"Suffering is part of the human condition. It comes to us all."
— Billy Graham
Here are 5 things to remember when the going gets tough.
It’s okay to react emotionally
At some point in your life, you will react emotionally to a bad situation. It's inevitable. When that happens, try not to berate yourself. So many of us do because it infuriates us that we've let our emotions override our rational brain.
Instead of feeling bad about the way you initially reacted, ask yourself, "Why did I react in this way?"
Asking clarifying questions about your emotional reactions can help you scratch at the surface of your reaction and possibly lead to a different reaction the next time you are faced with a similar problem.
It’s okay to say "no"
It has become a badge of honour to be busy all the time. Busy busy busy. We assume that busy people are happy and successful.
The reality is that being busy all the time and never saying "no" to any task (no matter how big or small) will erode the time you may have carved out for the important things in your life, which will inevitably leave you feeling drained.
Saying "no" is easier said than done and sometimes needs a little practice to stop feeling like a swear word.
Start by saying "no" to small tasks that don’t align with your daily tasks. Then, slowly build up your confidence by saying "no" to the big things that you currently do, but don’t want or even need to.
It’s okay to take some time out
"You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first."
Now that you’ve gotten the hang of saying "no," you have a bit of spare time to spend on yourself. The internet is awash with self-care articles boasting pictures of beautiful women with mud packs on their faces, painting their toenails.
The truth though is this: while putting on a face mask and doing your nails can definitely be a form of pampering, it doesn’t truly do the concept of self-care justice.
Self-care is not always glamorous and can sometimes be a pain in the butt! Self-care is doing the things we know are important and that will help us create a life we enjoy and are happy with.
It’s okay to not know what the next step is
We all think that everyone has it all worked out. All adults know what they are doing, right? Well, in that case, then I need an adultier adult to come and help me with my life plan.
Jokes aside, it’s totally okay to not have an 18 month, 5 year and 10 year plan. It’s okay to focus on the now and not know what lies ahead.
This, however, does not mean you get to ignore the future or be reckless. Take one day at a time, but never stop learning new skills and investing your time in building sustainable habits that will set you up for the future.
It’s not okay to give up
We all have bad days, and some are worse than others. When they pile up, it can be easy to fall into the comfort trap, to be seduced by the notion of giving up.
We convince ourselves that there is no other option and that it’s the "right thing to do."
This is never true. If your plan is not working, it’s time to devise a new one or rearrange your parameters or expectations.
Giving up is not the right option. Optimizing your plan is.