“In hard times, do what is necessary to take care of yourself; say no, take space, and honor yourself.” ~ LMB
Life can be challenging, and no matter who you are, there will come a time when you will experience life’s hardships. No one escapes difficult times. For some people, the struggles arise from relationships, while others struggle with grief, and for others, it’s health, money, mental illness, or (fill in the blank). The question isn’t will you experience rough times, but how do you get through them when you do?
There is endless advice on how to get through the most challenging times in your life, yet the truth is, it’s different for everyone. Your work is to discover what works best for you. Below are a few things that have been helpful to me (feel free to try them or toss them at will):
- Find your grounding statement: This is a short, comforting statement that gives you peace, hope, understanding, or some level of comfort during even the most difficult times. Sample grounding statements include:
- This is an M.I.T. (moment in time): I remind myself that the one constant in life is change; although things may be hard now, they won’t always be that way. Although some M.I.T.s are longer than others, they are all just M.I.T.s.
- The present is perfect: This helps when you feel like you’re not reaching your goals or at the place in life you want to be. It’s a reminder that life is a journey, and we learn as much from what goes well as we do from the hardships and what goes wrong.
- Say, “No”: Guard your time while things are hard. In difficult times you must take care of yourself. Turn down invitations, say no when you need to, and slip away from the action at home or events when necessary. True friends and loved ones will cheer you for saying no, not resent you. Focus on getting yourself grounded and strong first and foremost.
- Take time to yourself: Take some quiet time to think, feel, and tune in. Does being active help or hurt? Does it feel helpful to journal, meditate, or read? Do you need some time to zone out guilt-free? Pay attention to what is beneficial for you and tune out the judgments of others while you work through your process.
- Ask for help when you need it: Now is not the time to be superman/woman. Take care of yourself and ask for help when you need it. Don’t resent others for not “knowing” what you need; tell them.
Life is hard sometimes, and getting through those tough times is not easy. When you’re going through challenging times, have your back. Pay attention to what works for you and give yourself permission to take care of yourself. Don’t make things worse because of an old script in your head about what “should” be done.
- When life is hard, give yourself grace.
- Inform your family and loved ones when you need space, and then take it guilt-free.
- Discover what works for you and love yourself enough to make it happen.