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It’s so hard when you are right in the centre of a major life challenge. The pain is personal to you and while you are hurting it can feel unbearable. Your head feels heavy, your breath is short, you have a general low feeling and you feel like you are swimming against the tide. At worse, panic and fear sets in, dread, lack of energy and becoming withdrawn. Carrying on in this way, over a period of time, can cause long term effects that can be hard to bounce back from.

My Lovely, there is something to be said about looking to the future. Someone said, “To everything, there is a season.” So take heart in knowing that there will be an ending to your challenge.

As we go through life, we begin to realise that difficult experiences help us to grow. Indeed, studies have shown this to be true.

Research has found that up to 70% of people experience positive psychological growth from difficult times, such as a deeper sense of self and purpose, a greater appreciation for life and loved ones, and an increased capacity for altruism, empathy and desire to act for the greater good. UW Health mag.

It's a great feeling when looking back at your adversity, patting yourself on the back and saying to yourself “Yes! I did it” or “No, that was a hard one!” Perhaps you are one of those people who proudly show the scars. My Lovely, it’s all a human learning curve.

One of the best ways of getting through (life challenges) is to recognise that nothing lasts forever and there will be an ending. And so, a way to start to reframe your approach is to look at your difficult time as a tremendous opportunity to grow.

First things First!

I am a big believer in giving ourselves space. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. If you can, try to give yourself a “holiday” from your difficulties or problems. Allow yourself to feel sad and disappointed. Give (a time limited) space to immerse yourself in this feeling. This is a vital first step because You are your best friend. Have a cry, be sad, take some time.

Next, do something to handle the hardship in a way that is new to you. This is how you progress and build your resilience. Take steps, even teeny, tiny ones to move forward. Little by little, day by day, there will be a change. So what are the steps?

5 Steps to Put You on the Path to Growth at Difficult Times.

  • Talk to a trusted, level headed friend. If you haven’t got one - Find a Counsellor

You need to be able to vent in a safe space with a person who will be supportive. This does not necessarily mean giving you the answers. It means fully listening and hearing you and allowing you to speak your feelings without judgement.

Help with finding a therapist -

  • Meditation & Journalling

Be it 5 minutes or 1 hour, meditation and/or journaling, will give you the time to clear your mind, collect your thoughts and process. This allows you to come to terms with the situation and replenish yourself mentally and build your resilience.

  • Ramp Up Your SelfCare

You know it is vital to take care of ourselves first, because then we are better equipped for ourselves AND the ones we love. So, get your selfcare plan out, pick an activity on the list and do it. You’ll start to feel better afterwards. We have our selfcare lists to hand now don’t we?

  • Future Pace

Think about what you are going to do and enjoy when the difficult time is over. Concentrate on the happiness you will feel when you look back and it’s all over. Think about what you will have overcome and achieved. Look for the lesson in the situation and reframe it (the challenge) as a learning experience. If you can’t change it or have no control over it then, take a (short) break from worrying about it.

  • If you are not used to asking for help - Ask For Help!

When you are used to being an independent woman, you probably don’t even think that’s an option! [hands up here]. Asking for help is an option... and you will be surprised how much people want to be helpful. It’s human nature. A bonus to this is that it builds stronger bonds with others. And we can all do with that right?

You’ve Got This!

Difficult times in life can be all-consuming and there are some soul-destroying challenges that can really try us. If you think about all the difficult stuff you have gone through and you are still standing here to tell the tale, Sis - YOU HAVE GROWN! Your resilience is beefed up and you will have learnt something along the way. Most importantly, you will continue to do so!

It’s been said that “we value and appreciate the things we earn, more than the things that are given to us for free”. Well, Hun, we are earning and learning every day. You have so much of life still to love and live!

Did you know? Old people have said they regret having wasted their time worrying about things they had no control over or things they could not change. So, take heed! While at the time it can feel like everything is imploding, take comfort in, whatever happens, it will come to an end and, in doing the steps above, you will get through and continue to grow!

When times get difficult, our sleep can get difficult too. It's often one of the first things. For more tips on how to get some quality rest time, click the image below.

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