Overcoming tough times

It’s fair to say, the last 12 months or so have been a challenge. Who’d have foreseen this time last year, upon Boris’s first lockdown announcement that 12 months on we would still be in it?  I hate the word ‘unprecedented’ as I think it has become the most overused word in the English language but it really is the best way to describe the last year.

When we have tough times it affects our ability to stick to plans and goals, so we have to come up with ways to build our resilience to help us stay focused and on track, and whilst you might feel in the last 12 months that you haven’t been on point with your goals and achievements, you have definitely built some resilience in order to just survive the challenges that we have all had to deal with.  I am sure we have all learnt something about ourselves in the last year that we can take forward to help us cope with different challenges in the future. So it’s good to reflect on what we might have learnt about ourselves and think about all the strength and resilience we have shown, and the struggles we have survived, to help us the next time something challenges us.

When we are struggling we need a tool box to dip into, to help us get through it, refocus and get back on track, so here are some ideas to help us all find our mojo again.

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Stop and take a breath

When we stop, take a step back and take a breath, it allows us to do a number of things.  It allows us to reflect and it also allows us to do some thinking.  There is nothing worse than being in a blind panic about something, feeling totally out of control, feeling like this is completely futile as it means we just don’t achieve anything.  So if we stop and reflect it allows us to work out our next steps.  In particular, it allows us to:

  1. Get some perspective – When you are struggling and feeling like you want to give up, it can be really useful to get some perspective on things. Whether that is perspective on what you have achieved so far and how you will feel when you get to where you want to be; or whether that is perspective on the hardships other people have in their lives and how really eating a bit less, being a bit more organised and being mindful about what we put in our bodies is a piece of cake in comparison.
  2. Remember that this is temporary – and by this I don’t mean that what we are doing is temporary, what I mean is it is temporarily hard. Once we get used to it, it becomes easier. Much like training your body for a physical activity or a new task at work  can be really difficult to master at first, but it is only temporary, because pretty soon you will master it and it will become second nature to you.
    image from quotlr.com
  3. Reset then get back up –  If you have fallen off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up and stay down. Get back up and dust yourself off. They say the best thing to do when you fall off a horse, is to get back on the horse. It’s the same if you have a bump in your car, you need to get back driving as soon as possible. If we don’t get back up quickly, the prospect of doing so becomes so totally overwhelming that it stops us from doing it for even longer.  So get up quick and get back on track.
  4. Make contact with positive influences – Surrounding yourself with positive vibes can only breed positivity. Being negative and surrounding yourself with negativity just drags you down even further. If you think there are people in your life that are dragging you down, you may have to distance yourself from negative people or situations for a short time, until you feel strong enough to manage them. If you are struggling at this game, the best place to be is with like-minded people.  People who are going to pull you up, spur you on and feed your enthusiasm, not console you and hand you a Dairy Milk.

Learn from mistakes

The tough times might be a result of external influences, or they might be a result of our own actions.  This is when we need to learn from our mistakes.  If we feel like we are constantly slipping up and failing, it’s important to reflect on why this might be.  Is the goal too much of a stretch? Is the plan too difficult to follow through with? Am I actually doing what I said I was going to do? Do I know what I really want? Do we need to adjust our expectations to make this new lifestyle last the distance?

Only when we accept responsibility, can we grow as humans, and learn from our mistakes. If we continue to deny why we are failing and blame other people or scenarios for things that are going wrong for us, we will never change. We will never get to where we want to be.

But that doesn’t mean we start a pity party for one! While mistakes and failings can be embarrassing, they should not be feared. Mistakes are a massive learning opportunity. If we are failing at something, we need to ask ourselves, ‘What am I doing?’, ‘Why is it not working?’, ‘Where am I going wrong?’, then most importantly ‘What can I do differently in the future?’ Only when we ask these insightful questions and most importantly answer them honestly, can we learn and work out how not to fail in the future.

Think what you can do to break behaviour cycles, to halt those damaging habits. If there are periods in the day that are your danger zones, what can you do differently at these times, so that you don’t slip into that damaging behaviour. If you know when your danger times are, but are stuck for ideas on what to do to stop it, speak to us, message us, ring us, we will have an idea. But you have to be prepared to try them, not just think of an excuse not to do it.

If there are foods that you just can’t stop eating. Don’t buy them. Tell your family (who love you dearly) that you need to stop eating these foods, so for now, you won’t be buying them or having them in the house. They won’t mind if you explain how much it means to you.

You will always be remembered for how you responded in times of adversity!<span class="su-quote-cite">Rick Wilson</span>

It happens to the best of us

Take comfort in the fact that you are never alone in having tough times. Even the most level-headed people who seem that they have everything under control have bad days, weeks or even months, and remember all we see is the ‘best life’, especially on social media – it’s very rare that we get to see someone at their most vulnerable.

Our choice in every situation is in how we react.  We can let tough times take hold of us and take us down a spiral of negativity, or we can take control of it, take a deep breath and confront it head on.

This week!

If you are struggling right now, take a step back, breathe, and take control of your situation.  If you are feeling on top of the world, revel in that feeling, but gather up some resilience tools to add to your tool box – spend some time learning about what makes you feel strong, resilient and great about yourself, so that when the tough times come in the future, you have some activities to turn to to get you back in the game.

5 replies on “Overcoming tough times”

This is just as relevant today as it was at the start of this whole experience – such a great read, so many great ideas – thanks so much

Love this guys! Luckily I have not really struggled much during lockdown, it made me a more positive and motivated person. Don’t get me wrong, some days I really wouldn’t be bothered but I didn’t give up. Even after Covid I thought I was never going to be back to my normal self but you have to push thought those thoughts and realise your stronger than you know! It also has helped having the bestest buddy ever during all of this – Nichola ? Without her, I don’t think I would have stayed so positive. She helped me stay true to myself and I helped her too! And I wanna say if anyone out there needs someone just message me – I’m only a lock away lol! And you WILL be back on that horse haha! Xx

Some real good for thought thank you guys. We often are all caught up in events, work and family life that we sometimes need reminding to take a step back look where we have come and how best to move forward x

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