There are times in life when I wonder whether I am achieving anything. I talk to lots of people, I say lots of things and I wonder whether anything ever changes! I am sure that we have all been to that point, and it is all too easy to say “just get over it!” The fact is we all go through terrible, horrible, no good, bad days which may seem a lot worse than they really are. The reality is that I am trying to do my work as well as Walter’s who has gone home to Poland! But those feelings are real and so how do we “get over it?” Here are five quick tips that work for me:
- Self talk! I remind myself that this will pass, and there is only 24 hours in a day and very soon it will be yesterday! In my case it is also an opportunity to remember all those things Walter usually does!
- Talk to someone who cares! For me an integral part of this is prayer, talking to God, and finding someone who will just listen and not judge. If you don’t know God like that, there are people like me who are here to help.
- Count to ten! When I am weary and frustrated by life I tend to over react. If I count to 10 before I respond, it introduces a buffer which saves me from saying things I will regret later. I have found it helpful to NOT send those angry emails, but to leave my response till tomorrow.
- Self care! When I’m having one of those sorts of days I need to get out of the office, go for a walk or sweat it out at the gym. For other people it might mean having a healthy snack or buying a nice coffee, in short, doing some things that make you feel better.
- Ask myself – what is God trying to teach me today? What are the lessons to be learnt here so I can minimise the number of bad days I have to endure. What are the good things that I can be thankful for today?
The fact is, life will continue to have both ups and downs, and we need to learn to cope with both. The news that we have lost five more Australians in Afghanistan only accentuates the reality that my problems are not worth a mention. My prayers go out those families in their tragic loss. How do we cope with these hard times? The Bible puts it like this:
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,
and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
(The Message, Matthew 6:34)
We can do it!
Chaplain Ian S Whitley