You Won’t Be Stuck Forever

Is it okay? It's okay.

You have to stop thinking you’ll be stuck in your situation forever. We feel like our heart will never heal or we’ll never get out of this impossible struggle. Don’t confuse a season for a lifetime. Even your trials have an expiration date. You will grow, life will change, and things will work out.
Brittney Moss

Once you realize there is life after mistakes, you gain a self-confidence that never goes away.
Bob Schieffer

Photo via Birdasaurus

Do Not Follow Fear

Black and white photography woman floating in ocean

Don’t believe every worried thought you have. Worried thoughts are notoriously inaccurate.
Renee Jain

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do believe that every time you follow fear, you end up a little further away from who you were meant to be.
JmStorm

Photo via Birdasaurus

My Secret To Resiliency

Women white t-shirt natural light

One of my favourite quotes has to be from the writer Donald Miller.

He said: “Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, sit down with myself and explain that things were going to be okay, that everybody loses ground sometimes and it doesn’t mean anything. It’s the way life works. This is hard to understand in the moment. You get to thinking about the girl who rejected you, the job you got fired from, the test you failed, and you lose sight of the big picture — the fact that life has a beautiful way of remaking itself every few weeks.”

To me, the key to resiliency — the ability to recover quickly from hardships — is understanding the incredible fluidity of life and teaching yourself to adapt to it rather than fight against it.

While resiliency can be learned, I have found that some people are better at it because of what they had to endure in their childhood. I came from an unsafe and unpredictable upbringing which forced me to become as adaptable as possible at a young age. Having an abusive dad, brother and uncles presented itself with numerous challenges I had to deal with internally, and from early on I learned that life was never going to be very stable or kind at times. It made me strong, capable and resilient.

My best friend Anja, who is involved in facilitating and teaching mental health to university students, once said to me that resiliency means you can look back on your past with compassion and toward your future with hope. While my past has been difficult, it is the substance which has built me into a person I am proud to be most days, and therefore the substance for which I am grateful for. People often see me as a strong woman, and although I have found that it does get easier to be resilient, it unfortunately does not get any less painful. That pain, however, is where resilience starts.

What Miller said was true: we do get heavy-hearted about the ways in which life knocks us down, and feeling that pain is okay. But how do you bounce back from it quickly? By understanding and accepting that life is always in a constant state of flux. You could be upset about the job you lost and find an even better one in a month. You could be have your heart broken by someone but connect deeply with a new person the next week. And on a day where everything goes wrong, the very next day you will probably wake up and forget what had happened the day before.

When something doesn’t pan out the way you so badly wanted it to, it’s important to keep in mind two things: the remarkable and wonderful ways in which life surprises you, and the inner strength with which you carry inside of you to look at challenges in the face, dig your feet in and embrace what it has to teach you. Basically, it’s the ability to say to yourself: “I am strong. And this is temporary.” That, to me, is resilience.

Photo via Her Aesthetic

Mental Health Tips

White bed beige and grey checkered throw wooden plate black coffee photography natural light

The following tips can help your mental health:

· Daydream. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a dream location. Breathe slowly and deeply. Whether it’s a beach, a mountaintop, a hushed forest or a favourite room from your past, let the comforting environment wrap you in a sensation of peace and tranquility.

· “Collect” positive emotional moments. Make it a point to recall times when you have experienced pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence or other positive emotions.

· Learn ways to cope with negative thoughts. Negative thoughts can be insistent and loud. Learn to interrupt them. Don’t try to block them (that never works), but don’t let them take over. Try distracting or comforting yourself if you can’t solve the problem right away.

· Do one thing at a time. For example, when you are out for a walk or spending time with friends, turn off your cell phone and stop making that mental “to-do” list. Take in all the sights, sounds and smells you encounter.

· Exercise. Regular physical activity improves psychological well-being and can reduce depression and anxiety. Joining an exercise group or a gym can also reduce loneliness since it connects you with a new set of people sharing a common goal.

· Enjoy hobbies. Taking up a hobby brings balance to your life by allowing you to do something you enjoy because you want to do it, free of the pressure of everyday tasks. It also keeps your brain active.

· Set personal goals. Goals don’t have to be ambitious. You might decide to finish that book you started three years ago, take a walk around the block every day, learn to knit or play bridge or call your friends instead of waiting for the phone to ring. Whatever goal you set, reaching it will build confidence and a sense of satisfaction.

· Keep a journal. Expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you gain perspective, release tension and even boost your body’s resistance to illness.

· Share humour. Life often gets too serious, so when you hear or see something that makes you smile or laugh, share it with someone you know. A little humour can go a long way to keeping us mentally fit!

· Volunteer. Volunteering is called the “win-win” activity because helping others makes us feel good about ourselves. At the same time, it widens our social network, provides us with new learning experiences and can bring balance to our lives.

· Treat yourself well. Cook yourself a good meal. Have a bubble bath. See a movie. Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in ages. Sit on a park bench and breathe in the fragrance of flowers and grass. Whatever it is, do it just for you.

Online Counselling College

Photo via Her Aesthetic

Let Go Of What Is Broken

Black white grey neutral photography woman's hands and arms in the air

I’ve learned a lot this year. I learned that things don’t always turn our the way you planned, or the way you think they should. And I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.
Jennifer Weiner

Be strong enough to let go, and wise enough to wait for what you deserve.
Unknown

Photo via Amospoe

Own Your Sadness

Woman white and beige striped skirt brown red and white sandals tribal

So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better (which it will) or that there are worse things in the world (which there are). But that’s not what I actually needed. What I actually needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered.
I have found this very useful to think about over the years, and I find that it is a lot easier and more bearable to be sad when you aren’t constantly berating yourself for being sad.
John Green 

She heard him mutter, “Can you take away this grief?”
“I’m sorry,” she replied quietly. “Everyone asks me. And I would not do so even if I knew how. It belongs to you. Only time and tears take away grief; that is what they are for.”
Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

Photo via Sincerely Jules