Regardless of our class, race, age, ability, we all will experience trials and tribulations in life. Sometimes multiple challenges will occur at once. During difficult times, it can be easy to begin to devalue ourselves and think that the challenge defines us. It is important to remember that our struggles are not our identity. Here are some tips to help you manage during challenging times.
1) Know your limits.
When you know what risks you can tolerate, you will know your limitations. As you age, your risks tolerances and limitations will fluctuate. For example, when you are 20 years old you might enjoy bungee jumping, but dismiss it when you are 40 years old. However, perhaps you might have more money to invest in riskier stock when you are 40 as oppose to 20 years old. Embrace your risk tolerance and limitations so you can be more self‑compassionate.
2) Love yourself.
The more you know and appreciate yourself, the less you will let circumstances upset you. Most of the time, people’s meanness and ridicule has more to with them than with you. You cannot control what others say, but you can control what you believe and accept.
3) Reach out for help.
No one is an island. Learn to ask for help when you need it. Invest your time and energy to surround yourself with a social support system. Family is important, but friends can be just as important when life becomes overwhelming. Also, your support system will help you find humor in their own and your shortcomings and it keeps everyone humble.
4) Try new things.
Even when time is tight, and you haven’t vacuumed in months, the dishes need to be washed and you do not think you have clean clothes for work tomorrow. Take some time each day for self-care. If you can spare more time, go to that paint night you’ve been wanting to try. Do not have anyone to go with? Go by yourself. That’s right. Maybe you will make a new lifelong friend.
5) Exercise and Get outside.
If it is too cold, then do some light stretching in the living room. Cannot think of the stretches? Put ‘yoga’ in YouTube and voila. When you get a chance go outside and meet new people. We are hardwired for connection. Go on Meetup.com and there are tons of groups that are constantly meeting up to do anything from knitting to axe throwing.
*Note: if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or feel that you may have clinical depression, be sure to contact your doctor and reach out to the appropriate crisis line in your area. Remember, you are very important and loved by more people than you realize. You owe it to yourself to take the very best care of yourself possible. One tiny step forward is still the right direction.