How to Bounce Back from a Struggle Season
Truth moment- March has been a shit-show for me.
Like literally, March has presented one obstacle after another in my life. I consider myself the queen of preparation and focus, but the shit that has gone down in March has had your girl feeling like I am crawling just to get by.
Don't get me wrong, I know life is all about handling ups and downs as they come. I have found that when things in my life are not going the way I want, that usually means that drastic change and growth is on the other side of whatever struggle I am going through. In the moment, NONE of it feels good. In the moment, struggle seasons can feel suffocating. Add in personal anxiety and depression and you will be wondering how you are able to get from day to day without becoming an alcoholic. Sorry, but its the truth.
Bouncing back from a season of struggle has little to do with the situation(s) that you are going through and even more to do with HOW you choose to navigate them. Seasons of struggle can be related to financial issues, relationship, job, health or just a combination of issues that present major obstacles, keeping you tied up in surviving rather than thriving. You know they always say "When it rains, it pours," and I have found that to usually be the case when I am going through a lot of hard stuff personally.
I have put together a list of things I do when life is throwing a million things at me and everything seems to be going wrong. Hopefully the list below will help you get past whatever season of struggle you are going through. Remember, even the worst situations are generally fueled by temporary emotions and variables. Nothing bad lasts forever.
1. A+B Doesn't Always Equal C
I've been there. You keep trying to get past whatever negative is going on in your life and you keep hitting a brick wall, nothing you do seems to work. When faced with a no-win situation, I like to stop and reevaluate the things I CAN control which is always, ME. During high periods of stress, every annoyance tends to be magnified x30. If you are able to consciously stop and realign HOW you are addressing the issue, you are more likely to uncover a new perspective on how to handle a situation. The fact is, sometimes the way we are comfortable handling things is not always right. STOP, Listen to yourself and pivot your response before always acting out.
2. Owning Control with Surrender
I am a control freak. I am not ashamed to admit that and I have spent a lot of money in therapy to find ways to navigate my need for constant control over every aspect of my life. When everything feels like it is falling apart in my life, I loose control and thus my anxiety is raised 4000%. Although we tend to believe we have control over everything in our lives, we don't really control anything. The feeling of control is an illusion and being addicted to that illusion will have you wired for stress and unable to pivot when shit hits the fan.
The Solution- GIVE UP... not literally, but figuratively. Give-up your obsession with having control over stressful situations. Instead, focus on managing YOURSELF. How you respond to stress or obstacles? how you prioritize self-care when you need it most? What you can control all starts and stops with you. Especially when you are dealing with other people (relationships, jobs, kids etc.,) you MUST remind yourself that although you want the situation to be different- you must accept the reality that its not and instead focus your energy into things you can actually control which is YOU.
3. Inventory of Your Blessings
No matter what the hell you are going through, someone out there always has it 10x worse than you do. When we are in the moment, we feel as though our problems are the WORST in the world and we believe that nobody could possibly understand what we are going through. When we are at the end of our rope and problems seem to pile up on us like dirty laundry, we feel like there is no way anybody could feel as miserable as we do. In these moments, I find it so important to remind myself of all of the blessings I have truly been blessed with in my life. No matter what, I have a beautiful family, healthy children, a roof over my head and a loving husband who would do anything for me. Those things alone make me so lucky, regardless of any external factor that tries to interrupt my peace.
The Solution- In the moment, take inventory of all of the positive things in your life. Regardless of what you are going through, we all have things to be grateful for. Try making a list every night before bed outlining all of the things in your life that you are grateful for. When you are feeling overwhelmed, literally take a minute to count at least 10 things you are grateful for out loud. Make it a priority to not just dwell on all of the issues in your life, but all of the successes as well.
4. Get Help From the Right People
We all need help. I don't care who you are or how strong you are, everybody needs someone to talk to. When we are going through a season of struggle, we tend to isolate ourselves in hope that we will "figure it out" without anybody knowing how vulnerable we are. Rather than talking to your homegirls, consider talking to a therapist or mentor who can look at your situation unbiasedly and offer sound advice. Whether it be financial, romantic or health related- I always recommend speaking with a professional before spilling your heart out to your friends. While your friends are a great source of support, the chances are that they will be unable to give you the best advice because of their own experiences or relationship with you will cloud their judgement.
5. Patience Provides Perspective
Out of all of these tips, #5 is probably the hardest one to learn because it does not bring immediate results. Anytime I have ever gone through a series of hardships, being patient has never been something that I was immediately able to do. No matter how bad things may seem, bad situations rarely last. Usually when we are patient without immediately reacting our perspective on whatever we were going through will change. Imagine if you took 24 hours to process a situation before immediately responding to it. That argument, that phone call or major life move can generally wait 24 hours. Give yourself SPACE to think before always immediately responding. During the 24 hours of your thinking process, do not force yourself to come up with the answer on demand. Practice self-care, try to do a few things you enjoy. Generally, when we are patient things change naturally.
Next time you are faced with issues that seem like you cant get through them, practice being patient. Time really can heal most wounds. Make an effort to make small strides in the midst of your struggle. Instead of trying to rush to a resolution, take time to identify "What am I supposed to learn from this struggle" and "How can I use my current struggle to grow or improve?"
One of my favorite quotes of all time is, "Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it." damn, lets reread that again for those of us in the back, ACCEPT IT AS IF YOU CHOSEN IT!! Mind blown.
Really think about that for a second. WHATEVER the present moment contains, we must learn to LEAN into it instead of trying to control it. If we decided to look at everything in our lives as intentional, rather than by chance- we could see the purpose behind everything, even seasons of struggle. Everything we go through has a purpose. From the flat tire on the way to work to the tough breakup that has us stalking our ex on the Gram, everything has a purpose and there is something to be gained from every situation, even if its only a sense of resilience and strength.
Rather than breaking down, try to figure out how you can BREAK THROUGH.
Until Next Time Loves :)
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