Tackling Inevitable Difficult Times With Zen

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Hard times are inevitable in life, and can come in many different forms. Whether you’re putting in a new kitchen or dealing with depression, it is completely normal to struggle to cope. It’s good to know that there are some strategies you can use to prevent unneeded stress in the first place, and to mitigate the damage of a difficult time in your life as it happens.

Here are just four of some hard times we generally all face, at some point or another. We’re going to offer some time-tested strategies that could help you. In general though, it’s important to know that hard times pass eventually, and you won’t feel terrible forever. Also, there are always people available and willing to help you in your most dire situations.

  • Moving house

Moving house means launching yourself into the unknown a little bit. What will your new life be like? The unknown is always scary. Even simple tasks like getting petrol or going shopping become difficult. You don’t know the area, your neighbours or anything really! If you have a family that relies on you, this can be even more stressful, especially if everyone is missing the old way of doing things.

In order to prevent you and your family from experiencing too much stress from moving, there are some things you can do to prepare. The first is to make sure you carry on your daily, weekly and monthly routines as much as possible. Don’t neglect your time with your kids or your partner. At the same time, make a ritual of saying goodbye so you can truly feel like your time in that home is over. Whether that means organising visits to friends, the gardener or your neighbours, say goodbye to the people who have meant something to you in that place.

One way to mitigate the stress of moving house is to change your attitude once you’re there. Try not to see it as a scary unknown, but as an exciting new place to explore. And if you can get your family on board, you’ll be more likely to enjoy this new experience rather than shy away from it.

  • Dealing with family death

This can be the most difficult time anyone ever goes through – losing a loved one. Whether unexpected or following a drawn-out illness, it is very hard to say goodbye to someone you care for. It’s kind of impossible to be zen or calm when you feel like a structural part of your life has disappeared, and that’s okay!

In super tough times, it’s important to feel all the feelings you’re having and deal with them in a healthy way. That means talking to people, looking after yourself and taking the time you need to heal. You can let go of a few responsibilities for a little while and not feel super guilty – it’s okay so long as it’s not permanent. Relying on close friends is crucial so that your life doesn’t fall apart.

To ensure you cope with big life shifting tragedies like this, make sure your social circle is as tight and supportive as possible – this takes work. Also, try to develop coping strategies for yourself over time. Find out what reduces your stress and helps you to keep your mind off of your worries. You can rely on these things in hard times to get through them. Because they will pass! That’s important to remember too.

  • Undergoing massive home improvement

It sounds silly, but when you go through any kind of massive change, you’re bound to have mixed feelings. People expect us to be happy every time we are making welcome improvements but it’s okay to feel sad, confused or generally upset even if you know it’s for the better. It can take a while to do, it’s time and money-consuming not to mention stressful. The people working and making noise and mess in your home really takes its toll.

The first step to making sure this is a good experience for you and your family is to get the right people to do the job. It’s often the tradesmen or contracted workers who cause havoc if they’re not sensitive to your needs. Find the right person to do the job by asking lots of questions, contacting multiple people and comparing their services. Use websites like this one to do this.

When you’ve found the right person, you’ll want to make sure you maintain a great relationship with them, and that they provide you a detailed plan of what they’re going to be doing so you can prepare adequately. Perhaps plan some days away for when the bulk of the work is going to happen. Whatever works best for you, you want to continue your daily routines and look after yourself and your family to reduce stress levels as much as possible.

  • Tackling mental illness

According to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 4 people “will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives”. Someone you know has undoubtedly tackled serious mental issues in their life, so it’s worth knowing the basics of what you can do to recognise when someone is suffering, and how you can help.

Mental illness can take many forms, but if someone in your life (that includes you!) isn’t acting like themselves, has trouble doing their daily tasks and keeping up with life, they may be suffering psychologically. Talking about it is often the first step to recovery, but it can be hard to know what to say, and it can be an awkward situation. This website has strategies to help you have an honest and helpful conversation about mental illness.

If you or someone you know thinks about suicide on a regular basis, there are people you can help. You can call the Samaritans at 116 123 or email them at jo@samaritans.org for confidential advice if you’re feeling unwell.