How to Deal with Real Life When the Unexpected Happens

This weekend, we had a plan. Saturday was all about running last minute errands for our upcoming wedding and Sunday was focused on tackling everything else that needed to be done at home.

Then we got an emergency phone call on Sunday morning and everything changed.

Most importantly and thankfully, everyone will be OK. But, the reality is that our wedding is only 18 days away and things still needed to get done. So, today, I thought I would share how I handled the unexpected this weekend…

1. Remember What’s Most Important

This is and always will be #1 when dealing with an emergency. It’s all about putting things in perspective and keeping that at the top of your mind. In our case, the family member was going to be OK and that was what we needed to focus on and remember throughout the day.

2. Breathe

Emergencies can be super stressful and the best way to deal with stress is to breathe—slowly and with purpose. I suggest using a meditation app (like Calm, as I mentioned in last week’s blog post) or practicing 4-7-8 breathing, where you breathe in for a count of 4, hold your breath for 7, and breathe out for 8.

3. Ask For Help

Lean on the people outside of the situation for help and I suggest reading my post from July about how to delegate for tackling this step. For us, this meant asking my mom for help with a few wedding related tasks that we couldn’t handle when we were supposed to.

4. Prioritize

Whether you have a to-do list ready or you need to prepare one, take a look at your list with a new set of eyes. Think to yourself “what needs to be done ASAP” and handle those things first. Then….

5. Make a “Later” List

While you will have to handle those priorities first, you should also make a list for later. I organized my list into 2 parts: To Do At Home ASAP and To Do Eventually. If you have your tasks separated like this, you’ll be able to execute what needs to get done much quicker when you get back to reality.

6. Do What You Can Now

You won’t be able to everything you hoped when emergencies pop-up, but there will be some things you can tackle. For us, that meant bringing a laptop in the car and tackling some tasks on-the-go. Try to bring what you can to help you get things done, but if you forget something, don’t beat yourself up. Just do it later.

I sincerely hope you don’t have to refer to this article anytime soon, but I do hope this advice can be of help to you in some way, if you ever need it.

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