10 Ways to Prepare for and Handle Hard Times

There is a poop storm raining down on my family right now. Health, careers, finances and relationships are struggling. The emotional energy and physical endurance required to get through a day are taking a massive toll. Can you relate?

My niece is fighting an unidentified and life-threatening infection. Her mom has been spending time away from work at the hospital, taking a bite out of her own energy reserves and putting a dent in her professional performance. As she headed home a few days ago, her car was smooshed between a big truck and an SUV. When it rains, it pours, don’t-cha-know.

My mother-in-law bumped her arm in an elevator and because she’s got thin skin, after three days she’s in the hospital with critical and systemic infection. The family is taking turns with her, so we can get doc updates.

My daughter is looking for a full-time job as a medical social worker. It’s scary being out of work (even for a week), especially when you have a child to take care of.

I’m sharing the junk that’s hit the fan in our lives so you’ll see you’re not alone. Yeah, I’m hoping you’re in a peaceful season of life with rainbows and unicorns passing through each day. But if so… it won’t last forever.

Everyone goes through these times when you feel like you’re being hit from all sides with new, unexpected and painful stuff. So you’d better start building the bomb shelter now. Get prepared for how to handle the onslaught or you’ll be in too deep before you know what hits you.

10 ways to prepare for and handle hard times

  1. Pray. Even when you don’t have any faith left or you don’t want to hang out with an invisible God, just say His name and admit your lack of belief and strength. Your faith matters a lot less than His faithfulness.
  2. Save for a rainy day. If you earn ANY income, you can put a tiny portion away. It adds up and will by so much more meaningful in a crisis than adding it to the money you spend each week.
  3. Take care of your temple. This body you’ve been given is on loan and it has a manual. If you neglect it, it won’t function right. Eat some healthy food. Drink more water, move around instead of sitting and get enough sleep. Start there.
  4. When you face a health crisis, take a two-pronged approach. Treat the acute problem but also reach out to a naturopath to start improving your over-all health and immune system.
  5. If your relationship is coming apart, take a breather. Stop debating/arguing, complaining or trying to fix it. Step back and only focus on how you might be messing up. WHAT??? Yeah, you aren’t doing everything right, so there is some blame to share. If each of you are willing to do this, you might have a ground zero point to start humbly repairing some damage.
  6. If your job isn’t working out or you just hate it, DON’T quit until you find something else. If you’re already out of work, broaden your scope and lower your expectations. When you’re desperate, you don’t get to be choosy. It will certainly hurt to start working at a car wash if you have a master’s degree, but be reminded, dear one, that this isn’t a life sentence. You will be back on course pretty soon, but with less debt, more appreciation and a stronger character than if you hold out for a job that suits you.
  7. Be real and ask for help. Nobody likes to display their challenges and struggles to “outsiders.” But faking it, doesn’t usually fool anyone…particularly anyone that matters. People who love you will want to help, or at least pray and encourage you. People who don’t really care will probably know you’re faking sooner than you think. And haters are gonna hate. So just let your guard down and take an authentic breath.
  8. On the flip side, don’t over-share. Social media isn’t the place to bear all. While you should share hard times with people who love you, random strangers don’t need to know that your head hurts, you got fired or your boyfriend is cheating. Use wisdom and judgement when it comes to revealing yourself and your trials.
  9. Don’t waste too much energy trying to make sense when bad things happen. Looking for someone to blame or a reason why it happened to you won’t change anything. Accept where you’re at rather than playing the “what if” game.
  10. During an especially tough time, be kind to yourself. Don’t second guess things you’ve done- mistakes you’ve made. Forgive yourself and others. Find simple ways to bring back joy, peace and love to help overcome the anger, pain, fear or struggle you’re facing.

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Authored By Diane Markins

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