Aren’t you sick of tough times?
Every time something comes up you just want to throw in the towel. It even has you reconsidering your plans and goals. That’s what happened when my mom got sick.
Just a few weeks before I got the phone call that she experiencing health issues, everything seemed like it was all coming together.
A number of months prior something else quite pressing came up but I handled it like a champ. I was really able to turn the situation around rather quickly. I was proud of myself.
As I had that accomplishment under my belt and a smooth few weeks where I was steadily working on my goals, things seemed great. I was doing things as I planned and knocking things off my list.
Then one evening the phone rang and everything changed. I was told that my mother was hospitalized in another state! If it wasn’t unsettling enough that I would have to drop everything last minute to go get her, there was more.
Unfortunately her condition would still not be the best upon discharge. She would need to see medical professional twice a week and I would have to make certain of this.
Now this might seem like too much, but my mom is head strong and independent. Getting her to do something that she didn’t want to would be a challenge in itself. And she was in denial about her condition so convincing her wouldn’t be easy.
My typically positive mindset allowed me to think for a moment that it wasn’t going to be that hard. But when I got her home, which was temporarily my house, I was reminded that this, along with my other responsibilities, would make for a tough time ahead.
Tough, Tough Times
In addition to now supervising my mother’s recovery I had personal responsibilities that I couldn’t ignore. I still had to work. I didn’t want to take a leave because I knew lack of work would just create another problem that would have a huge impact later.
Oh and did I forget to mention, I was also the primary caregiver for my grandmother. So there I was caring for two other people, which I really was not prepared for.
I always imagined that I’d have to take care of one of them but this was about 20-30 years too soon. And it was two of them, not one, and at the same time.
I was done. My goals, my dreams seemed more and more impossible. My plan to achieve them seemed like a hoax. There was no way I would be able to pull it off.
It was like life’s expected difficulties just put the nail in the coffin that held my dreams.
Once I allowed myself to realize that this was not as permanent as it seemed I had to deal with another harsh reality. I would have to push my goals to the side.
While there was a possibility that I could still get what I wanted done, I just couldn’t continue doing it as I was. That was a tough pill to swallow because I knew that it would just take me longer to get to where I wanted to be.
You’re What’s Tough
Life has its ups and downs without warning. But if you let every obstacle derail you, you don’t be able to get very far. Every time you get up to do something and take a few steps, any pebble on your path will cause you to stumble.
While this may happen from time to time you have to find a way to keep going. You can’t just allow yourself to surrender.
But why is it so easy to get eaten up by circumstance? Because your view is killing your will.
They always say there is nothing in your life that you cannot handle. Basically, if it was put in front of you, you can take it. The problem is when you’re in that situation you forget that.
You’re being harder on yourself than the situation is being on you. You’re making it tougher than it actually is.
Like with my situation, when I thought about everything I would have to do from that point on I immediately wrote off my goals. I didn’t even think far enough ahead to realize that it wasn’t the end.
I just knew that the next day wouldn’t be like the previous one. That I would not be working on my plan.
Getting Through the Tough Times
You have to get your head back in the game. You must do things to get you going, keep you motivated and that make the rough road less bumpy.
That’s why you have to know a least a couple of ways to get you through the tough times, so you can carry on.
As long as you do a few of these during a tough time, things will get a little easier, the tough time will be a distant memory and you’ll be on track to completing your goals.
1. Lift your spirits
When you’re feeling down and in a bad place making yourself feel better seems like the next best step, but it often isn’t.
You probably like to wallow in your misery. You repeatedly replay an incident in your head, think about how it could be made worse or what should’ve happened, constantly questioning yourself on why it didn’t.
Instead of reliving the gruesome details, making it harder to deal, focus on something that makes you happy. Go out with a friend or listen to your favorite tunes.
Just because you’re going through a tough time doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to a good time.
2. Reflect on the little things
Sure a setback can be huge or seem devastating but there is more. While you’re dealing with one or even a growing mountain of problems it could always be worse. That’s why there is always something to be grateful for.
I’m not saying you should be happy you’re having misfortune (although later it could prove itself to be a blessing in disguise). I’m saying you should still allow yourself to be appreciative of the things in your life that are going well or making the tough times a bit easier to bear.
Like when you’re working crazy hours because the deadline on your current project was pushed up weeks. Don’t forget to thank your mom for swinging by to pick up your dirty laundry or your friend for bringing you dinner. Those are all a few things you don’t have to do and be without so you can finish up.
Hell, I’m even grateful for having a dishwasher just so I don’t have to stand in front of the sink every night.
3. Look for the lesson
No matter what the circumstance there is always something to be learned, good or bad.
You can learn a lot about yourself by reflecting on your contribution to the outcome. Most importantly you can learn how to avoid it in the future.
It’s so common to repeat your mistakes, especially when it has to do with the way you handle things. When you take a moment to reflect on that and see where you could’ve done something differently, you no longer have to worry about traveling down that dark road again.
4. Step back
Sometimes things are made tougher when you continue to immerse yourself in it. You end up wanting things or thinking you should do things are not really useful.
Some of the things you have the desire to do could just be holding you back in that hard place. Ask yourself if what you plan to do is going to help. If it isn’t step back, let it go.
When there is nothing more you can do in a situation, the best thing to do is move on with your life.
5. Focus on what matters
Everyone had responsibilities. Regardless of what you have going on in your personal life your responsibilities still have to be tended to. And sometimes that can serve as the distraction you need.
When you hit a hiccup in the road it can be easy for perspectives to get all twisted up. You may accidently put more importance on the problem then it really is worth.
Remind yourself that there are more important things in your life and put your focus back on them. Don’t let the vital parts of your life hang in the balance.
6. Make a plan
Whether it’s a plan to get yourself out of challenging times or just for the future in general, work it out.
A plan is always helpful. Once you have the steps laid out it’ll be easier to take action and before you know it you’ll be in a completely different place.
7. Nothing you can’t handle
Remember that. Think about how you’ve gotten through it before.
Tough times aren’t new for you. You’ve always have to climb out of some challenging situation and you did, so don’t forget it.
You can get through this. You’ve done it before. You can surely do it again. Use your gained knowledge and resilience to march forward.
When I was making the difficult adjustment of becoming a caretaker to two, I had to remind myself that I was just able to this situation around. Just a few months before I was able turn something that could’ve been worse into something good. To the point where it even benefited me.
Although I knew this wasn’t exactly the same, I knew there had to be a way to duplicate the same basic formula. Once I acknowledged that, the ideas just started coming in.
It was still a little hard at times but not as bad as I imagined and much shorter than my nightmares of it. Best of all, I got out unscathed.
I was still motivated enough to continue on with my plan. I wasn’t beaten down like I used to be after a challenging ordeal.
How about you…
How did you feel during one of the toughest times of your life?
How did you get through it?