Life can get the best of us. The weight of to-do lists, running from place to place, and trying to stay afloat seems to creep in slowly until the things that give you life are left to collect dust. Social media often paints life in a perfect light, but the truth is, sometimes life is just hard… and that’s ok to acknowledge. We are all fighting battles in one way or another.
The past 6 months have involved a lot of changes for me (hence my absence). It’s been a season of feeling creatively dry, figuring out how to adjust, and taking action with changes that needed to happen. There’s been a lot of ups/downs, from health struggles to work struggles. Sometimes “plowing through” is not the answer. Sometimes the answer to stop, take time to rest, and to revaluate the path you’re on. Life is continually changing, adjustments are being made all the time, and one factor influences all the others. God sees the final story and what the end holds, but each day is a new day to us.
When life is changing and you feel you’re struggling to keep up, what do you do? Friend, you’re not alone in this. Let’s dig into 5 of things that have helped me through this season:
Honestly, without God in my life, it would be such a different perspective on life. Prayer, reading my Bible, and drawing near to God have been integral pieces to coming back to hope when I feel painfully discouraged.
Learning a New Way
Learning how to move through my discouraged feelings, and back to joy, is something I’ve started practicing. When you have pathways in your brain that are so deep in one direction, it can take a while to redirect those, but it’s possible. Your mind is highly adaptable and can also heal those wounded places. How do you move through the feelings? In quick summary, take time to offer comfort first, validate the feelings (whether it’s the truth of reality or not, the feeling are real to you), give scale to the issues at hand, and come up with solutions/ideas for the challenge/issue. Know that you are not stuck. If you want to learn more about these ideas, check out RARE Leadership by Marcus Warner & Jim Wilder and Dr. Carolin Leaf’s work.
Coming back to gratitude
It almost sounds cliche at this point to add in gratitude, but it’s true. Gratitude helps bring perspective and scale to the struggle. What DO you have? Journaling about the things and people around you who are part of your journey can be a helpful way to get those thankful thoughts in front of our eyes.
It’s so amazing to me how God brings just the right people at the right time. The dear friend who sends a text saying their praying for you, or a phone call that helps you process your thoughts, or a spouse that lends a shoulder to cry on. Life is not meant to be lived alone. It’s meant to be lived in community where we can feel each others hugs and listen intently, not to respond, but to simply listen because we care.
Change of Environment
There are time to make changes your environment. This can look so many way – it could be physically moving out of a toxic job, or repainting a room in the house, or working at coffee shop for a hour or two. At times, this change could be more schedule related, like saying no more and adding more rest. A change in environment can re-spark the creative juices that get suppressed when stress and fatigue dominating. It might just be the jump start you need.
Gal, life is tough, but so are you! This doesn’t mean you build walls. Letting walls down and sharing (with safe, trusted people) takes more bravery then holding the walls up. What can you do today to show empathy and care for someone in your life who is going through a tough season?
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