5 Ways to Cancel that Pity Party

Throughout our world, disasters pile on disasters. Wildfires in Montana. A brutal earthquake in Mexico. Floods in India. And of course, deadly hurricanes in the Caribbean, Texas, and Florida.

But sometimes, our personal disasters are even harder to take.

Feeling bad about your hundredth agent rejection? -Check out K.L. Romo, who despite three hundred (!) rejections, writes articles encouraging other writers how to kick rejection depression.

Morose about declining health? -Find a fitness class, as I did last week at my home community, Las Sendas Trailhead Club.

Grieving the loss of a loved one? - This takes time, but a friend of mine, twice widowed, has found new life volunteering for the Mesa Public Library and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Whether the disaster is personal, or world news, what is the secret to rising above and thriving, rather than merely surviving and sliding into depression or worse?

1. Get up in the morning and carry on. Shower. Brush your teeth. Eat meals.

2. Allow yourself to grieve, and work through the stages of grieving - denial, anger, bargaining, depression- to the final stage of ACCEPTANCE. Get help if you get stuck.

3. Stay involved with family and friends. Go to the birthday party. Accept the dinner invitation. Keep up with your sport. If you have a faith, participate.

4. Consider changes to support your new circumstances. Get a new job. Move to a more suitable home. Take up a new activity.

5. Help others. Volunteer. Fund raise. Attend a support group.

Then tomorrow, do one more thing. Whether that's taking a chain saw to the rubble that used to be your back yard, or setting up an appointment with a therapist, taking action will put you back in control. It may take weeks, months, even years. I've seen many people cope with all kinds of disasters, and invariably, the ones who recover, are those who take control. You can banish the pity party, one step at a time.

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