There are times where life is hard for all of us.  Part of enjoying the good times often means toughing it out through the harder times.  Hard times come in all forms – relationship problems, work stress, or financial worries are just some common examples.  Since we know they can’t be avoided, the below list outlines some suggestions for ways to cope when life gets difficult.

Exercise

Studies have proven that the chemical endorphins that are released when you are active help to boost mood and decrease depression. The exercise doesn’t have to be overly strenuous; simply going for a walk can help you to reframe a terrible situation in your mind.  Bonus points if your exercise takes place outside, as daily fresh air and sunshine are also a proven mood booster.

Kayak Lake Adventure Exercise Clear Water Female

Distract yourself with activities you love

When life gets hard, it is ok to indulge in the things you enjoy without the guilt as you cope with the stress. This could look different for everyone – some enjoy watching a Netflix series, reading a book, or playing games online, whether it is Candy Crush or an online slot game.  Take time to care for yourself and do things you enjoy.

Spend time with those who love you

It can be really helpful to make sure you don’t internalise your feelings. Spending time with people, you know love you, care about you and want the best for you can be really healing.  Talking through your problems can put them into perspective, and often loved ones who know you well can help you with coping strategies, or just be a distraction from a hard situation.

Practice gratitude

An important lesson to remember is that there is always something to be grateful for. When your mind starts going to dark, dismal, or pessimistic places, take a moment to think about all of the aspects of your life that you are grateful for.  It can be something simple, like having food to eat and a roof over your head.  Maybe it is your pet who loves you unconditionally. Whatever they are, take time to recognise how thankful you are to have these things in your life, and your problems will start to seem smaller.