These last weeks haven’t been easy for me emotionally. I have been struggling with some personal issues, which have caused me to feel extremely lost and sad. On some days I couldn’t help myself, but cry at every occasion a sad song came on in the radio.
Difficult times in our lives usually don’t happen for us to simply suffer. More so, are they bumps in the road, that shake us awake in order for us to work on ourselves or to learn an important life lesson. They are the transitioning phase, which we have to go through, before we can grow as a person.
There are a few thoughts and practices that I have started to introduce into my life during this “down phase”, that have helped me significantly and have caused me to feel a lot better.
Here are my top 12 tips on how to deal with difficult times:
1. Embrace your feelings
The first step is to truly embrace how you are feeling. Feeling sad? Cry as much as you want to and let it all out. Feeling angry? Find a pillow and punch it as hard as you can. Only by being aware of your emotions and truly living them, you can begin to get better. Otherwise whatever you do, you are just going to mask the real issue- much like covering up a wound without cleaning the dirt out of it first. Awareness is the first step in the direction of feeling better.
2. Talk, talk, talk
Talking about our problems with others is so important and can be extremely helpful. Not only are we embracing our emotional wounds, but also, through the verbalization of our issues, a lot of them will actually start to become clearer in your head. Listen to the advice other people will give you, but never take it to personally, because in the end only you know what’s best for you.
3. Get professional advice
No, I am not talking about seeing a psychiatrist, but oftentimes paying for a coaching session works wonders. I have been seeing this inspirational coach- Beate Topp (check her out here) in Munich for the last 4 years and I have never felt as inspired and as clear in my head as I do after seeing her. If you are in Munich and you are struggling with ANYTHING, I can only highly recommend booking a session with her.
When you talk to someone who is not part of your family or friend group, you will usually get a whole different view on your situation. Oftentimes, our friends will give us certain advice, because they think it is what we want to hear, or because they are personally engaged in the issue.
4. What would you tell your friend?
This is a simple, yet very useful tip. Imagine your bet friend is currently struggling with the same issue that you are dealing with. What advice would you give him or her? Taking a step back and being less personally attached to your struggles will help give you a new perspective on things.
5. Get into a routine
This point has made a huge difference for me in the last weeks. I have started to do 15 minutes of pilates, followed by a 15-minute guided mediation every morning after waking up. In the evening I have implemented the routine of writing down how I have been feeling emotionally, and in a different book, I write down clearly what I wish for in the future. Having some clear steps that you stick to throughout the day will help you get some structure into the chaos that oftentimes rules in your head during difficult times. Moreover, this will prevent you from falling into bad habits, such as checking social media first thing in the morning or thinking about something sad and crying yourself to sleep.
Everyone has always told me to mediate. After actually starting to do so myself, I now know why. Mediation really helps you to get in touch with your inner self and your intuition. When you are going through a difficult phase you tend to loose trust in yourself and the world around you, whereby you will actually find most answers within you.
Here are my favorite guided Youtube mediations:
Sometimes the solution is to not have a solution. Eagerly searching for that one thing that will help you, might actually hinder you from finding it. Try and let go of your thoughts about your current situation and aim to focus on something else instead. Oftentimes, when you do this, the solution will come by itself. This will require practice, since it is easier said than done. The following step might help you with this.
8. Do little things that you enjoy
When you are feeling down it is so extremely important to do little things you love. Put on your favorite perfume, listen to a song that brings back good memories or go out to a yummy restaurant. It is hard to turn your whole situations around at once, so taking baby steps and doing little things that will lift your mood are the way to go.
9. Take time for yourself
Whether your problem is in regards to yourself or you are struggling in a relationship, this is the time for you to focus on yourself. You don’t have to meet society’s expectations or please anyone else, all you have to do is be at peace with yourself. Only when that is the case, you can truly help yourself and others.
10. Switch off social media
During a time, when everything in your life already seems as if it is not going the way it should, you don’t need social media to make you feel even worse. Oftentimes, we just scroll through our Instagram feed and only see pictures of other people who create the illusion to have perfect bodies, perfect partners, perfect holidays and perfect lives. Try and stop checking your social media for a few days, so that you can truly focus on yourself.
11. Resolve the cause
Everything happens for a reason and nothing goes away until it has thought us what we needed to learn. This might be a very difficult realization, especially in situations where everything just seems so unfair, but it is always true to a certain extend. Oftentimes the problem that we are facing, is actually an invitation for us to look at a deeper subconscious problem and resolve it. For example, when you are always putting yourself down, hating your body and you generally don’t love yourself, you might constantly attract other people into your life that mirror this attitude you have towards yourself. They will not value you, put you down and mistreat you, because that is exactly what you are doing to yourself. Unless you resolve the underlying cause, you will continue ending up in the same situations.
12. See the bigger picture- the only way is up!
When you feel like life can’t really get any worse, just remember that the only way to go from here is up. Life is the perfect balance of good and bad. Sometimes we need to feel the pain, in order to value love again. Sometimes we need to fall onto our face first, so that we can truly succeed. Sometimes we have to struggle in order to grow as a person.
I hope you guys found these tips helpful and are able to apply some of them to your lives, whenever you are having a hard time. Sending you all lots of love!