No one can predict when something will happen that will change our lives forever. Sometimes, family members pass away suddenly or are diagnosed with a terminal illness, turning our whole world upside down. There is also no guarantee that one tragedy will not fall right after another. The unfortunate truth is trying to get through a difficult time that is compounded by additional bad news can be so emotionally taxing that you don’t have the strength and mental fortitude to keep up with life’s mundane daily necessities which can push us into a state of declining finances, job security, relationship nurturing and self-care. It is important to remember that after a major life event, you have options available. Here are some quick tips on how to find resources available during your time of need.
Look at your Employer Benefits
Even if you work a minimum wage job, your employer may have some resources or policies to help you. Communicate your needs to your boss and be open about any actions you may need to take. In most cases, your employer will be understanding and may work around your new schedule or plans.
In the event of a family member’s death, you should discuss your bereavement benefits. Companies may have different policies regarding time off. Depending on your relationship and age, you may be entitled to government benefits during this time. If you have life insurance coverage on the family member, your employer can also tell you what your next steps are.
In cases of illness or other emergencies, your employer may have additional resources available to help you. Counseling and mental health services may be offered by your employer or be included in your health plan. Employers who have been in your area for a long period of time may also suggest community resources that you may not have been aware of.
Understand How to Get Resources
In times of extreme need, it’s important to know your financial options. If you find yourself facing unexpected expenses due to sudden death or medical emergency, you can lean on family or you may be able to turn to online direct lenders for short-term assistance – learn more here.
In situations that affect your way of life, such as a terminal illness, you should check with your insurance company to see what benefits are available to you. If you do not have health coverage, check to see if you qualify for government assistance or local programs within your community.
Discuss your situation with your HR representative. You may be able to work out special hours to allow the extra time you now will need to take care of yourself or your loved one. It’s important to be honest so you have that extra layer of support through your work.
Adjust to the New Way of Life
One of the hardest parts of dealing with a family member passing away, illness, or other life-changing event is the aftermath. You may have to make adjustments to your daily budget or routine, which can make everyday life a little more difficult. If you are able, schedule time off of work to help you adjust without the stress of being on the clock.
While it can be hard to think about anything other than the event, you need to make sure you allot time to yourself. Find an inexpensive hobby, such as jogging or reading, to help you take a break. If you are able, create a schedule that allows you to ease into new habits and hobbies to help with the grieving process.
During this time of need, you should consider pulling back on how much you offer to help others. This is actually much harder than it seems especially with personality types that are naturally inclined to giving freely of their time to help others. While you may be used to being the reliable one, allow yourself permission to decline to help and trust that people will understand.
Get Emotional Support
Having a strong support network is crucial after a life-altering event. Start by connecting with your friends or family members. If you don’t live nearby, try connecting via social media. If you don’t feel like you have anyone that you can talk to, try finding local or online groups of people with shared interests. This can help you find new people to lean on while helping you adjust to a new way of life.
Another option is to seek professional help. Therapists can not only be great emotional support, but they can also provide you with additional resources if you need them. One of the best parts of working with a therapist is that they don’t judge you; you can be open or honest about your feelings and find a way to work through them in a safe space. Don’t feel like you have to stay with the first therapist you see, this is your time to heal and you absolutely have to be able to open up to your therapist. Don’t feel bad about shopping around for the best person for you.
Knowing your options is crucial after a life-changing event. Whether you are dealing with the unfortunate passing of a loved one, an illness or both at the same time, there are resources available. You can do this, no matter how difficult, you have the power to get through this with your life intact. The most important thing is to not live in a silo and not only be proactive about finding the help you need but also, maybe, more importantly, be willing to accept the help that is offered by friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. It might go against your instincts, but you deserve and will truly need help. Take it and be grateful but never embarrassed or feel guilty because let’s face it, if the shoe was on the other foot you wouldn’t hesitate to do the same for someone else.