A little while ago a reader asked me what I do when I hit hard spots in my life, and I thought for sure I’d written a post on the topic.
But I searched and came up with nothing, so here I am at my keyboard.
Of course, I know that compared to a lot of people, the hard spots in my life are hardly worth mentioning. Still, we all have our own share of tough times, and I’m happy to share what helps me get through them.
I lean on my support network.
Friends and family are lovely when times are good, of course, and I think that investing time and energy into people is one of the wisest and healthiest things you can do. Relationships bring a lot of joy and fulfillment when things are going swimmingly.
But those relationships are also super important when things are hard, and I think it’s so good to swallow your pride and let your people know when you’re struggling.
Tell trusted people about your problems and let them know how they can help. Even just a listening ear can mean the world.
Problems feel smaller to me when they’re shared.
I remind myself of what I believe.
I’m a Christian, so for me this looks like reminding myself that:
- God has not forgotten about me
- God has good plans for me
- Even when I can’t see it, God is still working
- Nothing that happens to me is an accident
God encourages me to cast my cares on him, so I try to remember to do that.
I try to take care of myself.
I admittedly struggle mightily with this sometimes because when I get really stressed out, I have an awful time eating. Then that makes me feel even worse because I’m stressed out + my body has no energy input. It’s a bad combo.
But I do try to keep feeding myself. And I do things like listening to calming music on my earbuds, taking an extra long shower, and putting on comfy clothes.
Exercise can definitely help too, but I’m not super great at doing that when I’m very stressed.
I try to cut myself some slack.
When things are tough, it’s hard to keep up with everything that I usually get done, so in a temporary tough time, I try to give myself grace for that.
Maybe I’ll waste more food than usual, maybe I won’t cook as much from scratch, maybe my house will get a little messy, maybe we’ll end up getting takeout, maybe I won’t compost everything.
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while, though, so it’s ok.
The tough time will probably be temporary, and when things get easier, I can go right back to my usual level of productivity.
I try to focus on one day at a time.
I don’t do this perfectly, but boy, I find it to be helpful when I manage it!
For example, when I was pregnant and so sick, I felt really depressed when I thought of all the months of nausea spread out in front of me. But when I focused on just getting through one day, it was much less overwhelming.
Instead of thinking, “How will I ever manage to get through X amount of time of difficulty??”, it’s better to think, “What do I need to do to get through today?”
I remember that I have a 100% success rate of surviving trials so far.
And if you’re reading this, so do you! No hard thing in my life has completely taken me down, so there’s fair reason to believe that I’ll get through whatever the current hard thing is.
Maybe I get knocked down, but so far, I’ve always been able to get back up again, and that’s encouraging.
I hope this encourages those of you who are having a rough time right now. Hang in there, friend, and be gentle with yourself.