So many of us have faced new challenges this year. Some lost their jobs, suffered health issues, or lost a family member. Home schooling has brought new frustrations and worry. Quarantines have left many feeling isolated and alone.
It’s been a difficult adjustment. 40% of those surveyed reported having mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether we like it or not, however, hardships are often what define us. How we deal with challenges and overcome them helps us learn about ourselves and helps us grow.
Hardships take a lot of energy. Don’t underestimate the toll this can take on your mental well-being. It’s OK if you feel sad, worried, or even overwhelmed. We all feel that way at times. Yet, there are ways you can replace these feelings and rise to the challenge.
Labeling Your Emotions
Start by acknowledging how you’re feeling. Awareness and labeling of your emotions can help you control them. It helps lower the physical response to these emotions. It can also help you manage your self-care. In difficult situations, we often forget to take care of ourselves because we’re too busy trying to help others.
Here’s an example. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, admit it. Then deal with it. Make a list of what you have to do. Checking off items helps give you a sense of satisfaction and purpose.
Changing Your Perspective
When you’re facing a challenge, it helps to look at things from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on loss, take time every day to think about the blessings in your life.
Do you get up every morning and pour yourself a cup of coffee? How about filling your self-love cup, too? Make it part of your morning routine to practice gratitude for what you have. Remember what’s important during your self-talk.
When you find yourself struggling, run down your list again. There is beauty, joy, and love all around us. Sometimes, you have to stop and take the time to see it.
Adopting the Right Mindset
You know by now that attitude affects everything you do, right?
“Whether you think you, or you think you can’t – you’re right” – Henry Ford
You’re stronger than you think, and you can do this. Embracing – and overcoming challenges – means not just managing things. It means projecting a positive mindset. While you can’t control what’s going on around you, you can control how you react to it.
It can be tough to be positive when you’re in the middle of it. Negative thoughts or doubts can creep in – sometimes when you least expect it. When it happens, you need to interrupt your thought pattern and shift to positivity.
One way to remind yourself to focus on the positive is to create visual or auditory cues. When you see a car drive past your window or hear your clock chime, think positive thoughts. The idea is to overcome the negativity bias hardwired into our brains. Scientists say that thinking positively for as little as 15 seconds can encode these thoughts. Over time, it can rewire your brain for a better outlook.
Growth through Challenges
As we all come out the other side of today’s challenges, you’re going to have a story to tell. How you write that story is up to you. Those embracing the challenge will tell a story of resiliency, strength, and appreciation. That’s growth.