4 Savvy Ways to Handle Hard Times
By Sandy Schroeder
Everybody knows what it feels like to face a run of bad things. Hard times hit and then they just refuse to go away -- but they will, and the important thing to know is how to outlast them.
Psychology Today referred to Maria Baratta, PhD, LCS, for some good ways to bounce back. As a therapist with 20 years of experience, Baratta said she has encountered many patients who were struggling to put their lives back together. She found many of the more resilient patients had some things in common in the way they coped.
They return to a favorite thing and do it a lot – To soothe oneself, they think about what they used to like, such as cooking, reading, going to the gym, or hiking, and do it a lot. By taking a hard look at what happened before the bad times started, they can usually find something that made it OK, and repeating that may be a good way to begin to recover.
They permit themselves to do the minimum – They know they just need to do the basics to survive while they recover. Being realistic about the situation, and sticking to essentials can make everything a little easier. When times are tough, most people do not feel like doing a lot of extra things, but that’s OK. Later, when they turn the corner, they will.
They stay in touch – They find someone to reach out to who will listen and help, such as a friend, co-worker, neighbor, or therapist. It’s easier to get through tough times if there is someone on your side, but there is a tendency to hide out and lose contact when things become difficult. Keeping someone in the picture can help a lot. Resilient people realize that and reach out to share their feelings.
They reflect on their beliefs – Reaching into a spiritual or philosophical core can be calming and reassuring. When we dig deep into our real beliefs we often begin to feel more hopeful. Everything changes and this will too, but it’s important to be grounded and positive.
If bad times persist, seeking professional help is always an option. See your doctor for a referral to see a therapist to help with the issues.
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