Happy Monday, friends! This is going to be a more personal post today.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I’ve been mentioning quite a bit that I’ve been feeling stressed out and overwhelmed lately. This past month and a half has taken a bit of a toll on me but I’m pushing through.
For a while I was just going through the motions but then I just started neglecting my blog, social media, and Facebook group for the past few weeks. I’m sorry about that, and I want to give you an explanation. I always say that I want to be 100% honest on this blog, so here’s what’s been happening. This year in general has been stressful, like when I lost my grandpa. But these past few months have finally gotten to me.
You probably know that my husband and I have been house hunting for the past few months and I’m so excited to say that we finally found our home! Which is exciting, but also stressful. I’ve been stressing about the whole process, our finances, and moving to a new town that I don’t know very well. I should also point out that sometimes I don’t handle change well, so this has made me sort of anxious.
And if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that last year I mentioned we decided to try to have a baby. We’ve been trying for almost a year and a half now, which has been SO stressful for me. It’s honestly all that I can think about sometimes. And we finally got pregnant in July. But I had a miscarriage. It was oh so heart breaking to finally conceive and be pregnant, only to lose it…
And if that wasn’t enough, my husband was in a car accident. Thank God he’s okay! The car was totaled and the guy who caused the accident doesn’t have insurance, so we had to fork out almost all of our savings to buy a new one. I’m thankful we had enough to purchase a new car, but it’s discouraging to start our savings from scratch when we had saved so much. The whole process has been stressful and it isn’t over yet. This, on top of the house purchase, has made me stress twice as much about our finances. Car accidents are one of my worst fears, too. But I’m just SO thankful that my husband is okay.
I’ve said before that my anxiety has gotten much better over the past two years, but lately it’s gotten to me. I’ve been having panic attacks where I feel like I can’t breathe and I have to put my head between my knees to stop myself from hyperventilating. It’s been terrifying and I’ve been scared of having another one, which only makes the anxiety worse. It’s a vicious cycle, and I know how to cope but sometimes you forget when you’re in the middle of a big attack.
Those have been the four biggest stressors for me, along with some other things. Something horrible happened to an old friend of mine, there’s been some family health problems. All of this honestly makes me feel so weak because I feel like I should be able to handle it. I’ve been doing so well, I’ve been handling things, and I shouldn’t this get to me. But, I let it get to me. I stopped feeling like my usual optimistic self and I was really depressed. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything for days. I lost 9 pounds in 2 weeks from the stress.
But that’s life sometimes. You have many different seasons and you just have to go with it. Sometimes big changes happen, sometimes you suffer loss, sometimes your mental health is worse than normal. You can’t be strong all the time. You’ve just got to keep going.
I’ve had at least 5 people tell me that when it rains, it pours. That seems to ring true. But eventually, the rain stops. I’ve slowly been getting back into the groove of things and starting to feel like myself again. And I’m searching for the good or the lesson that can come out of this mess.
I know you’ve dealt with difficult seasons too, because we all have. So, today I wanted to share my 9 tips for surviving the hard seasons of life.
1- Love and care for yourself through it.
Sometimes when we’re going through a difficult season of life, self-care and self-love fall off of our radar. They’re the last thing we think about. Maybe we think it’s selfish or silly or unnecessary to think about when we have something bad going on. I don’t think we should feel that way though. Keeping up with self-care and remembering to love ourselves during these times makes things much easier. It helps you stay grounded, keep your energy up as much as possible, ease the stress, and stay connected to yourself.
2- Ask for help if you need it.
Forget about the silly people who say asking for help means that you’re weak because it definitely doesn’t. Humans are made to help other humans. Plus, it takes courage to to admit that you’re vulnerable and in need. Whatever you may need help with, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. And that includes professional help in the form of therapy or counseling of some kind. You’re important and the fact that you’re not afraid to get help shows how much you love and care for yourself and your health.
3- Don’t just go through it; grow through it.
I like to think of every hard season of life as a chance to learn and grow. Difficult times make us a better person. I truly believe that my lowest and darkest points in life have made me who I am. They softened my heart toward myself and others. Who knows who or where I would be if I hadn’t gone through them? Instead of just trying to ignore the hard times and survive them, try to learn and grow from them. It’s the best thing you can do!
4- Don’t ask “why?” – ask “how?”
When something bad happens to us or we’re going through hard seasons of life, sometimes our first reaction is to ask why? “Why me?” “Why now?” But the thing is, those kind of questions aren’t very helpful. It’s easy to wallow in self-pity and it can be a natural reaction, but it’s unhealthy and unhelpful. Instead, you should ask yourself how questions. “How can I learn from this?” or “How can I improve this situation?” or “How can I respond to this hardship?” This can help you grow, learn, and improve the situation. It can help you see things from a different perspective and look at this season of your life in a more healthy way.
5- (Try to) stay positive.
First, I want to say that staying positive isn’t just a cliche about ignoring the negativity in life. That’s not what I’m talking about. When I say try to stay positive, I don’t mean to ignore the bad – I mean to see the good and focus on the good. What you focus on, you allow to grow. If you’re always looking for and focusing on the bad, you’ll notice it everywhere. If you TRY to stay positive and focus on the positive, you’ll notice more positivity. You’ll feel happier. Yes, you should allow yourself to feel your negative feelings and work through them. You can have down days and you can cry. But you don’t have to let the negativity control you or keep you down. Staying positive during the hard seasons of life helps make them much more bearable!
You might like: 7 Tips for Being More Positive (No Matter What)
6- Find something to be grateful for.
I’ve always said that no matter what you’re going through, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Even when I’m dealing with the loss of a family member, I can be thankful that I was blessed enough to have such a loving family member in the first place. Some people don’t have that. What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were grateful for today? Imagine how much you would lose. Practicing gratitude doesn’t just make you feel happier, it can actually change your whole life. It’s been proven to help people with clinical depression and anxiety. The power of gratitude is real!
7- Focus on your spiritual life.
The hardest seasons of life are when it’s most important to focus on your spiritual life. Despite the fact that I started pulling back from God when all of this was happening, the moment I started turning to him, my heart felt lighter. No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, staying connected to this area of your life can help the most. Don’t stop praying, meditating, reading religious books, and connecting to God (or the Universe, or a Higher Power, etc.) This can offer such a great source of comfort, direction, and purpose for the season that you’re in. It can help guide you out of the hard times and get you to where you’re supposed to go, too.
8- Remember that everything happens for a reason.
I believe everything that happens in our lives (usually) happens for a reason. It can be hard to hear this or believe this when we’re in the middle of hard times but more often than not, it’s true. The darkest times of my life have let me to the light. The hardest things I’ve gone through have softened and shaped me. Closed doors have led to open doors. Sometimes you’re stuck waiting in the hard seasons of life until a wonderful season is ready for you. I know this all sounds cliche, but it’s true in my personal experience. Think back to tough things you’ve gone through; they probably lead to really great things at least most of the time, right? Keep this in mind and remember that better times are coming. You just have to make it through.
9- Remember that it won’t last forever.
You know that life has its ups and downs. We’ve all been through bad times and good times. But it can be hard to keep that in mind when we’re in the middle of the bad times. So if you’re going through something hard right now, just remember that it won’t last forever – the hard seasons of life never do. All you have to do is find ways to go through it and come out the other end stronger than you were before. Then it will all be something that you can look back on and be grateful that you grew through it and got stronger!
How do you stay strong during the hard seasons of life?