There are times in life where we find ourselves entering a challenging season, whether it be a season we knew was coming or a sudden, unexpected one. While these challenging seasons can be emotionally draining they can also leave us falling easily into routines of complacency, sometimes accompanied by feelings of apathy. We tend to simply go through the motions, wanting time to pass and longing to just make it through the days and weeks. It is a tough cycle that can be difficult to break and tend to lead to heightened anxiety and depression.
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” – Joshua J Marine
The past few months, I found myself in quite a challenging season where there were days I didn’t know how I was going to make it through. I would become extremely overwhelmed whenever I thought of how much time would need to pass before this season of my life could end and I could move on. There were times my anxiety got the best of me, and I had to try hard not to neglect self-care along with health and exercise. Although difficult at times, this time around I tried to work on being more intentional in the ways that I spent my time and intentionally carving out a space in each day to implement those important self-care rituals into my daily routine.
Here are some ways to make the most of your challenging season:
1. Make time to go outside, go for a walk, and get some fresh air.
Many days during this season I would get home from work and go for a long walk or run. Walking is a great way to clear your mind with the added benefit of exercise. A lot of the time it will bring a peace of mind that energizes and lifts your spirit. So go find an activity you love, whether it be yoga, running, Zumba, volleyball, whatever it may be, it will be sure to lift your spirits and make you feel better.
2. Do something you know brings you joy.
I know sometimes when we are deep in the trenches of a challenging season it can be very difficult to want to do anything. When I am in this place I try to be intentional about sitting down to do something I know usually makes me happy. Whether it be a TV show, a book, a painting, an art project, a workout, just start something. You never know the inspiration or solace it could bring you. I think sometimes doing something we know we enjoy and brings us happiness can help us dig ourselves out of the trench, even just a little.
3. Make time for friends and family.
I know this can be a tough one when you just want to hunker in and stay alone in your room, but I think making time for the people we love can help lift our spirits, give us a more positive outlook and make us feel better about the season we’re in. And it’s never a bad thing to ask for help, to confide in a loved one if you’re really struggling in this season of life.
Write down everything you are feeling, everything difficult about the season you are in. Also write anything positive about this season, anything you can find in these difficult days. Write about what you are learning and how these challenges might help you in the future. Write it all down.
5. Recognize that this season is only temporary.
And even if it feels impossible, you will get to the other side of this season of life. Seasons always change. Good things come along, and when we are able to pass by the tough seasons that make us weary, we come out stronger, more confident, and better prepared for what life has in store for us next.
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How do you practise self-care in challenging seasons? Share in the comments below!