Life is hard right now. There is little time to pause, relax, do nothing, or worry about nothing.
This is not the first time I have been overwhelmed, and it will not be the last. I have had many moments in life where everything seemed SO HARD – the sudden death of my father, two rounds of college, new jobs, that first year of motherhood, and a battle against breast cancer come to mind.
Whenever I think I can’t go on, I reflect on the old adage: THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
If a difficult stage in life proves more demanding than my abilities, I remind myself IT IS JUST A PHASE. Whatever is bothering me will not be a bother for long. More importantly, I know I can get through it because I have done so before.
There will always be hardships to overcome – personal loss, bad job, unsatisfying relationship, hectic schedule, major life change. But while these may push our limits and challenge us, we should never allow them to overtake our life or define who we are.
And though many phases begin and end naturally on their own, some grab hold. We may fail to move onto a new and perhaps improved stage of life for various reasons. Perhaps we:
- form an emotional attachment
- are in a comfort zone
- link self-worth to a phase
- feel guilt for moving on
- fear the unknown
- are overwhelmed
- believe we have no control
- lack a support system
- think part of us deserves the struggle
We do not have to stay in one place. All things are temporary unless we refuse to let go and release them. The difficulties in life will eventually leave on their own and it they don’t, there are options. We have the power to A) remove ourselves from the situation B) change the situation or C) accept the situation.
If you are in the midst of a phase like I am, here are some tips to get through it:
- LEARN FROM IT – Adversity is a wonderful teacher. Expand on that knowledge to better yourself and future experiences.
- DECREASE THE STRUGGLES – Seek ways to prevent undue stress. Simplify, delegate, say no, declutter, etc.
- ENJOY THE NOW – Appreciate the value of the moment with this Grounding Technique.
- MAKE TIME TO BE – Carve out pockets of time to do something where little effort is required but much joy is gained.
- REALIZE THIS IS LIFE – Our days will never be perfect or go our way. Once one challenge is gone, another will soon replace it.
- EMBRACE THE CRAZY – Rather than focus on the stress, immerse yourself in the moments and make memories.
- EXPRESS YOURSELF – Cry or vent if that is what you need to do. Releasing negativity will improve your health and outlook.
- BE PATIENT – Know the discontent will not last and will eventually be replaced with a sense of accomplishment and pride.
- FIND GRATITUDE – See the good in the source of frustration. You are likely blessed with family, friends, a home, or career.
- PUT YOURSELF FIRST – Get plenty of rest, exercise, and downtime to offset the pressure. And do it without guilt.
- SEEK AND ACCEPT HELP – Delegate to share the load and if others offer to help, take it.
- GAIN ENERGY – Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Build your inner circle so tight that you never feel alone.
- TEND YOUR INNER SPIRIT – Whether through religion, meditation, art, etc., find something to feed your soul.
- TEMPORARILY ESCAPE – Step away for an hour, a day, a weekend. Recharge and come back with a new perspective and open heart.
Still overwhelmed? Start with these two questions:
1. What part of your current situation is the most frustrating? Seek to better it.
2. What, above all, is the foremost priority? Focus on it.
There will never be a time when life is easy but there will be moments – glorious, joyful, memorable moments – when life reveals its true beauty and purpose. Look for those. And when you feel caught up and lost in the crazy, remember: nothing is forever unless you allow it to be so.
This Too Shall Pass.
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash