Life is tough my darling, but so are you – Stephanie Bennett Henry

Why is life so incredibly difficult sometimes?  We can be going along just fine and then- BAM.  Life hits.  And hurts.

Perhaps you lost your (almost) perfect job.  Or you're heart-broken after "the one" broke up with you.  Maybe your best friend betrayed you when you needed her the most.  You found out that girls are spreading lies about you.  Life can feel overwhelming.  We've all been there.  That I'm-not-getting-out-of-bed moment.

First, know that this will pass.  Some parts of life are harder than others, but it will all work out.  Always does.  We get so focused on the pain today, that we forget that tomorrow will be a little sweeter.

But for those days when you have nothing more to look forward to than a good movie and a pint of ice cream, here are 5 ways to make it a little better:

1. Clear your mind and try to relax for 20 minutes.   Youtube has great relaxation videos.  Check out diaphragmatic breathing and guided meditation videos.  Relaxing is good for your mind and your body.  Thinking about stressful things activates the fight or flight adrenaline system.  If you keep stressing about life, you’ll exhaust your system and end up sick on top of everything else going on.  Pause.  Rest.  Reflect.  

2. Take time for yourself. If you are the person who is constantly doing for others, than this is permission to STOP IT.  You now have permission to take time for yourself.   What relaxes, encourages and rejuvenates you?  A walk?  Pedicure?  A cozy corner at a coffee bar?  A hot bath with a good book?  Spend some time taking care of yourself.  Enjoy the moment.

3. Keep telling yourself that this will pass. And believe it.  We control our emotions by controlling our thoughts.  If you tell yourself “this is awful.  I’ll never get through this” repeatedly then you’ll have a hard time getting out of bed.  Start telling yourself something like “I can do this.  This will get better” and watch your mood improve.  You might just even feel a bit of joy.

4. When we focus on the problems in front of us, we can get overwhelmed.  When we refocus on God and realize He’s got this, life gets a lot less overwhelming.  The truth is, God already knows how this is going to work out.  He promises to meet our needs.  Ask Him for help.  Ask Him to help you with the problem and to give you wisdom and peace.  He will fill you back up when you're feeling drained.

5. Hang out with friends. When life is overwhelming, it’s easy to feel depressed and want to crawl into a hole.  A day or so of alone time is okay and sometimes needed, but we really need friends.  Make yourself take the time to hang out with some positive, encouraging friends.  Or at least some friends who know how to make you smile.  This can be the best therapy in the world.  Go for ice cream, pedicures or just swing in the park.

About the Author

kristenhodges

Kristen lives in Florida with her awesome husband and 3 energetic kids. She earned a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and is a psychology professor at a local university. In her free time, she hangs out with family and friends, volunteers at her church and laughs as much as possible. She has a passion for Jesus, helping others and anything chocolate. Follow her on instagram @kristen_hodges_cg