Turn on the TV or browse through the headlines, and you’ll be met with an instant barrage of negative stories. But trouble doesn’t just come in the form of global events. Sadly, hard times also hit a lot closer to home. Most of us have gone through difficulty – or are going through hard times currently.
Whether it’s small things that are compiling to cause you stress or bigger tragedies that are taking their toll, being able to hold it together during hard times can be tough – really tough. In fact, there may be times where you won’t care about staying strong any longer – and that’s okay, too. Sometimes, there’s so much happening all at once that the first thing you need to do is to step back and make some space.
There’s no easy one-size-fits-all solution that will help you to suddenly feel better about a difficult situation. You are human after all, and it’s only natural and very normal to feel emotions, and to respond accordingly. However, once you’ve had a chance to breathe, to process things, and are looking for some help to weather the storm, the good news is that there are some things that you can do that will help to alleviate a bit of the pressure, allowing you to keep your head above water.
With this in mind, let’s look at some strategies that can help you to make it through difficult times.
Often in the midst of a crisis, the last thing you want to do is reflect. But it’s important to give yourself time to be with your thoughts – just for a bit. While this doesn’t mean that you should shut yourself away from the world for months at a time, it does mean taking some time – as much as you need, for yourself.
Surround Yourself With Support
It’s also vitally important to surround yourself with a strong support group. While it’s important to allow yourself some time to process things and collect your thoughts – you’ll want to avoid spending too much time alone with your thoughts. Make a call or meet up with your friends – you need them at this time. Don’t feel bad about reaching out and asking for help. Many people genuinely want to help, but stay away – afraid of interfering, so you may have to be the one to initiate contact. It’s also a good idea to join a support group – whether in-person or online, to connect with others who are going through the same thing as you.
Allow Yourself to Heal
For a health crisis – or if you are facing difficult news or grief, it’s important to give yourself time to heal. Everyone heals differently and at a different pace, so don’t feel bad if you it seems like you’re taking news harder than other people seem to be, or recovering more slowly than others. Don’t compare yourself with others; instead, give yourself permission to grieve – and to heal.
Know You Are Strong
We desperately want to be in control our lives, and when it comes to some areas – we can be, to a large extent. But the fact is that there will always be some situations that are outside of our control, and when these circumstances arise, we feel frustrated and assume that being out of control somehow signifies weakness. It’s important to realize, though, that this isn’t the case. Don’t buy into the negative self-talk, and don’t beat yourself up mentally or assume that you’re weak – you’re stronger than you think. Know that you are resilient – that you have it in you to face what you’re going through. You may not believe it, but you’ve got this.
Finally, look toward the future. It may be difficult to do this – especially if you’re facing uncertainty, but it’s important to have things in your life to look forward to – no matter how small they might be. When you feel able, try to set a date for the movies or coffee with a friend. Long walks with people that you care about can also be therapeutic. There are new things to experience and new memories to be made. It will happen again; all in good time.
No matter what issue you’re going through, the most important thing is to find help. Having a close friend, one who’s able to offer sound advice can be invaluable. Look to those who have helped you in the past, and let them know that you need help and support during this crisis. Don’t try to do it all on your own! Instead, seek out support, and take care of yourself during this time – know that you are worth it.
It’s important to focus on your needs. Instead of feeling that you must “keep it together,” focus on healing and making it through. This too will pass, as does every storm. But first you need to catch your breath – and then take small steps on towards recovery.
Have you gone through difficult times recently? What helped you to make it through?