Like a seesaw in the playground, life is full of ups and downs. And every once in a while, you’re going to land with a bigger-than-expected thud.
Lately, a few of my friends have been having a bit of a rough time: One has come out of an abusive relationship, one is very ill. Another has just lost a loved one, and another friend spent last weekend rushing her little boy to the hospital, twice.
It got me wondering about the different ways people get through their hard times.”
So after chatting with loads of women on the Fox in Flats Facebook the other night, where we all shared what’s worked for us, I compiled 23 tried and tested ways to get through tough times. Hopefully these great tips will help you get going when the going gets tough.
Kathy said that, to get into the right frame of mind, she starts by doing exercise. “Nothing picks me up quicker and helps me put things into perspective than the chance to breathe heavy while I think about the problem. ‘Will this situation kill me?’ I ask. No. Well then, let’s kick its butt, and get on with the show.”
2. Write it down
“I write it all down; what’s upsetting me, all the ways I might deal with it…” said Kathryn. “Keeping a diary or journal can help too. A daily gratitude journal practice has helped me to see past my tough times.”
3. Clean the house
Building on the idea that physical activity helps, a number of women recommended ‘stress cleaning.’ Seems that giving the bathroom a good scrub can help to wash away the stress associated with some problems, give you a sense of order and control, AND you’re left with a clean house. “I stress clean A LOT,” said Amy.
4. Talk with friends
Cathy said it helps her to regularly catch up with close friends, share a bottle of wine or some chocolate, and shed some tears.
Katie agreed, and said she calls these sessions “Random acts of crying,” and swears by their healing properties.
5. Get in touch with nature
“Fresh air does wonders,” said Amanda. Or if that’s not possible, bring nature to you. “Flowers in the house cheer me up,” shared Leanne.
6. Take one day at time
Kim offered “Take each day as it comes, don’t worry about tomorrow or look too far into the future. You can’t change the things you have no control over.” So focus on the here and now, and if you do that well, the future will probably just take care of itself.
7. Get the mixing bowl out
They say “Chicken soup is good for the soul,” but for some women, baking works even better. “It centres me,” stated Melanie. And no doubt indulging in the finished product helps put smiles on faces too.
Clearing your mind, taking a break from your emotions and instead finding a grounded, mindful calmness through meditation was recommended by a chilled out Karen.
9. Shed some tears
“It’s important to let yourself really feel your emotions – to give yourself permission to fall apart, cry your heart out,” advised Bron. And Pene agreed bluntly saying “Don’t let f***heads tell you about silver linings until you’ve worked through the shit.”
10. Get perspective
Sarah’s tough-time tip for herself was to “Always remember that someone, somewhere has it tougher than me.”
11. Crank up the tunes
Loads of the ladies offered up music as the ultimate mood transformer – and dancing in the kitchen takes the effect up a notch further!
12. Know it will pass
“My hubby always reminds me that EVERYTHING in life is temporary – including life itself. ‘This, too, shall pass.’ You just have to survive each moment until it does,” shared Barbara.
13. Take action
“I get determined,” said Barbara, “because I know that things won’t change unless I change them.”
Renee shared, “I have always found small goals ( short and long-term) keep me focused and motivated. And it’s nice to cross them off as I achieve them and look back at them to see how far I’ve come.”
14. Call your mum
Or someone who’s got your back, no matter what. When Katie is down she said, “I talk to my mum. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”
15. Have a giggle
Fiona shared how laughing always makes her feel better. “Looking at funny photos, a stupid YouTube video, tickling the kids. A good giggle has a way of lifting my mood and distracting me for a while.” FYI: Australia’s Funniest Home Videos screens on Saturday nights.
16. Flex your muscles
Remember what Freddy Nietzsche said: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.’ Or listen to Rachael’s Nan, who told her “You are only given what He knows you can handle.” Natasha agreed with this sentiment, sharing “I am way stronger than I know (because in the past when tested I have dealt with more than I thought was possible and I just did it one day at a time)”
17. Seek professional help
“Find a good psychologist,” offered Janet. “They can make such a difference.”
18. Drink Wine or Champagne
Jessica said the way she gets through tough times is to “Drink expensive champagne…unless of course the stress is money – then it’s cheap champagne.”
19. Escape with a book
“There’s nothing like a book taking you to a different place,” said Katie.
Sometimes it’s just best to hit the hay and wait for a new day to dawn. That’s what Kimmie says she does. “Sleep. I go to sleep.” Zzzzzzz!
21. Cuddles. Lots and Lots of cuddles
Because squeezes always help, so summon the tribe and get snuggling.
After you’ve worked through a hard time, Pene advised it’s worth trying to look back and see the positives – what have you learnt from the situation? She said “No matter how awful something is, somehow it will grow you into a better person.”
23. Have a mantra
As for me, I love this line from AA Milne, the creator of Winnie The Pooh – it’s become my tough-time mantra:
Thankyou so much to all the gorgeous women in the Fox in Flats Community.
Your ideas, tips and advice are so, so inspiring.
What helps you through tough times?
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