Self-Care During Hard Times

When multiple stresses occur, it can be overwhelming and challenging to find a way to handle the emotional toll it takes on us. The hardest time in my life was the summer I left my job in education. I had to dig deep to find the courage to take this leap of faith and know deep down it was the right thing to do. I had to strengthen my belief I could move myself into another direction successfully. Even though I felt good about it, it still was such a major change for me that I felt some loss in my identity and loss of all that I have ever known in a career.

My career path was changing and I needed time to restructure my mind around this. At the same time my job ended, my father-in-law passed away. We knew he had been in Hospice but it still was a shock and a huge loss. I went away with my husband for 5 days. Coming home I felt so emotionally spent that I really felt I needed to take some time to get myself together. In computer terms, I felt I needed a “reboot.” I decided to take a week and not see friends. I did not want to follow a schedule to have to be somewhere at certain times. I began eating healthy every day and continuing to exercise regularly. I journaled, took quiet time in my garden and talked to friends when needed. I made sure to do things that were comforting, had a cup of tea while reading, snuggled and napped with my cat. I colored some mandalas to see what my grief looked like.

These small things seemed to help me move through some of my grief. It is important for you to determine what helps you to feel better when faced with stress or loss. What comforts you? What takes your mind off your stress for a while? I wrote out a coping plan so I could remember the strategies that worked for me. It is helpful to do this when things aren’t so overwhelming. This way you have it readily available when life becomes overwhelming.

I often have clients tell me that “nothing works” for them or it only helps temporarily. You really have to take the time to try a number of things. Some things won’t work for you, but remember those that do. In your time of need, put your coping plan into action! If you are someone you love is struggling to cope with multiple stressors, I offer a free no obligation consultation. Email me today at or call 919-618-6526 and let’s talk about what is on your mind.