How to get through life’s unexpected challenges
Just when you thought you’d reached your limit, life throws more unexpected challenges. Here are some tips to get through a difficult time
For many, life isn’t easy at the moment. The floods have devastated parts of NSW and QLD, and while it might be having a hiatus from front-page news for a minute, COVID is still raging.
If you’re in the middle of dealing with flood damage, a struggling business or any other challenge, you may be feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. If you can relate, then the following could be a good way to help you navigate through this difficult time.
1. Take a moment
As humans, often our instinct is to plough straight in and take action to fix whatever we’re facing, but that might not be the best approach. Instead, consider taking a moment to assess the bigger picture and make a plan—you’re likely to feel more in control once you’ve got a proper plan in place.
Once you’ve started actioning your plan, remember to periodically take time to reassess, recalibrate, and rest.
2. Look after yourself
Taking care of yourself is the best and most important thing you can do in any stressful situation. When you feel physically well and have a good mindset, you’re generally better equipped to deal with whatever comes your way.
If possible, try to eat a nutrient-dense diet, take time to exercise, practise daily mindfulness, and allow yourself the opportunity to sleep well.
3. Trust that you’ll be okay
When going through a challenging time, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You need to trust that you’ll get there.
Remember, you don’t have to shoulder burdens alone, keep your social connections strong and check-in with a neighbour, a friend, or family. If you find you are struggling emotionally, don’t endure it alone, make sure you talk to someone or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
4. Dealing with insurance claims
Whenever you’re dealing with any kind of insurance claim, gathering evidence and acting quickly may put you in a good position for a swift outcome:
- Keep a record of what you are facing. Take pictures and videos as evidence, so you have it to hand when you need it. Document the what, how, when, and why—the more detail the better, when it comes to an insurance claim.
- Speak to your insurer as soon as you are able to—they will be able to offer support and may provide temporary accommodation. Also ensure you lodge any insurance claims as soon as you can—most can be lodged online.
- If you require legal assistance, Disaster Response Legal Service offers you access to free legal help with insurance claims and appeals, policy coverage, clean-up costs, total loss settlements and temporary accommodation entitlements if that’s what you need.
5. Sort out the financials
While your money might be the furthest thing from your mind during a time like this, organising your finances will give you one less thing to worry about. If you have an emergency fund, now is the time to dip into it to get yourself what you need.
If you don’t have enough funds to support yourself and your family right now, you can access financial assistance from a number of organisations including:
- Department of Social Security emergency relief
- Centrelink Disaster Recovery payment
- Ask Izzy
- Salvation Army 13 72 58
- Red Cross 1800 733 276
- St Vincent de Paul Society 13 18 12
- Anglicare 1300 111 278
- CatholicCare 13 18 19
- Talk to someone like a financial counsellor if you are feeling stressed about money
- Get together a list of what you can change and what you can’t and put together an actionable list of those things you can change
- Ask for help.