There are times in life when it feels like everything and everybody is against me. I do the best I can to support and encourage only to get ambushed from the most unexpected angles. I don’t know what you have been through or the struggles you are currently facing but it is also my job to give you some helpful hints on how to cope. 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 in which both the internal and external enemies have a field day and we feel the situation is hopeless. So, how do we “get over it?” Here are four quick tips that work for me:
- Self talk? Am I focussing on the negative or the positive? At these times I need to remind myself that this will pass. Yes, I say it out loud as well as under my breath. Remember, there is only 24 hours in a day and very soon it will be yesterday! I have to admit that sometimes the best I can manage is just counting to ten, hopefully helping me to get a grip on things and save me from saying things out loud that I will regret later!
- Open to help? We don’t have to do it all on our own – if you need help ask for it! Maybe you need to find someone who will just listen and not judge, and be prepared to sit in the gutter with you. For me, as well as talking to somebody, I need to pray, being open to the possibility that God knows what is going on and will help. If you don’t know God like that, there are people like me who may be able to help.
- Lesson? What can I learn from this situation? Is God trying to teach me something through this? Have I refused to recognise and act on the obvious signs that led up to this event? These are the questions I force myself to answer in my journal, helping to de-stress as well as get some unexpected answers. Sadly, sometimes we have to just accept that people make mistakes and bad decisions.
- Diversional Therapy? 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. For me, when I get home after a bad day these issues tend to come back to haunt me, so I opt for other diversions like spinning, weaving and wood turning. Find what works for you and don’t let those things infect your home life.
The fact is, life will continue to have both ups and downs, and we need to learn to cope with both. Get SOLD on a better way to handle 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)
Chaplain Ian S Whitley