Are you having a tough year? I hear ya.
Life isn’t always easy. We’ve all faced some tough times. However, the way you handle difficult situations can make a big difference.
Many of us make life even more difficult by handling our challenges poorly. This creates additional issues that require time and energy to rectify. How you handle trying times says a lot about you. Others notice. Will you let these times bring out the worst in you or the best in you?
Make it easier on yourself and get through difficult times wisely with these easy strategies:
1. Remember that you have more options than you realize. Part of what makes challenging times challenging is the belief that you have no options. Feeling powerless isn’t pleasant. Remind yourself that you still have choices. How you choose to handle the trying situation is one of those choices.
2. Pay attention to all of the things that are still good in your life. You may have lost your job, but you still have your health and your family. Maybe you’re getting divorced, but you still have your friends, job, health, and your children.
• What was the best thing that happened to you last year? Who is most important to you? Make a list of at least 20 positive things in your life and then notice how much better you feel. This will help you to relax and cope.
• If you focus on the one thing that isn’t working, you’ll only succeed in making yourself more miserable.
3. Look for solutions. Focusing on your difficulty is natural, but ineffective. In fact, it only saps your resources. Decide that you’re going to find a viable solution. It doesn’t have to be the perfect solution. Just a decent solution. Give yourself the time you need to brainstorm, but avoid taking longer than necessary.
4. Begin implementing your solution. For example, if you’ve lost your job, your solution might include several steps:
• Update resume.
• Create accounts and profiles on five job boards, such as LinkedIn and Monster.com.
• Contact at least five headhunters in my field of employment.
• Contact everyone I know and let them know that I’m looking for a job.
• Update my social media accounts to show that I’m looking for work.
If you’re worried about the state of your finances due to job loss, try not to bury your head and ignore the trouble. If bankruptcy seems like it might have to happen, there are steps you can take to make sure you don’t lose everything. Look into how to stop foreclosure, for example, if you think you might be at risk of losing your home. If you’re prepared, you will feel calmer and more in control.
5. Control the controllable
When living through a crisis, you may have to accept that some issues are out of your control. The pandemic has underlined this like never before. Therefore, learning to focus your attention on maintaining control in areas that can make a positive impact.
This could mean seeking alimony after a difficult break-up from a marriage that had restricted your chance to follow your dreams. Missing out on your entitlement would be crazy. Or it could mean preparing the home for a quick sale, getting your physical health in better shape, and cutting unnecessary expenses. When these issues are no longer a worry, you will be better positioned to tackle the items that are causing your struggles.
6. Keep a smile on your face. You don’t feel like smiling, but do it anyway. It will make you feel better and let others know that you’re okay. If you want to handle a challenging time gracefully, smiling is mandatory.
7. Continue to take care of others in your life. Your family and friends still need you. You may have to reduce your care and attention a little, but don’t crawl into yourself and ignore everyone else in the world. You’ll feel better about yourself if you’re still taking care of the important people in your life.
8. Release your anxiety. You can feel your anxiety in your body. It’s located in a specific location, most often your stomach or chest. Imagine opening up a door in that location and letting it all out. Continue releasing it until it’s all gone.
9. Thank everyone when the crisis is solved. Let everyone know that you appreciate their love and support. You’ll be even more likely to get the same support the next time something goes wrong.
It’s not a matter of whether or not you’ll face difficult times. It’s only a matter of when. Since challenging times are inevitable, why not deal with them effectively and gracefully? It will say a lot about your character, others will respect you, and you’ll come out on the other side quicker and less bruised.