May 1, 2006 — Laura Day has seen her share of crises. Her mother committed suicide when she was 14. Her marriage ended when she was 33 and a new mom, leaving her impoverished to raise her son alone.
"We're creatures of pattern," she said. "As mammals, when something changes, it signals danger to us. So crisis is a change we're not prepared to handle. … But if nothing changes, that's when something is wrong. See the crisis as an opportunity. It can't be avoided."
Day drew from her own experiences to write a book, "Welcome to Your Crisis: How to Use the Power of Crisis to Create the Life You Want." The book outlines her journey from crisis to the publication of her best-selling self-help manual, which made her almost $4 million.
Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman is a great example of overcoming crisis, Day said. After her divorce from Tom Cruise, Kidman went on to act in some of her best roles ever."Nicole did it on a grand scale," Day said. "But this [book] is something for everyone. … Nicole had to reach into herself for change."
Day has worked with celebrities like Uma Thurman and Demi Moore, whose divorces have been followed by career successes. She created strategies for dealing with crisis based on different types of personalities.
"Everyone has a response type," Day said. "It's usually part of what got them into the crisis in the first place. It's important to know which type you are and act accordingly."
Day's Tips for the Different Personality Types
Depression Type: Tend to isolate themselves and are more tired than usual. Tip: Depression types need to focus on the task of just getting out of bed and washing their faces at first. They need to alter their environment to help them snap out of it. They should also find a comforting daily routine to help them cope.
Anxiety Type: Anxiety types are so nervous all the time, they miss what the real problem is and run out of energy to solve it. They have trouble sleeping and act impulsively but ineffectively. Tip: Anxiety types need to find a way to be calm and simplify their lives by focusing only on what really needs to get done. Make a checklist to avoid getting distracted.
Rage Type: This person feels like they have premenstrual symptoms or road rage all the time. They react to crisis by snapping or exploding. They also have vengeful or violent fantasies. Tip: Don't bottle the rage up, but let it out in a constructive, private way. Stop blaming other people and pretend the crisis is your fault so you will have the power to fix things.
Denial Type: The denial type responds to crises by becoming Superman or Superwoman. They think they don't need help and avoid people who see their situations differently, especially old friends. Day said Thurman — like many other celebrities — fell into denial after her marriage to actor Ethan Hawk ended. Tip: Denial types have to recognize their feelings and move toward the things they want to avoid.
"People who come through crisis have a life that's left with the things they truly value: a more pleasure-based and less need-based life," Day said. "You also strip away things that have sapped your energies in the past, and what you have left of the tools to have a much more fulfilling, successful life."
Day said that you could tell whether you were having a crisis if you were always unhappy or anxious, and the only time you felt at ease was when you were taking a break from your life. It could be isolated to just one part of your life. For example, your relationship could be going well, but you dread going to work every day.
When you are in crisis, don't look back or ahead, deal with the moment, Day said. Use the Internet or other tools to reach into the community. Avoid new damage and try not to put yourself in the same bad situation over and over again.
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Another of my interests discussed in this blog is the human body in health, injury and disease.
Over the past few years I have taken science, CNA, EMT and nursing classes.
I have had positive experiences with kind and professional health care workers.
I have also experienced the pain of dealing with 'professionals' who behave unprofessionally.
My goal in interactions with patients and their families is to act with integrity and professionalism,
and to treat each person with the dignity and respect we all deserve.
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"Never mind the turtle. Don't you think you're sure to win?"