by Lisa Cybaniak
Have you ever had something happen in your life that just turned your world upside down, feeling like it was impossible to get through it?
We all have experienced at least one episode in our lives where we were really taken back. Perhaps it’s a relationship break down, the unexpected redundancy package you took as you were forced out, an illness, or even the loss of a loved one.
The truth is life is short. We can get so wrapped up in our day-to-day that we forget to be appreciative of what we have. And when the “impossible” knocks us out of our orbit, the realities of life smack us in the face like a sledgehammer.
Today we’re talking about what it takes to make it through the seemingly impossible. This includes the practical things you can do when times get tough to help you get through it in one piece.
Lucy Werner is an author, speaker, teacher, PR expert and founder of The Wern, an award-winning PR and branding consultancy for startups and entrepreneurs. But that’s not what she’s here to talk about today.
Meet Lucy Werner
Just last year, in 2019, Lucy and her family began to face the unspeakable. Not only did her mother suffer a brain aneurysm, her husband was made redundant, and her father, who suffers from frequent memory wipes from stress, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but the birth of her second son dealt a hand she never saw coming.
He was born with three congenial heart defects. One is extremely rare; it only affects 1 in 10,000 babies and only three surgeons globally could fix it.
Life is nowhere close to what Lucy expected it to look like. Both her parents are now on the mend, her little guy has made it through several surgeries already, with more to come, and her business has had to adapt every step of the way.
Lucy knows that working, especially as a freelancer, with a baby in intensive care, is not a subject that is often spoken about, so she’s here to change that.
Like all the topics we tackle on this podcast, you don’t have to relate directly with Lucy’s story. It may not even be health issues that has turned your world upside down.
Lucy is sharing tips with us today on how to make it through the seemingly impossible, whatever that is for you. Life may not be turning out the way you expected at this moment, but you are not alone.
Ready to hear Lucy’s top tips that have the power to help you through this? You don’t want to miss this.
So, let’s dive right in!
Ask for help in dealing with the “impossible”
This is probably the most important, and most obvious tip, but it’s also the one people struggle with the most.
You are not a burden.
Let me say that one more time: You are NOT a burden.
People want to help. Think about the last time you knew someone who was going through a difficult time, whatever that looked like for them. You felt helpless, right? We all do. Even when it’s someone we barely know, we wish we could do something, anything.
Now think about the last time you helped someone, whether they asked for it or you just did something nice that you knew would help them out, even in the smallest way.
Did you feel like they were re a burden? Of course not. You felt relieved that you could offer something to make life that little bit easier for someone else. And that’s what we’re all trying to do.
Lucy recommends you make a list of practical things you need help for, like meals, childcare or even time together as a couple or family. Then, reach out to the people you’re comfortable enough with to ask to give you this help.
When people ask, “What can I do to help?”, give them something from your list.
They won’t feel like you’re a burden, they’ll welcome the opportunity to help. And if I’m wrong, they’ll say no. It’s as simple as that!
Of course, seeking professional help is always recommended. Lucy and her partner have a therapist for them as a couple going through this difficult time. They also each have individual sessions, because they are individuals!
Take it one day at a time
A lot of the anxiety we face is from our minds being stuck in the past, reliving something over and over again. Perhaps it’s something we wish we did differently or said differently.
We also face a tremendous amount of anxiety from our minds focusing on the future – what we want to say, how we want things to work out, how we’ll deal with this situation or that.
Here’s the thing: It hasn’t happened; it’s not real. There’s no point spending all your time and energy worrying about tomorrow when you could be focused on the here and now.
Yes, you might know you have to face something difficult tomorrow, but right now, you don’t. Focus the energy and time you have, no matter what it is you’re going through, on what you’re doing right now.
Take care of yourself
This is certainly not the first time you’ve heard people give this advice, and that’s because it’s so true.
There’s a reason why they tell you in the safety drill on the airplane to put your own breathing mask on first before helping someone else with theirs.
You can’t give 100% of yourself if there isn’t 100% to give, it’s that simple.
It’s normal to feel like you don’t have anywhere close to 100% to give in times of crisis, but to deal with the seemingly impossible, you need to give what it is you do have. And to do that, you need to ensure you’re replenishing your own tank.
Lucy suggests you take a walk outside, sleep when you can, and eat as healthy as possible. During her son’s stay in hospital, Lucy went for small walks outside, taking a break from sitting idle at his bedside, so that she could regroup.
And when a friend asked how she could help, Lucy told her she was struggling with eating healthy meals because she was so busy and overwhelmed with hospital appointments. So her friend put together some healthy snacks and lunches for her to eat.
Build your network
One of the things that surprises us the most when we are enduring the “impossible” is who shows up in our time of need. We can get the help and support we need from unexpected places.
Sometimes the longest and dearest friends are nowhere to be seen while people we are just starting to get to know show up, big time.
For Lucy and her family, she realised quickly that some of the people who were showing up were not well known to her children. That meant that when it came time to needing help with childcare, for example, the children were unfamiliar with them, which would cause worry within Lucy.
Lucy and her partner decided early on to build their network of very close friends and family – to make a point of spending time with them so that their children would be comfortable with them.
Of course, especially when you’re facing the seemingly impossible, you don’t have time to spend with everyone. So, Lucy and her partner had to make some difficult decisions on who they would bring into their family.
More from this episode
Lucy and I talk about so much more in this episode, like how grateful she feels to be an entrepreneur while going through this seemingly impossible time.
She shares the risk of post-partum depression she faces, and the flexibility she has in her work weighed against the adaptations she’s had to face within her business.
She also talks about the rules she now has of working with people, and how she juggles entrepreneurship and motherhood, never mind with all that is going on.
All that and she wrote and published her book!
This is an episode that touches the foundations of our being. We all have struggles in our lives, and we all deserve to get through it in one piece, because it IS possible. Lucy’s story and tips will help you do just that.
Press play on the episode above – you don’t want to miss this!
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