Do you freak out? Do you scream? Do you pray? Do you isolate yourself? I think I've had moments when I reacted in any of those ways to an unexpected event. Those events could include a number of things from the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job, or even a sentimental item.
Is there a proper way to react? I think the real reaction happens over the course of time until you can grieve your loss and carry on with life. If I look at it pragmatically, I can think of 3 P's to recovering from unexpected shocks.
1. Process: You may process by crying, or talking to a friend or mental health professional. Some people choose to process, not that I recommend it, by turning to bodily abuse like drinking and binging on sweets or other comfort foods. That kind of processing ends up causing more long-term damage and doesn't actually address the problem at hand. I personally get very quiet and pray in effort to gain some self-awareness of what I'm feeling, and I often reach out to my personal support system to use as a sounding board for those feelings.
2. Plan: Coming up with an action plan to move on can be a big help. If it's packing the clothes of a lost loved one, the process may help accept the situation and grieve how horrible it is. It may be getting your job searching hat on or getting back in the dating world on-line or though other ways of meeting new people. Actually doing something to progress with life can help bring a tremendous sense of accomplishment when everything else feels so intolerably out of your control.
3. Proceed: Follow through with your action plan and don't stop until you sense peace and recovery. You will likely continue to process your situation as you pass through the motions of planning and proceeding with life, but all along you will be working through accepting things. While I proceed with my plan I like to do things that give me a sense of accomplishment like cooking or exercising. That fulfillment can propel you forward to face the challenges of accepting change in your life. All in all it's a daily self-improvement routine taken in baby steps.
Unexpected things happen throughout our lives. As my mentor, Rhonda Shasteen, told me, you can't control anything but your words, thoughts and actions. Everything else is in someone else's control. Sometimes they can get folks down so bad that they don't recover. We all can recover, and I hope these small insights help you with any situations you may be experiencing. Tell yourself you can aloud every day, and before you know it, you'll be on to new things. You can!