, everyone is struggling.

And sometimes having the support and ability to talk this out with someone else, through a prayer, or even a volleyball can make a positive difference.

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