Everyone goes through hard times in their life. Whether that is a death of someone close to you, a relationship ending, a job loss, a health crisis, you’re caring for someone with intensive needs, or you're faced with some other disaster, we all have times where life takes a pause while we’re figuring out how we feel and what to do next.
I am sharing some tips on how to support yourself through hard times so you can ease through it more gently, and anticipate what you may need. You will appreciate anything that will make life easier during a hard time. My intention here isn't to give you a bunch of additional things to do, but to help you to simplify, reduce your stress and overwhelm, and give you some practical tips for gentle direction.
Dealing with your emotions
When something big happens and shakes up your world, you're going to have a lot of feelings about it. Strong feelings will come out whether you dump them on those around you and then feel guilty about it, or choose to use tools to process them.
Tools to process your emotions
Some ways you can release your feelings are through:
- Journal writing
- A creative expression
- Essential oils
- Flower essences to work with your energy
- Practice EFT tapping (check out The Tapping Solution)
- Water for emotional healing - showers, baths, swimming, spas, go to the beach
Have a break
Processing your emotions is intense. Here are some ways to have a break during this time:
- Change of scenery
- Look at something pretty
- Earthing/ground yourself (can be barefoot on the ground or use earthing products)/forest bathing and let Mother Nature support you
- Escape from reality with a good book or a movie
Connect with your values
Whether you find comfort in religion or spirituality is up to you, but understanding what you stand for can offer some guidance. What's your purpose? You be you. I know this quote is from pop culture, but I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it has stayed with me.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Yes, I put that in caps because that's how important it is. What does being kind to yourself look like?
- Rest. You may need more than usual while you're going through something taxing, or you may find you can't sleep properly, and then need a lot of sleep once that passes.
- Give yourself grace. You may not be able to concentrate or give a lot of focus to work or other projects and that's totally normal.
- Gentle exercise such as walking or yoga.
- Body work such as a massage, or other care such as a haircut or mani/pedi, perhaps medical check-ups that are overdue.
Practical things you can do
And because I'm a Professional Organiser, I have some tips on practical things to support you too.
Lean on others
- Letting people know you're going through a hard time. You can pick and choose the people you think will be in a need-to-know relationship or will be supportive of you.
- Have someone you trust to talk about it.
- Look at outsourcing jobs that are too much while you're dealing with what's going on. eg. washing/ironing, grocery shopping, lawn mowing or gardening.
- Know when to call in professional help. If your feelings are overwhelming for an ongoing period, or are severe, see your GP to talk about it.
Have something to look forward to
Something that reminds you that there is life ahead, and you won't feel like this forever. You can:
- Reward yourself for achieving milestones. This could be the first time you notice you've gone a day without thinking of the difficult time, or taking action on any of the tips I've mentioned.
- Plan something in the future such as a holiday, or an event that's special to you.
Check your routine
When the hard time hits, you will probably need to make space for self-care by saying "no" to things in your usual routine or will take your time and/or energy.
Be aware that structure can be comforting when other areas of your life are falling apart.
We know that clutter stimulates anxiety, particularly in women. Going through a hard time may help to put your clutter into perspective and allow you to let it go, and reduce some anxiety.
Often there is a build-up of paper when we go through a hard time. You may not have had time to go through the usual papers, and there may be additional paperwork as part of this difficult time (eg. legal documents, government documents etc).
There may also be sentimental items to go through like photos or belongings, or items that represent a sense of identity. Do these when you feel ready, and be aware you may need others to do this with you. It may take some time while you remember stories and figure out who wants what.
Check your systems
Has life changed? Or is this a situation that may reoccur? You may need to change the way you do things to make it easier, or to avoid having such a painful situation again. Often this is around communications with the relevant family or friends, schedules, and contact details for in case of emergency people.
So that's 9 tips on getting through a hard time
Does any of this resonate with you? Would you add anything to this list?