Tough times are only temporary

Everyone experiences a time when life isn’t kind.  Perhaps you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, a layoff, legal troubles, divorce, or illness. Or, perhaps some other major setback has turned your life upside down.  Take heart. You may be coping with stress, grief, sadness, and despair at the moment.  However, there are steps you can take to relieve stress and regain control of your situation.

Consider these ideas for dealing with grief, stress or loss: 

  1. Create a mantra for yourself.  Little sayings or phrases can remind you to persevere and stay positive. Repeat your mantra silently to yourself as often as possible.  Try: “This too shall pass” or “Just take the next best step.”

  2. Focus on what you want. Remember, that “energy goes where your thoughts flow.”  So if you’re recovering from an illness, think “total wellness” (positive frame) instead of “not wanting to be sick” (negative frame).

  3. Seek support.  Speak with a trusted family member, friend, or clergy member who can help or steer you in the right direction.  Medical and legal professionals can also help.  Also consider seeking informational resources.  Ignorance is often bliss, but a little new knowledge can help you chart your course with clarity.

  4. Move vigorously.  Regularly move your body.  You create more energy when you spend energy. Exercises like yoga and tai chi help you work your body and relax your mind at the same time.

  5. survivorExpress gratitude.  It’s hard to wallow in self-pity when you consider at all you’ve got going for you. Be thankful that you have eyes to read this page.  You have access to a computer.  You have a phone or email to connect with others.  You have traffic signals that stop traffic so you can cross the street safely.  Give thanks and give it often.

  6. Replenish your reserves.  This applies to all facets of your life – physical, emotional, spiritual.  Cultivate a network of people you can trust.  Upgrade your relationships. Surround yourself with those who inspire you, teach you, and look out for you (i.e., an individual to give you a reality check).  

    Save up for a rainy day.  Minimize your intake of sugar and fast foods.  Eat foods that support you. Get adequate rest. Meditate to recharge your batteries.

  7. Make adversity part of your comeback plan.  Boldly move forward one step at a time.  As former presidential Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, said: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste -- and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you thought you could not do before."  

    Imagine how great you’ll feel when you have turned the corner on your sadness. Be a role model for others.


The healing process may take a weeks or perhaps even months, but these tips will help you effectively cope with grief and stay productive. As difficult as it is to experience a personal crisis and cope with all the grief that comes along with it, the eventual upside is that personal growth is taking place within you.

When you finally overcome your challenge, you'll be better, stronger, and happier because you survived and even thrived.

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