10 strategies for life’s challenges

During the course of your life, you will most likely have to deal with challenges. Even when you know things might turn out for the best, that doesn’t make dealing with them any less daunting. Here, we look at strategies to help you cope and make stressful situations a little less scary.

1 Acknowledge your feelings

Allow yourself to feel anxious or upset or scared. It’s okay to admit you’re nervous when starting a newjob or if you’re frightened about becoming a parent. Most people feel apprehensive about change.

2 Keep a positive outlook

Remaining upbeat when the world is crashing down around you is hard, but if you can, keep reminding yourself of all the good things in your life.

3 Stay in control

Don’t let feelings of bitterness and resentment grind you down. Shock and stress can leave you irritable but try not to lash out at others.

4 Don’t numb the pain

It’s all too easy to bury your head in the sand, but turning to alcohol or drugs won’t do you any favours. If you’re spiralling out of control, seek the help of a qualified professional.

5 Prepare for change

It’s never too early to set the ball rolling if change is on the horizon. Thinking about what it involves and discussing options with the people involved makes a lot of sense and will help down the line.

6 Don’t neglect yourself

Your health is often the first thing to suffer when your mind is elsewhere. Stick to your usual routine
as much as possible. Eat healthily, exercise and try your best to sleep.

7 Set realistic goals

Manage your expectations and give yourself time to adapt and adjust. If you try to achieve too much too soon you could risk disappointment.

8 Embrace new possibilities

Being flexible and receptive to opportunities will allow you to make the best of any change, good and bad. Doors may open that you never thought possible.

9 Let go of the past

It’s difficult to enjoy the here and now if you are yearning for the past. You don’t need to forget, but small steps to move on can make a big difference.

10 Relax

When the going gets tough, it’s more important than ever to make time for yourself. Escape, get creative, let your mind drift elsewhere.

  • Words: Lorna Cowan
  • Illustration: Shutterstock
  • Article extract from Issue 8 of Breathe – order digital edition here