Hard times come, and wise people will weather the storm.
Not strong—wise—because it’s not strength that gets you through hard times. It’s making wise choices that help you stay on track to reach the other side.
Here are twelve truths that will help you along the way.
1. Patience is often a better choice than frantically trying to right the wrong.
But my life is burning down! I lost my friends! My relationship is crumbling! I lost my job! I don’t have the time to be patient!
Actually, you do. And you may have less choice in the matter than you realize.
The truth is that there are times when there is nothing to do. Human beings often feel compelled to do something when times are bad. But sometimes, doing things prematurely can make the situation worse.
It could be that you also don’t know what to do right now. Maybe it’s a situation that you have to wait out.
2. You have survived hard times before.
You’ve survived hard times before, and you will undoubtedly come across more in the future.
It’s easy to forget how resilient you are when you’re drowning, gasping for air while trying to keep your head above the surface.
Take some time to contemplate the other hard situations you’ve needed to survive and overcome. Sure, this may be worse than what you went through before, but the same tools that helped you survive then can help you survive now.
You can also learn new skills and strategies to navigate these difficult times. Remember, you are strong and resilient.
3. This will pass.
Nothing lasts forever, and that includes hard times.
Life is a series of ups and downs, much like a rollercoaster. It’s exhilarating on the climb, and once you reach the peak, but it can be frightening on the way back down.
The consistent factor of the rollercoaster is that it keeps moving until the ride is over. Sooner or later, that low will end, and you’ll be climbing again. It may take time, but you’ll get there.
4. There is more than one way to solve a problem.
The difficulties of life can often leave us hyperfocused on the issue. You may look at it and get stuck trying to make one solution work. However, there are so many ways to go about solving a problem.
The good news is that you have a wealth of information at your fingertips! Someone, somewhere, has experienced the problem you’re having and has survived it.
Researching may point you to a different solution or give you ideas to better navigate your situation. But don’t let yourself get so fixated on a singular solution that you can’t see other options.
5. You are not alone.
Now would be the time to reach out to friends, family, or a professional to find some support through this hard period you’re going through.
Just talking about the situation can be cathartic as it can lift some emotional weight off your shoulders.
But wait… what if you don’t have anyone to lean on? What if a professional isn’t a possibility? Unfortunately, that happens. Sometimes we find ourselves alone in some of the worst times of our life.
One solution that may work for you is looking into local or online support groups. There are so many out there that can help with a variety of issues.
Oftentimes, these groups will welcome new members and you don’t have to say a word until you feel comfortable and ready, if ever. So don’t feel like you’ll need to walk in and rip yourself open in front of strangers.
6. Even if it’s your fault, tearing yourself down will only make matters worse.
It’s easy to take hard times personally. And sometimes? Yes, sometimes it will be personal.
Sometimes you will make a mistake that will negatively affect you in ways you may not have anticipated.
Sometimes, you will look in the mirror and talk yourself down because you made such a drastic error.
Well, you can’t do that. You shouldn’t do that.
Tearing yourself down doesn’t help the situation, and it won’t help you.
You’re human, so you’re going to make mistakes. Everyone does. That’s just life. You may be unable to fix it, but you can get through it.
7. Self-care can ease your suffering.
The bad and stressful times in our life can drain a lot of mental and emotional energy. As that energy is drained, it is easy to let certain healthy activities fall by the wayside.
For example, many people would opt to eat junk food instead of putting the effort into preparing healthy meals.
In addition, it’s not unusual for temporary depression or anxiety to cause people to self-isolate.
But taking care of yourself as best as possible could help you maintain a positive attitude. That way, you won’t be left cleaning up another mess when the rough patch passes.
8. The present moment is what matters most.
It is sometimes beneficial to keep your mind in the present. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for diffusing depression of the past and anxiety of the future.
It’s so easy to get trapped in negative thought loops about what you did wrong in the past or could have done better.
And then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the fear of the unknown. How will these hard times affect me?
Frankly, neither is all that useful right now.
Sure, you can consider the future and try to make some plans, but there does come a point where it’s no longer productive. That’s where mindfulness can help you.
9. Many hard times have a silver lining.
Looking for the silver lining on your cloudy day can help you to maintain a positive attitude so you can get through the hard times.
But, listen, sometimes there isn’t a silver lining. Sometimes everything just sucks, and that’s the way it is. It’s okay if you can’t find a silver lining. And it’s okay to let yourself feel crappy about your circumstances for a little while.
Negative emotions are healthy and good for you so long as they are not all-consuming. Don’t live in that space.
Then, when you’re ready to try to climb out of it, start looking for those silver linings to help shift your perspective.
10. You have more to be grateful for than you realize.
Gratitude is a powerful tool for navigating the hard times of life and fostering an appreciation for what you have.
Gratitude is a buzzword in the self-help sphere, so the message behind it gets a little wishy-washy. Everyone says you should practice it but rarely does anyone talk about how it benefits you.
The truth is that we have to control our thoughts rather than being controlled by our thoughts. Yes, times might be hard right now, and that’s negative. However, you don’t have to live with that negativity.
Gratitude helps you focus on what you have, what you should be thankful for, and the positives in your life that can help keep you going.
You’re going to be miserable if you dwell on sad things. Gratitude can help lift you out of it.
11. Coping skills can make all the difference.
Coping skills are invaluable for overcoming the hard times you’ll face. You may have good coping skills now, or maybe it’s time to start looking for things that can work for you.
People don’t always take coping skills seriously because sometimes they are hard to take seriously. No one who is depressed or finds themselves in a bad time of their life wants to be told to think positively.
Frankly, it’s a bit rude and insensitive to tell other people that. But it helps to keep coping skills like that in mind.
Coping skills like pragmatic thinking, exercise, eating healthy, meditation, yoga, and more can help you blow off steam which in turn will elevate your mood.
12. The hard times are often the best times to laugh and have fun.
The truth is that hard times can last a while. But much like with gratitude, you can’t allow yourself to stay mired in the swamp.
There will undoubtedly be opportunities to have a good time while sharing a laugh or two with friends and family.
It’s so tempting to skip out on all those things because times are hard, and you don’t want to be a drag. But, really, the best time to do those things is when you’re feeling down. Having fun and sharing a laugh can boost your mood, at least for a little while.
Reducing that emotional load can make it much easier to get through the hard times. Remember, there are better times ahead.