I’m not going to lie. July was not my favorite month. I had 2 unexpected surgeries (kidney stones), 2 trips to the ER (one for kidney stones, one for a heart “thing”, a cardiac stress test (because of the heart “thing” and then a dear friend of mine (who is our Blazen Divaz leader) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. She is the one in front of me in the photo below wearing black shoes.
In the midst of all this, I was home alone for a week while my significant other went to help his daughter and her husband with some home renovations. Someone actually texted me and said I’m sorry you’re going through such a hard season of life.
Life has a way of throwing sucker punches sometimes, and sometimes a bunch of them at once! Things happen, and life gets turned upside down. Sometimes you can fight back, sometimes you can hide, but sometimes the best reaction is to roll with the punches and realize that not all seasons of life are going to be great. To be honest, the medical stuff wasn’t that big a deal but the loss of my friend is devastating and not just for me, but for our whole community. She was a very active member of the community. I’m still processing that loss – it’s only been a couple of days, so I want to separate the loss of Julia from the health issues.
Here are 6 tips to help you get through tough seasons in life.
Tip #1: Know that you are stronger than you think.
In the midst of hard times, it’s important to know that you ARE strong and that you CAN get through this. Of course, the first step to this tip is to believe.
Tip #2: Lean on your tribe.
It’s hard to admit that you’re not doing well and could use some support. I get it. We all want to believe that we are self-sufficient and don’t need the help. When talking to some of my Divaz sisters, I was actually relieved to hear them say “I’m not doing well” because then I could admit the same thing and we could provide support to each other. Lean on your friends and family to get through these tough times.
Tip #3: Know that this season of life won’t last forever.
When we’re in midlife, it seems more difficult to look to the future with optimism, and some seasons seem brutally long but there is more good to be had in life. We must remain open to that.
Tip #4: Know that no one season defines you.
I was beginning to feel like a medical mess and was jokingly calling this season “the summer of surgeries”. I actually have one more surgery scheduled this month on my eyes. Was I going to be one of those people who only talks about her health problems? I don’t want to be that person! I had to dig deep and realize that these health problems do not define me. There is much more to me and my life.
It can be so easy to let health problems, a large financial mishap, a bad relationship, or a job loss make us feel as though we are that thing – unhealthy, worthless, unlovable. But we are not that thing. Rather, it’s just a set of circumstances that we are experiencing.
Tip #5 Go to a Movie.
Sometimes you’ve just got to live life despite what is happening. Go to a movie. Find a reason to laugh and simply live life right alongside whatever is happening to you. If you can’t do anything to change what is happening anyway, you may as well live the best life you can in spite of it. Checking out and forgetting about reality can be restorative and give you respite from whatever it is you’re facing. Don’t feel bad for laughing, joking, or tuning out the bad for a moment. It will make it easier for you to cope with what is going on in life.
Bonus Tip: It’s okay not to have a plan… for awhile.
I think the stages of grief apply to any tough season of life: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages are our attempts to process change and protect ourselves while we adapt to a new reality and we can cycle through these stages several times before we can process them and move on. But there is a time when, in order to stay healthy, we have to move on and make a plan.
You can’t always get out from under what’s happening. When that’s the case, it’s time to find ways to live with what’s happening and not let it consume you. You can roll with the punches that life throws at you and keep your head clear while you sort things out.
If you are in a tough season in your life, I hope these tips will be of help.
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