Featured Article: Chloe Faulkner, Freelance Writer & Illustrator from Nyxie’s Nook
There are many things guaranteed in this life between; death, taxes and difficult life experiences. Everyone goes through them! For some, it’s a brief, fleeting moment, and for others, it’s around every corner. But, no matter who you speak to, you can guarantee they’ve found themselves struggling at some point.
Everyone’s journey is different, as are the ways they manage and cope with such challenges. Here are just a few reminders when life feels difficult for you.
10 Things you need to remember when life feels difficult
You can’t control everything, so focus on what you can control!
There are a multitude of things in this life that we simply can’t control. Be it the weather, the traffic or the opinions of others. We can try and sway people, we can vote in every election and leave the house just a little earlier than usual, but sometimes, life just happens and there’s nothing we can do about it.
I can’t stress this enough; Let that crap go!
The reality is that if we spend our lives fighting against the rain and the thunder, everything else just passes us by.
Remember to practise self-care!
Self-care isn’t selfish and I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops for years. Prior to twenty-nineteen, I had never even heard of self-care. Look after myself in the most basic form. Never! I didn’t have time for that.
Until I had nothing but time thanks to a severe mental breakdown in my mid-twenties.
Since then, I’ve made it my life’s mission to remind myself that I deserve an hour, a day or even a week off to relax and unwind. It’s okay to stop to eat your lunch or sit down to catch your breath. Self-care can be anything from the bare basics to treating yourself to a spa day.
Despite how you feel about yourself, you are deserving of self-care. You are allowed to take five minutes, five hours or even five days to decompress.
Don’t have time for self-care? Nonsense! Here are some quick self-care ideas that even the busiest person can manage.
It can’t rain all the time!
In other words, this too shall pass. Just like the good times in life, hard times can’t last forever, and you’ve overcome challenges before; So you can do it again. And again.
It’s fine to take some time to wallow, and it’s even okay to cry about it. But it’s how you choose to move forward that sets your path in motion.
Remember to Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is just like giving thanks or appreciation for what we have and receive in life. When things feel impossible there is always something to be thankful for, even if we can’t see it.
When we’re going through difficult times in life, we tend to shield our eyes from the world around us, unable to see the sky for the trees.
Positive psychology research has long associated gratitude with improved feelings of happiness. It’s thought to improve the positive emotions we feel, allow us to hold onto good experiences, enable us to better deal with adversity and even help us to build and maintain healthy relationships.
Remember, it’s okay to ask for help!
Asking for help with our mental health is one of the hardest but most important decisions we could ever make. There are many ways to ask for help, but there are also many barriers. But, as the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved! No matter how big it might seem!
I’ve often taken many life problems, big and small, to my husband, my best friend, and even a designated therapist. And I’m not ashamed to admit it! However, there was a time I tried to go it alone. I didn’t want or need help from anyone. But, I soon learned the value of asking for help and how it matters more to us than we realise.
It’s not always obvious to us that we need help, however. Sometimes, things just become so played out, that we end up remaining on ‘auto-pilot’ far longer than we should have.
Remember to stay in the present!
It can be so easy to dwell on the past and, all the while, worry about the future. But, much like our above point about only focusing on the things that you can control, the past isn’t one of them.
Remember that it’s important to have goals and expectations to be realistic!
It’s important to be realistic when it comes to what you want and need out of life. I, for one, struggle with setting myself realistic expectations and goals, often verging on the overly ambitious side of things. But, remember, you want to improve your mental health, not ruin it completely. Your goals shouldn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed; instead, they should provide you with a clear outline of where you are and where you want to be.
Celebrate all your wins, even the smallest!
Too often we can get caught up in the big accomplishments. Graduating, getting a job, buying a house, getting married, having a baby, or even starting your own business. While all these things are wonderful, they aren’t the be and end-all. You can and should take the time to celebrate your small accomplishments too. Like that time you got out of bed when you really didn’t want to. Or walking to a cafe when you could easily have eaten crisps for lunch. We accomplish so many small things every day that we simply let them pass.
Remember Your Strength
You’ve overcome 100% of the challenges you’ve faced so far. Has it been easy? Probably not! But you’re still here, you’re still alive and that counts for something.
As difficult as it can be to see positives through hardships, there are opportunities there. Hard times help us to grow more resilient, boost our inner strength and give us the opportunity to reflect on the past. For example, I used to say that I would never be able to cope with the death of my grandmother. And while it was very difficult, I lived through it. I grieved and cried and felt every horrible emotion along with it.
But I survived and adapted.
Remember that you have people who love and support you
A support network is important for everyone no matter their circumstances. While you might feel alone at times, there is always someone there willing and ready to show you support and compassion. Even when it doesn’t seem like it.