Life can get tough, but it’s important to keep fighting for the better times. In particular, due to Covid-19, many more people will be struggling with various challenges right now, whether that’s redundancy, illness, inability to move around freely, a reduction in contact with friends and family, or the death of a loved one.
Let’s explore a few ways in which you can keep fighting and get yourself through the difficult times.
1. Meet Your Basic Needs
If there is only one thing you manage to do, ensure your basic needs are met. Our bodies are often very forgiving to us during those odd occasions where we might abuse them, but over the long term, it’s certainly much happier with some simple TLC.
We’re not talking about running a 5K every day. We’re talking about two things:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating regularly
If that’s all you achieve, that will give you the foundation to start fighting when you’re ready. It’s extremely difficult to keep up the fight mentally if you are physically drained. They are interlinked.
It’s okay if all you did today was survive.
2. Change Any Expectations You Have of Yourself
It is okay to slow down and reduce the number of things you have on your plate. In fact, it’s unrealistic to think that you can perform at your full potential when going through a difficult time.
Understand and accept that you are going through a rough patch and allow yourself to adjust to this period in your life. If you do not understand and accept this, you will undoubtedly feel guilty or disappointed for not being able to perform at the same levels as before. This, in turn, will reduce your ability to keep fighting.
The likelihood is that you will not have the same level of productivity or energy as before. So, reset the bar of what "good" looks like.
There might have been a time where leaving the house wasn’t even something you gave any consideration to. Now? Well, the days you manage to leave the house might be a big accomplishment. Get through each day, one by one, by resetting what success looks like relative to what you’re going through.
3. Tackle the Problem Head on
Once you find small moments of mental or physical energy, use this to start tackling your problems head on.
If you’re grieving over the lost of a loved one, and you’ve been struggling to accept it, start allowing yourself to think of them along with whatever emotions come to surface. Do this in small bursts so that you start allowing your brain to process what has happened without overwhelming yourself.
Then, once you feel like you’ve exhausted all your energy, go back to focusing on those basics until you’re ready to try again.
If you’ve been made redundant and feel at a dead-end with new opportunities, take small bursts of energy to start reaching out to other people for help: call friends to see if they know of any opportunities at their workplace or walk around locally to see what's available.
Switch up your approach now and then so that you are not always trying the same thing day in day out, as that can be extremely demotivating.
You might not be lucky right away, but the point here is to be comfortable with small and consistent effort over time so that you do not burn yourself out. It’s better to apply for 100 jobs over the course of 3 months than to apply for 100 jobs on one day and then taking your foot off the gas for the following month. If this happens, the next time you are ready to apply for another 100 jobs, it will seem like a mountain of a task.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
Whatever it is that you’re going through, make it part of your routine to do something every day that makes you happy. Don’t focus on the big, unsustainable gestures like trips abroad, especially if you are experiencing financial difficulties.
Focus on the smaller pleasures in life, like having a cup of really good coffee or a hot bath. Something small and something just for you, every day. Also, remind yourself often what you’re fighting for and why.
Being kind to yourself will give you that little extra push to keep going((TED Ideas: How to be kinder to yourself
)). Care about yourself as you would care for a friend going through a similar thing.
5. Remember That Life Is About ups and Downs
Sayings like this are so well ingrained in our minds often because they are true. It might be unhelpful to hear this when you’re on a downwards path because hearing it doesn’t automatically change anything. However, the perspective is important.
You only know what "down" feels like because you’ve previously experienced the "‘up." The reason why you keep fighting when you’re down is so that you can experience the opposite once more.
6. Reduce Your Exposure to Things That Trigger Negative Emotions
When you’re feeling weak, the last thing you need is to allow into your life are things that trigger negative emotions in you. Cut them all out, whether that’s the news, social media, or unhelpful people in your circle.
This advice stands at all points during your life. It would be wise to remove as many of the things in your life that make you feel worse, but it’s especially true when the going has got tougher because you’re less likely to be able to maintain perspective on your life.
For example, when you’re mentally strong, you might be fine watching the news, which constantly reports on disasters, tragedies, and other negative events, because you know that life is not always like this. But when you’re mentally weak, you might convince yourself that life is all doom and gloom. The news hasn’t changed—your state of mind has.
Surround yourself with positivity as much as possible. It will make a difference. And if you feel like you might be creating your own negativity, read 7 Powerful Ways to Stop Negative Thinking
7. Get Help
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you feel like you can't keep fighting. We’d all like to think we’re capable and strong enough to get through everything, but the reality is that we all need a helping hand sometimes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Most people find that when they are open and vulnerable with somebody, that person is open and vulnerable in return. It’s also a humbling experience, and one that can allow you to release a lot of anxiety and grief.
Sharing is best done with others who understand what you’re experiencing—whether that’s because they are experiencing the same thing right now or because they’ve experienced the same thing previously. The trick will be finding this person or people.
Think about how guarded you might be about your feelings, and you might realize that other people are the same. We’ve been brought up to think that showing weakness is a negative thing, which is a shame because there is probably somebody out there who could do with your ear as well.
Online forums are a great way to find support because they focus on the problem at hand, and you’ll always find people going through similar issues. You may not get a solution to your troubles, but sometimes just being able to share your feelings is enough.
It can be difficult to maintain the energy to keep fighting when things get tough in life, but by practicing a few of the simple tips above, you can rebuild your mental stamina and get back to fighting for a better life for yourself. Take care of yourself, and then focus on taking care what's outside of you.
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