Life is an unpredictable journey. There are high peaks of joy and often deep valleys of hardships. It is during these low moments that our resilience is tested. We want the highs and would do almost anything to avoid feeling the lows. We run from feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, and grief…. Navigating through these low points may seem impossible, a lot like trying to walk through mud up a hill. It may seem impossible, but with the right approach and mindset, you can not only survive these low points, but grow from the experience.
Here are some strategies to help you weather the storm.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
Recognize and accept your feelings without judgment. It's okay to feel sad, frustrated, or scared when going through difficult and scary times. Denying or suppressing these feelings will only provide temporary relief. We can only pretend things away for so long, the darkness will eventually find us. By acknowledging these heavy and uncomfortable feelings, you're taking the first step towards addressing them.
2. Reach Out
Recognize you are not alone and you don’t have to deal with these feelings on your own. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, SupportGroups.com or a mental health professional. Sharing how you are feeling and why can provide incredible relief, a fresh perspective, and potential solutions.
3. Practice Self-Care
During tough times it's easy to forget about self-care, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps alleviate stress and will improve your mood. It is important to get moving, some physical exercise is a must. Additionally, we need to remember to feed our body well, not drown our sorrows in junk food. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is something we can control and in those dark moments, controlling anything feels like a win. Getting enough sleep is also incredibly important, we can't process clearly when we are exhausted. Set a reasonable bedtime, make sure your bedroom is an oasis of calm, put a fan on for white noise and better air circulation and get the rest you need for the day ahead.
4. Engage in Mindfulness Practices
Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Mindful practices, such as meditation, deep breathing and yoga can reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being. It can also help when you are feeling overwhelmed or worrying about the future.
5. Foster a Positive Mindset
It may seem challenging to stay positive during the hard times, but maintaining a positive mindset can enhance your overall perspective and coping abilities. Practice gratitude by acknowledging the good in your life, however small. Encourage positive self-talk and consistently challenge negative thoughts.
6. Focus on What You Can Control
Like we discussed in step 3, tough times often make us feel helpless and like our life is out of our control. Instead of worrying about things you cannot change, focus on what you can control. This could be your daily routine, how you respond to challenges, or the steps you take towards resolving a problem.
7. Seek Professional Help
If your emotional distress is overwhelming, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Psychologists, therapists, and counselors are trained to help you navigate through tough times and provide you with strategies to cope with your challenges. With so many new options online and in person, getting therapy has never been easier and more convenient, through our partnership with BetterHelp, you get 10% off your first month.
8. Learn and Grow
Try to view the low times as an opportunity for personal growth. These experiences, as challenging as they may be, can teach resilience, empathy, and the ability to navigate through future difficulties. Reflect on your experiences, what you've learned and how you can use these lessons moving forward.
Surviving the low times in life requires patience, self-care and resilience. Remember it's okay to ask for help and to lean on others for support. These challenging times do not define you, but how you respond to them can shape your character and growth. Above all, remember that it's okay not to be okay sometimes and that these tough times are often temporary. The sun will shine again.
Food for thought:
What was the most difficult time in your life?
Do you feel you handled it well?
What is one thing you wish you had known while going through this experience?
What is one thing you did right that might help someone else?
As always, thank you for your love and support,