il_570xN.449841888_ga06Spring time is a nice time to observe changes see new growth.  The green comes back in the grass and tress and you see many beautiful flowers coming up.  A beautiful sight after months of snow.  It reminds me a lot of changes that clients go through after months, or years of using drugs and/or alcohol.  After a period of “storms” and “cloudy days” they begin to bloom new behaviors and start to make changes to their lifestyle to encourage new growth.

One of the things about the spring time is that there are many thunderstorms.  I don’t really like the storms and tend to get anxious when there is very loud thunder and when the siren goes off in town.  Isn’t it a similar thing with life?  Spring=new beginnings, thunderstorms=trials?  This analogy reminds me that even during a beautiful period of your life, you can face trials that you need to overcome, and that change is very constant.

We will always have thunderstorms in our lives, some severe and can cause damage. Some of the damage may not be able to be repaired, but others we sure can try.  When we hear of a thunderstorm coming, we usually make preparations: find safe place, develop a safe plan for your family and probably ensure that you have all the essentials that you need.  So when we know that a storm is approaching our lives, or we find ourselves in the midst of a storm, we need to be prepared and find safety.

Here are some things to consider when faced with life-storms:

* Practice mindfulness.  It is easy to get caught up in all that we have to do days, weeks, months ahead and a little difficult to focus on the present moment.  Mindfulness helps to keep us grounded and can help reduce anxiety.

* Create a list.  Developing a list of things that you need to get done, in order of priority might be easy to make, but not always easy to carry out.  However, it is important to make note of what needs to be done.  Maybe your life-storm severity can be reduced if you begin to organize and get structure in your life.  Disorganization and procrastination are life-storms in themselves!

* Reach out.  Call someone, write someone, text someone, tweet someone.  One of the ways that we can get through our life-storms is with the support and help from encouraging, healthy and supportive people.  If you are having a hard time finding this type of support, consider getting into therapy so you can talk with someone safe.

* Develop a plan.  For those who usually have violent life-storms in the form of relapse, it is essential and crucial to have a safety plan and a relapse prevention plan.  It is not worth it to think that you are a one-man army.  Make note of the people, places, situations and things that can be a potential trigger.  Keep a list of self-help meetings close by and avoid high risk situations and high risk people.

What are some other things that you can do when faced with a life-storm?  Where do you usually seek safety?

Photo credit to LifebyPhotos on Etsy