5 tips to help you get through difficult times

If you’ve been following my Facebook page, you probably saw that the other week we had a fire at our house.  I’m not going to go into too much detail; there was a fault in the oven (it wasn’t my cooking!) but luckily the fire alarms went off so I had enough time to grab my little girl and run out of the house before it filled up with smoke.

Check your fire alarms people!

Or ask for a free fire safety check by the fire service – if we hadn’t done this I might not be here writing about it.

Anyway, immediate drama aside, it’s been a stressful couple of weeks and things still aren’t finished.  All of my work plans have gone out of the window, but surprisingly I’m not feeling too bad.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve definitely had a few emotional wobbles and done my fair share of snapping at people.  On the whole though, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  So I thought I would share some of the things I have found helped me to get through in case it could help you too.  As with everything it has taken practice for me – I’m not perfect!

1 – Be mindful

I still struggle with this some of the time, but it really does help to take a step back and just ask yourself how you feel.  Just take the time to be aware of what’s going on around you as well as how you are feeling physically and emotionally.  Once you are aware of what is going on with yourself then you are better able to move forward.  It also helps to have a think about what others may be thinking and feeling so that you can take into account their needs as well as your own.

Gratitude for having these two cheeky monkeys in my life has helped me stay positive
Gratitude for having these two cheeky monkeys in my life has helped me stay positive

2 – Focus on the positives

I am a big fan of the art of gratitude.  In difficult times it is easy to get caught up in the negatives and take for granted all the things that we are lucky to have.  I have been battling with thoughts of what could have happened and how much worse it could have been.  Being aware of these unhelpful thought patterns and reminding myself how lucky I am, has kept me going.  Focusing on even the little things can help – the new oven that has been installed has got two shelves where the old one just had one!  Also in every difficult situation there is always an opportunity to learn about yourself – mainly that you are more resilient than you think!

3 – Re-evaluate what is important

With regards to things I was hoping to get done from a work point of view I have really had to prioritise the most important things and just trust that the other things will get done eventually.  In terms of sorting out things in the house, like cleaning our soot-covered kitchen utensils, I have just focused on taking one step at a time.  It is easy to look at an overall project and think it is too much.  You can get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing, then things get more and more difficult.  In this case it is good to find a quiet space (I kept hiding in the bathroom!) and ask yourself the following questions:

What is it that you want to happen?

What is it that you REALLY need to do to make that happen?

What is the first step that you need to take?

Be kind to yourself and take a break for a treat

4 – Be kind to yourself

Another thing that I have had to remind myself to do is just taking care of myself.  When you’re focusing on sorting things out it can be easy to forget your basic self-care.  If you get to the end of the day and realise you haven’t had enough to drink or you haven’t even brushed your teeth, then you can end up feeling even worse about things.  But not just basic self-care – try to do nice things for yourself, like have a soothing bubble bath or hide away from it all to enjoy a hot chocolate.  It won’t just help you to feel better, sometimes things just fall into place just through you taking some time out to look after yourself.

 

5 – Ask for help

I was lucky enough that I had a lot of support from friends and family during the last couple of weeks. For example, several neighbours stepped in to offer use of their freezer for our frozen food while the electrics were off (and it was over a week in the end).  Sometimes we think that we need to do everything ourselves, but this can end up making things more difficult and dragging things out in the long run.  It can be hard to ask for help, but sometimes even just chatting with someone you trust can help you see solutions and can make things seem easier.

 

How about you – do you have any top tips that have helped you get through difficult times?  Please share them in the comments below – they may really help somebody else.

 

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Louise Tanner-Stokes
Hi I'm Louise, a Food Relationship Coach and registered Dietitian with a passion for helping mums to ditch the diets for good. I want to help you feel good about yourself, feel in control of your eating and enjoy your food again - normal food and especially the cake and chocolate!

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