I hope you are all having an amazing week. The weather has been beautiful today and I am noticing that the Spring flowers are all starting to make an appearance so it must be nearly here. Woo hoo!
I have not had the easiest of weeks this week. In fact, it has been one of those weeks where it would be easy to believe that life has been conspiring against me! Although the week has been challenging, I have started to recognise the strategies that I rely on to cope with challenging situations like this. I wanted to share them with you…
Strategy 1 – Knowing who you are
I have previously shared the importance of knowing who you are at your very core by identifying and understanding your personal values. They are the things that matter most to you and are the very core of your being. When you know who you are and what drives you it is far easier to understand why certain situations will either light you up or bring you crashing down.
I faced a situation this week where it felt like one of my strongest personal values (Integrity) was being questioned. Because I now know what my values are, it has been much easier for me to process why I have experienced an emotional reaction to this set of circumstances. For me, it enables me to get clarity much more quickly about what has been a trigger, why something has caused an emotional reaction and how to overcome it.
You can download a tool for identifying your personal values by joining my closed Facebook Group HERE. There are lots of amazing and inspiring women in the group already!
Strategy 2 – Acknowledge your wounds
When I am upset, I have a tendency to initially have a strong emotional reaction and a short period of obsessing about what has happened. I re-live conversations and actions in my head, going over all the detail. It’s like going through the same experience over and over again. Pointless, right?
I also tend to then bury it and bounce back quickly so that no-one would know anything was wrong. I am predominantly a positive, glass is almost full kind of girl. However, what I have come to recognise is that you actually need a period of time to be able to lick your wounds before bouncing back. In his book ‘Shut up, Move on’, Paul McGee describes this as wallow time. His philosophy is that we all need that period of time when something bad happens where we can feel let down, disappointed or sad but the key is to not stay there too long.
The strategy I have learned is to allow myself to think through the scenario deeply, reflect on it and make notes about it in my journal. Once that is done, I can let it go and move forward without reliving the same scenario or spiralling in to unhelpful feelings. This allows me to lick my wounds but prevents me from wallowing for too long.
Strategy 3 – Be kind to yourself and do what you need to do
I am a Cancerian and for those that don’t know, we tend to be home loving sentimental softies that pretend to have a tough exterior. My best friend always refers to me going ‘in to my shell’ when things are not going to plan. This is a great way of describing it. I am an extrovert by nature and love being around people however when things don’t feel right in my world, I do retreat and literally go inside. As a home bird, I know that the walls of my home become my sanctuary.
Most recently I have drawn on the support of essential oils to help keep me physically, emotionally and spiritually in balance. This week I have been reaping the benefits of Lavender and Peppermint oil to restore harmony to my mood and mindset. I have also been using a couple of specific blends – On GUARD for supporting my immune system, BALANCE to keep me grounded and MOTIVATE to lift me back to inspiration.
Strategy 4 – Rely on your tribe
I have seen this play out in so many ways this week. One of my dearest friends has been going through an incredibly difficult time and it has been so important to me that I was able to demonstrate to her, even in the smallest of ways, that she has good people around her who she can lean on for as long as she needs to.
I have seen women in the No Ordinary Woman closed Facebook Group share personal stories with each other of how they have overcome challenging times in their own lives to help demonstrate that transforming your life is possible. It gives hope and encouragement to other women who may be afraid to take the first step towards living an elevated life. It’s a beautiful thing to see women lift other women up and I am proud to be able to facilitate that.
Strategy 5 – Meditate
This is a relatively new practice for me and it is something I have to work on however the benefits of it are immeasurable. I spend 15 minutes each morning completing a guided mediation using the support of essential oils. That 15 minutes allows me to clear my head, enables me to connect with how I am feeling and allows me to prepare for the day ahead. I get a lot of benefit from that 15 minutes of stillness and just being at peace with myself.
I do struggle with getting my mind quiet at times, but I am regularly reminded that they call it meditation practice for a reason!
Strategy 6 – Look for the learning
This is one of my key life strategies. I honestly believe that ‘things are sent to try us’ and that no matter what situation we face, there will always be some learning that we can take away from it. This really links to strategy 2. To be able to take learning and meaning from a situation, you have to allow yourself to reflect on it and be brave enough to explore what it might mean for you.
I have had a very blessed life however I have also experienced the proverbial ‘curve ball’ several times and at the time the situation has been really challenging. When I look back now on some of those situations, I can recognise that the learning I have taken from them has helped to shape the women I am today. There is no doubt the situation can be painful whilst you are in it BUT if you can learn from it and grow from it, it won’t have been in vain.
Strategy 7 – Remember that ‘this too shall pass’
I often see the phrase ‘this too shall pass’ quoted. It is a helpful reminder that nothing is truly permanent. No matter what situation you find yourself in during any moment, it is helpful to remember that it will not last forever. It might seem that things will never get any better but they do. I can remember someone once asking me “will you be worrying about this in 12 months’ time” and inevitably the answer is NO. Then why do we rob today’s peace for a problem that might not even exist in a few days, weeks or months?
I know it is hard to think like that when you are right in the middle of a problem or situation but isn’t it worth at least asking yourself the question “will you be worrying about this in 12 months’ time”? It might just help bring back a little perspective to the current situation. I think it’s also true that much of what we worry about never comes to fruition. We are literally ‘borrowing trouble’.
Strategy 8 – Remember that you are awesome
This strategy almost circles back to strategy 1 in as much that I am asking you to remind yourself who you are. We all have unique, special gifts and qualities that we bring to the world. We have all achieved things in our lifetimes. When we are faced with tough situations it is so easy to spiral and think that we are no good, that we are at fault and that we have messed up in some way.
With this strategy, I challenge you to break the pattern of thinking and behaviour and to remind yourself about all that is amazing about you. Think about the people you influence and impact in a positive way. Think about your incredible achievements. There are enough circumstances in life where we are reminded about our flaws, weaknesses and limitations; don’t add to them!
If you are having a difficult time, I hope you find the coping strategies I have shared of value.
I wish you a beautiful and peaceful week
Until next week