6 Ways To Cope When You’re Going Through A Really Hard Time

Times are tough and you're struggling, but don't lose hope; there are things you can do to help navigate a rough patch.

Girl with depression

You can’t be 100% happy all of the time. In fact, it’s challenging situations that inevitably help us grow and move on to bigger and better things. Whether it’s a stressful work situation, an illness, a breakup or a death, there are ways to navigate yourself through it, and come out stronger on the other side.

1. Don’t be afraid to cry

There’s a scientific reason you need to let it all out. The release we feel when we cry has a cathartic effect, as it lowers stress, anxiety, fatigue, aggression and nervousness. One study by Indiana University even found that people who cried regularly were more likely to achieve long-term goals. Holding it all in on the other hand, elevates stress and emotional disturbance, causing problems to appear even worse than they seem. The lesson? Don’t bottle it up. Sometimes things can look a bit brighter after a really good cry.

2. Remember it’s only temporary

Heard the saying ‘this too shall pass’? While it may seem like there’s no proverbial light at the end of tunnel right now, eventually the thing you’re struggling with will come to an end, and seem like a distant memory. Remembering that you won’t feel like this forever can provide a lot of comfort when you’re going through something difficult.

3. Look after yourself

When times are stressy, the temptation can be to reach for quick comforts, but you shouldn’t overlook the importance of following a healthy lifestyle. Why? Experts agree that taking care of yourself can help counteract stress and also fosters positive thinking. Now is the time to make self care a priority, so remember to eat well and get a decent night’s sleep. Relaxation techniques like the Grounding 54321 game can also help if you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, while distractions like reading, tidying and listening to music can help to take your mind off things.

4. Write it out

Just like crying, writing out your problems can also prove cathartic. That’s because jotting things down can help to compartmentalism your feelings. It also reduces stress and allows time to really focus on what you’re feeling. Consider keep a daily journal as an effective outlet for whatever it is you’re going through.

5. Talk about it

Opening up has a similar effect because talking about your feelings actually helps to reduce stress, meaning a problem shared really is a problem halved. For the best benefit, seek out someone in a similar situation to you. Researchers found this was most beneficial for people going through a tough time.

6. Reach out

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to go it alone. Whatever the worry or problem, build a support group of friends and family, and if necessary consider seeking out the help of professional; if you’re having trouble coping, a chat with somehow in-the-know can make the difference between feeling overwhelmed, and feeling more in control.

For more information or to seek out support visit Your Mental Health.ie