We all have those days when life feels really hard.
We didn’t get the job we wanted, our relationship ended and we had a fight with a family member. Add a traffic jam on top of that, and it can feel like the world is conspiring against us!
When I’m having a tough day, there are a few things I do to feel better and find the strength to keep going:
1. Put it in perspective.
It may feel like our lives are hard sometimes.
But compared to other parts of the world, we are blessed.
Hard isn’t career stress, relationship issues or traffic jams.
Hard is being so desperate for water to drink that you feel grateful for the dirty water you have to share with your family.
Hard isn’t waiting at the doctor’s office for 45 minutes.
Hard is traveling with your son on a scooter for 7 hours to get him fitted for a single hearing aid because you can only afford one.
Which “hard” would you pick?
Whenever I’m having a hard day I write a stop sign on my hand and ask myself a really serious question.
Here it is: “Really? Is it really that bad? Compared to what?”
Whenever your life feels hard, ask yourself this question. I bet you’ll find that whatever you were upset about no longer feels so significant.
2. Practice gratitude.
Writing in my gratitude journal gives me a positive outlook for the whole day. Instead of my life feeling hard, it feels pretty great.
When you’re feeling down, think of all the things that you are grateful for, especially the simple things that we often forget to acknowledge: clean water to drink, plentiful food to eat, a safe place to sleep, a sunny day, a body that pumps blood and breathes without you thinking about it, the sound of rain, the flowers that bloom outside your window, a smile from a stranger, etc.
The benefits of gratitude are endless: It makes us feel higher levels of positive emotions, makes us feel less bothered by aches and pains and makes us more forgiving. So why not make time for gratitude?
You can make it a family ritual to say what you’re grateful for at dinner or write in a gratitude journal.
If you have trouble remembering to practice gratitude, sign up for Gratefulness, a service that will send you text or an email every day asking you what you are grateful for.
3. Help others.
Helping others makes my life feel easier and more rewarding.
I recently got back from a mission trip to Vietnam, where my son and I fit people with hearing aids with Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Meeting that woman who drove for 7 hours on a scooter with her son to get him fitted for a hearing aid and then seeing that little boy hear for the first time put my whole life in perspective.
Every day I have the ability to hear and I take it for granted. Every bird that sings, every laugh, every note of music I hear—my Vietnam trip reminded me to appreciate all of it.
The mission trip was such a life changer that I want you to have that experience too!
I’m currently planning a mission trip for 10 moms and one of their teen kids. If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! 🙂
Volunteering your time to help others will open up your eyes in ways that you can’t even imagine right now. You never know who you might meet, what you might learn and what challenges you might help someone through. Your problems will no longer feel so big—and you’ll feel awesome for giving back.
4. Recognize that everything happens for a reason.
You may be disappointed that you didn’t get that job now, but it may be because something even better is going to come up very soon.
That fight you had with your family member may bring you closer together and strengthen your relationship.
And those traffic jams and long lines are all a way of the world teaching you patience.
Who knows, maybe you’ll meet someone in that waiting room who will change your life!
We don’t always know why things happen to us. Remember that everything always works out in the end. You may not be able to see it now, but it is working out for the best.
5. Do something fun.
Treat yourself to a massage. Take your kids to the amusement park. Go shopping at your favorite stores. Take a trip to the beach. Join me and other fabulous women for our next LoBella weekend in August!
Whatever you do, just enjoy it. As adults, sometimes we have to remind ourselves to lighten up and have fun.
Life can’t all be work, errands and obligations. Loosen up and have an adventure.
I hope the ideas in this post help you handle the challenges in your life with ease.
Let me know your thoughts. What do you do when your life feels too hard?
Remember, your problems are never as big as they seem and you are stronger than you even know!
Whatever you’re going through, you got this! 🙂