12 Ways to Help Yourself Through Challenging Times
Andi Saitowitz shares 12 tips that you can use to help yourself get through tough times.
I was speaking with a dear friend today who is going through a very difficult storm.
She wanted some ideas of ways to possibly fuel herself to enable her to get through a really challenging period in her life.
Because we are all so different, we can never prescribe a “one size fits all” approach to charging ourselves.
We also can never fully understand the depth of someone else’s pain.
Trust me, I know this only too well.
What I do know is that if a person is able to take something specific and genuinely relevant from these generic suggestions, I do know from the depth of personal experience and one hell of a storm myself, as well as years and years of study, research, working on personal development projects and feedback that they seem so simple and yet they make a significant difference.
If you are going through something really hard, any storm, make a cup of tea (or coffee or fruit juice, or whatever you love and grab a chair).
Here it goes.
1. It’s OK to Not Feel OK
Sometimes just the acknowledgement validates the emotional experience. Some storms are so painful. That’s OK. We don’t have to have it together all the time.
2. Breathing Really Helps
Correct breathe work can make a transformative physiological change in your body and you will start to feel different. You’d be amazed at how few people really know how to breathe properly.
3. Listen to Your Favourite Song
I don’t think most people know how excruciatingly complex my storm has been. My days and nights have sometimes rolled into one massive blur as I navigate my way. Yet, when I blare FLAMES in full volume, nothing stops me. I work, I run, I study, I just figure it out. The words and beat are a theme for me. Who would have thought a song can change your entire emotional experience in a minute! It does.
4. Do What You Love
We forget that pleasure fills us.
When we’re in pain, we lose sight of what we actually like doing. Don’t take for granted the gentle power of doing something that you enjoy. Even if it provides a moment of respite and distraction, it shifts something.
5. Connect with Someone
We are all fighting a battle. We don’t have to be in our hardship alone. No one is you, you have that, but we can divide our load, even if it means sitting in absolute silence with a friend.
6. Change Your Environment
Go outside, move your body, go for a drive, watch a sunset, take the dog for a walk. When you move to a new physical space, your perspective adjusts. Your storm won’t suddenly subside, but you’ll be able to look at it with new eyes. What you see from one place, you don’t see from another.
7. Shift Focus
Take a moment to think about one of your most passionate goals. When you focus on something purposeful, you have the power to shift to a more productive, creative, intentional state of mind. I see this happen in coaching every day and it is extraordinary. Even when a client arrives at a session carrying something hard, the moment we dive into their goals and shift gears, their energy changes immediately. No one leaves the same way they enter.
8. Help Someone Else
It’s funny how in the depth of our own chaos, when we help someone else, it lifts us. It’s like there is an invisible magnetic field or umbrella of kindness pulling us to a new arena where we can take shelter. This can propel you forwards in a surprising way!
9. Be Grateful
It might sound cliché but gratitude can change your life. Even when things are so difficult, there is always something to be grateful for. Blessings are everywhere. I could write a book about all the gifts this past year has brought me. In the darkest of nights, there is a glimmer of light. Your choice is to search for it and find it. We always find what we’re looking for.
10. Celebrate Your Wins
Some days, just getting out of bed is worth celebrating. Notice your progress, track your wins and successes no matter how big or small they are. The accumulated impact of each one will give you essential momentum to keep going.
11. Look After Yourself
Times can be oh so tough but so are we. Dedicate time to rest, eating well, excersize, prayer, meditation, reading, learning and fun. These are all important contributions to your battery recharge. I do these habits daily and they truly elevate my life. I didn’t realize to what extent they save me.
12. There’s No Hurry
And finally, go at your pace. You’re in competition with no one. Take your time and listen to yourself. Trust your inner wisdom to make decisions that feel right for you. You may have to stop things for a while and make some changes in your life that you don’t want to make but they are necessary to make for now. Be patient with yourself. The people who love you will understand and support you too.
Storms often clear a path.
It hurts like hell, causes serious damage and may leave us with some deep cuts, bruises and scars.
But we know that scars are a sign that we have survived.
And when the storm inevitably ends, and it ultimately does, we have fresh new eyes.
The good news is, we don’t even have to wait for the storm to pass, we can learn to dance in the rain!
Andi is a Professional Life Coach, Global Personal Development Strategist and Lumina Practitioner, published author, motivational speaker, blessed mom of 3 awesome children, and lover of books, coffee, kindness and sport. In her spare time, she is involved in charity work and community. Andi’s coaching practice incorporates techniques and tools from the fields of Behavioral Science, Organizational Communications, Psychology, Mindfulness & NLP.
Visit Andi's website to learn more about her work.