Living Through Hard Times

Is having the ability to adapt a survival skill for emotional struggle? Will it enable us to be stronger in the future, no matter what life throws our way? Unprecedented times may call for unprecedented risks and new experiences. But it may lead to something even better.

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For many of us this is a time of unprecedented struggle and upheaval.  We all tend to pin our future hopes of happiness on our expectations, but this is hard when the future is so uncertain. 

Living through difficult times can take a heavy toll on our health and well-being.  Our conflicting emotions can leave us feeling powerless and out of control.

We need to learn to adapt to life as it is now.  Change has always been an inevitable part of  life, with many aspects of it out of our control. 

It’s only now in the current climate we are made acutely aware of our precarious place in the world.  So we need to try to accept the situation as it is and begin to focus on what we can control.  Instead of being consumed with negativity we need to aim to keep a positive perspective.

Coping Strategies

So what can we do to navigate potentially risky waters ahead and how do we learn to bounce back?  Self-care is always a good place to start with non- negotiables being good nutrition, daily activity and quality sleep. 

If you simplify and adapt your care routines, it may help you to develop and maintain healthy life-time habits.  Building resilience can help you manage your stress and enjoy better times ahead.

Try to write down whatever is on your mind.  It can help you to organise your thoughts and gain a different perspective.  Seeing things in print can help you to focus, thus freeing your mind from unnecessary stress. Things can start to feel less chaotic as you experience insight and emotional release from your problems. 

The benefits of meditation are well documented. It is known to improve psychological balance and enhance overall health and well-being.  By calming your breathing your mind will follow. 

This simple technique helps to keep your emotions in check.  Controlled breathing has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system. Meditation is a simple practice available to all and can be experienced wherever you are.

Connecting With Others

Human beings do not thrive well alone, so it is important to seek out connections with others.  We all need a good support system and it’s worth remembering that people often feel more motivated when they are helping others. 

Having the right people around you in tough times can be a great support and comfort.  If you are lonely or isolated take the initiative and reach out – expand your social network.  It is about building and maintaining a network of people that you can trust and fall back on in times of need.

Building For The Future Now

Self-esteem is often felt tied in with feeling useful, so try to create a sense of purpose.  It’s important not to cast aside our interests and hobbies in turbulent times.  You could even try pursuing new activities or turning your passions and interests into a new career option. 

Even if this new venture only produces a small financial gain, for now, this money could still be put to good use – how about your ‘fun time’ spending or a designated ’emergency fund’.  Generating an income in hard times may take a bit of ingenuity but then who knows where this new adventure may take you.

Flexing the Resilience Muscle

Drawing on your past experiences can help you cope with the challenges you’re facing today.  It can help you find the positives in the difficult situations you’ve already lived through. 

At the end of the day we all have a choice how we respond to hard times.  We can learn and grow from any experience when we are willing.  By being pro-active we start to regain a sense of control.  The more we adapt and accept our situation, the more effectively we will be able to cope with it and eventually move forward.

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