Sometimes life just doesn’t go the way we plan. It’s a challenge to cope during hard times. Things creep up on us and knock us down. This comes as a considerable setback when we feel good about life. It may be something as significant as the loss of a loved one, or a separation, through a job loss or financial worries.
Whatever the situation, you feel you can’t move on at the time; however, with time and support, you learn you can. Learning the things you can do to move forward with your life is very helpful.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
Allow Yourself Time to Process and Heal
You may have no warning signs, or perhaps you anticipated something coming. Regardless of the prior warning, when the worst happens, it hits hard. Nobody blames you for struggling to come to terms with it.
You need to allow yourself time to work through everything that has happened so you can come to terms with it. You undoubtedly will go through several stages when it comes to accepting the truth, including; anger, denial, self-doubt, sadness and emptiness. At times you may feel like you need to suppress these emotions to get on with life, or because you think such feelings make you weak.
Don’t set a time limit on coming to terms with bad news, be patient with yourself and do not to put pressure on yourself to feel any certain way.
Seek Professional Advice
You may need support from a counsellor or medical professional. You need closure on lots of questions, and a wrongful death attorney may be what you need to help provide answers in a horrific situation. Whatever help you need, there is someone out there who can help you.
You may feel embarrassed or ashamed to get the support of a therapist, for example; however your therapist has gone into that profession intending to help people when they need it. Know they will handle your situation with discretion and without judgement.
Turn to Friends and Family for Support
If you can, speak with friends and family about your problems. Let them know how you feel, and if you are struggling, ask for the help you need. They may understand your situation if they have been through something similar. What if you find they are able to offer you advice based on their experience?
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.Revelation 12:11 (NKJV)
Don’t be afraid to turn to the people you care about the most for help. Ask yourself, what would you do to help them out? Trust that people around you will listen to you when you need it, or do little things to help you out when life feels overwhelming and complicated.
Look After Yourself
A proper diet, plenty of exercise and water are always essential to help us feel healthy. This is most important when we are stressed and upset. When we do not eat well, we run down very quickly, making us feel even more miserable.
Stick to regular meals. Your objective is to eat healthy foods that are nutritious with protein, vitamins and minerals. Avoid empty calories, stuffed with empty carbohydrates and high in saturated fats or sugars. Why? They leave you lethargic and struggling to get motivated.
Meditate. Calm, centered breathing allows us to focus on the present and reduce stress and anxiety. It can take some time to get used to meditation, so don’t give up if you don’t feel the benefits the first few times.
Exercise every day. It might only be a small amount at first, yet you can build up. Get some fresh air and endorphins. Go for a fifteen-minute walk to move and feel more like your usual self.
Listen to the Revelation Wellness podcast. Walk and breathe in deeply as you listen to the Be Still series. Check out the free workouts there too. Yes, Revelation. It’s a God thing as He works His wonders in us to His glory.
Avoid Numbing the Pain
It’s tempting to throw yourselves into work or to drink heavily following bad news. Emotions are cruel and hard to handle, and often self-medicating with distraction, drugs, or alcohol exacerbates your problems. Once the distraction leaves, or the drink/drugs wear off, you feel much worse. Don’t worry those around you who care so deeply about you.
A Creative Outlet
Look for creative outlets for your emotional pain. Art, crafts and music can offer a sense of therapeutic calm or catharsis. You are not very creative, you say about yourself, however, this doesn’t matter; it is more about the process of creating and expressing your feelings that helps you cope during hard times. So do it!
A New Routine
Keeping up with your day to day duties in life is the last thing you want to do now. Let your workplace know you are struggling. If you need to take time off or change duties for a short time, then negotiate this where possible. It may be difficult for you to maintain your regular tasks might. Do not put your health in jeopardy.
A dear family member recently dealt with some challenges, yet was willing to reach out to others and seek professional help. She is now healthy.
How beautiful to see God’s hand healing the brokenhearted.
Look at things in your life that are less important right now. Can you put them aside for now and come back to them when you feel ready? Overcommitting yourself to life’s duties leaves you feeling worse off and exhausts you when you need energy to cope during hard times.
Here’s the most important point. You are not alone.
There are always others elsewhere going through similar situations. The way you feel is not abnormal. Do not be ashamed to ask for help when you need it most.
Call out to Him for He alone gives our downcast soul hope to cope during hard times.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?Psalm 42:5 (NIV)
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
I am heading to the Christian Women in Media Association Global Media Summit. Forgive me for “getting ahead” of the regular linkup schedule! There’s a couple of days overlap with this post and the last post.