Ever been down in the dumps? All your energy seems to be drained, you are struggling to find joy, and all you want to do is lay around and eat ice cream, and hope whatever this season is will pass without any further strain on your life.
We've all been there, and, not to be a Debbie-downer, but if you haven't yet, you will. It's part of the process we all have to go through. We are imperfect beings striving to be like a perfect One. That's a pretty tough goal.
Unfortunately, it's a necessary part of life. Here's the good news. You don't have to go it alone and you don't have to be blindsided by it. Eventually, we know we will face something harder than we can handle on our own, so it's good to have a few tricks up our sleeves that help us make it through to the other side without quitting or walking away. Here are some things I've learned on my own journey:
Guilty! Being Miss Independent, I have tried many times to handle difficulties on my own, but this rarely works. With every struggle I face, I realize more and more, that when I lean on my support system and allow myself to open up to people that I love and trust, it make the journey so much easier.
Yes, it's scary to open up sometimes, but we were never created to go through life alone. It just doesn't work as well. Find a friend and invite them to join you on your journey.
If all you ever do is go from struggle to struggle and never get a break, you will eventually go crazy. Like anything in life, you need some fun. You need a hobby. Whether it’s creative- painting, building, crafting, or physical like working out or playing a sport, find something that allows you to stop thinking about the struggle for a while and just enjoy life.
When you've had a tough day, go for a run, create something new, read a book, whatever your "thing" is, do it. Just don't go home and sulk. As tempting as it sounds, nothing good ever comes from throwing pity parties and eating a gallon of ice cream all by yourself.
Yes this sounds super emotional, but if you're anything like me, your tendency is to keep things to yourself and constantly think about everything that is terrible and how life will never get better... Let me tell you from experience, this is not healthy.
Of course I'm not suggesting you tell anyone and everyone all of the deepest secrets and emotions in your heart. I’m simply saying your emotions are real and it's OK to deal with them. That can mean sharing with a close friend, or simply journaling. I've found that once you get it out, the weight and heaviness of it all lifts. No, writing down what you're feeling might not change your circumstance, but it certainly can help relieve some of the weight and stresses in your mind.
This might seem obvious to you or even "super spiritual," but honestly, He's the only one who really understands what you are facing and what you need. Others can try, but he always knows. And He can actually do something about it! Often, the Lord uses difficult seasons to pull you closer and to teach you to completely depend on Him. Don't miss out on that by running from the Lord or neglecting to take time for Him.
Along with that, take time to simply worship Him and thank Him for who He is despite what you are going through. Just because your situation isn't ideal, doesn't mean He isn't good. Worship has a way of refocusing our hearts where they need to be.
Nothing brings more encouragement or truth to a tired and hurting heart like the Word of God. It has a way of reminding us of promises that the Lord has made and gives hope like nothing else can.
Last, but definitely not least,
Do things that make you happy. Surround yourself with people and things that can help you laugh during through the difficulty. Proverbs tells us 'Laughter is good like a medicine." I don't know about you, but there is nothing better than sitting in a room with friends laughing until tears are flowing and sides are cramping. It has a way of refreshing your spirit and it just feels good.
Don't take life too seriously. We were meant to enjoy the journey- even the hard parts. So, don't get so bogged down in your circumstance that you lose focus of why you started.
Maybe you're in a season where you find yourself crying for no apparent reason and everything seems harder than it should be. Don't let it kill your spirit. Figure out what will help you make it through- laugh till you cry, surround yourself with a good support system, bring it to the Lord, and be encouraged that this trial is only making you stronger; it's making you more like Christ.
To help you with that last little tip, here are some videos to get you laughing!