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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

5 Ways to Deal With Hardship and Pain in Life

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5 Ways to Deal With Hardship and Pain in Life

Life throws many curve balls our way—it could be said that when one person goes to bed heartbroken, another could wake up finding true love. It’s a never-ending cycle of disappointments and achievements, but although we might presume that each of us are capable of getting back up every time life kicks us to the ground, that is far from reality. Sometimes it really hurts being in a situation you have no control of, and making decisions that seem completely unfair to you will definitely find their way into your life. Regardless of the tough issues you may face, it’s getting back up and moving forward that counts the most when you need to deal with hardship. This is a list of 5 things I’ve tried in my own life just to help me believe in a brighter future and get past a tough situation.

1. Reflect On the Bad Times in Your Life

This may sound like a bad idea, but it does serve a purpose: you may feel depressed when thinking about past sorrows, but the idea behind reflecting on past hardship isn’t to run you down; it’s to prove to yourself that you have gotten past them. Usually we’re afraid that a tough time will break us, but when you think about the countless times you’ve actually gotten past what you thought was the worst experience in your life only proves that you’ve gotten stronger. Allow those victories to be an opportunity for you to see beyond the baggage in front of you.

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2. Write or Talk About How You Feel

I’ll be honest: keeping my feelings to myself used to plague me and made me feel alone, but when I found someone who actually genuinely cared about me, it became natural to share how I felt with her and that contributed immensely to my ability to overcome troublesome situations. Not only did I speak to her about how I felt, I also decided to blog about it, and though talking to strangers about your issues may seem crazy, it actually isn’t. In fact, it’s what therapists regard as their bread-winning strategy; the ability to be neutral and use their lack of a personal relationship with you as a means of helping you. It doesn’t matter if you want to talk, sing, or write about how you feel, just get it off your chest and the weight on your shoulders won’t seem so crippling.

3. Detach Yourself From the Situation

It can be overwhelming when you’re in the middle of a heated argument or office politics, and there’s no way you’ll be able to make a rational decision when caught in the midst of a fire. They say that running away from your problems will never help, and though that’s partially true, it doesn’t mean that you need to submerge yourself so deeply into a situation that you run out of air to breathe and lose the ability to weigh the pros and cons of your choices. That happens more than we like to admit, which is why its important to detach yourself from a situation long enough to think clearly without having people hanging over your shoulders. This helps because you finally have a break to think things through and in cases like this, a lot of thought is needed.

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4. Remind Yourself That You’re Not Alone

It’s easy to curl up into a ball and feel like your world is closing in from loneliness, and it’s so hard to remember that there is definitely someone out there who loves you. I know for a fact that we Lifehack readers are tough folks, and the fact that you’re here means that you have the strength to realize that help is but a URL away. Regardless of who or what you depend on, you need to remind yourself that you are not alone; you have people who do care. Even if it’s just one person, that’s enough to give you reason to remind yourself that you will never truly be alone. Sometimes it’s strangers who may share the same feelings as you do. Think about it—you may not know any of these readers personally but they could be in the exact same situation as you, so in fact, no one is truly alone.

5. Accept the Results and Get Back Up Again, Only Stronger

Finally, it’s time to come to terms with what has happened. Regardless of whether the results of your choices proved to be helpful or not, it’s time for you to accept them and get back up. This time you have a new experience to add to your book of life so the next time something tries to knock you down, it won’t be easy because you will be strong and determined to push forward. Life will go on, time will never stand still, and it rests upon you to make the right decision of moving forward. Don’t dwell on “what could be” or “what if” circumstances; things are done, and it’s time for you to see that you may have a new battle scar, but you will certainly have gained a whole lot more character.

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Featured photo credit: Simon Migaj via unsplash.com

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Published on September 3, 2021

6 Friday Motivation Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

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6 Friday Motivation Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

You know the feeling—that “I still have another whole work day to get through” feeling? It sucks. The worst part is knowing that you have to get up, get to work, and be productive when you feel checked out, unmotivated, and would rather go back to bed. The trickiest part about it is that even though you may know intellectually that you’re not the only person who has ever felt that way, at the moment, it can feel very lonely.

If you feel the Friday funk and want to shake it off, try these six tips to lift your Friday motivation.

1. Eat a Solid Breakfast and Plan to Eat Lunch

The first thing you can do to lift your Friday motivation is to eat a solid breakfast. We have all heard the phrase, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It turns out that it wasn’t just something our parents were telling us to get us to eat before school. Studies have shown that eating breakfast can help with improved memory, recall, mood, and visual-motor functions.[1]

However, researchers have found evidence that the benefits of the micronutrient boost provided by breakfast do wear off after a while. Just like a car with a full tank of gas that runs out after a long journey, the body needs to be refueled. Therefore, planning to eat breakfast and lunch on a day when you are not feeling your best could give you that extra boost you need to get through the day. Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, which can leave you feeling weak and tired.[2] If you are already struggling with feeling motivated, not eating is only going to make you feel more sluggish and less inspired to get anything done.

2. Prioritize What’s Urgent

I have always been a fan of the cheat sheet. No, I’m not a cheater, but I love knowing what needs to be done. No one wants to waste any precious energy trying to figure out what should be done when you are already feeling unmotivated.

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No matter who you are, there is a high probability that by Friday, on any given week, you have at least one or two items that were supposed to be completed earlier in the week but just didn’t get done. Here is my quick trick for figuring out what’s urgent.

Just ask yourself these three questions:

  • Are there any projects with deadlines that have passed already but are still due?
  • Which of those projects is the most overdue?
  • Of the overdue projects, which will take the least time to make significant progress or complete?

This should help you to easily identify at least one task that you can spend time working on diligently, knowing that you are getting something important done.

3. Tackle the Low-Hanging Fruit

Another way to refresh your Friday motivation is to tackle the low-hanging fruit. There is nothing wrong with doing the easy stuff first. Maybe you are so burned out and the urgent tasks will take too much energy. There is nothing wrong with knocking out the obvious easy things. Emails, filing, data entry, document reconciliation, follow-up calls, editing or revising written work, and research are all low-hanging fruits—these are all straightforward tasks.

Getting these easier tasks done will give you a sense of accomplishment. You can leverage this sense of accomplishment to help you tackle some harder tasks or get all the easy tasks done so the following week, you can dedicate your time to the harder projects.

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4. Give Yourself at Least Two Scheduled Breaks

Give yourself at least two scheduled breaks during the workday. Life is stressful. Feeling like you have to work when you don’t feel up to it is stressful. Let’s not compound it by forcing yourself to sit in front of the computer all day with no breaks. The days of believing that “lunch is for punks and working 80 hours a week is what you should be doing” are fading away—if not already a distant memory for some.

In fact, scientists discovered that, although “taking short breaks throughout the working day may not have as obvious an impact as taking a holiday, research has found significant benefits. Studies have found that breaks can reduce or prevent stress, help to maintain performance throughout the day and reduce the need for a long recovery at the end of the day.”[3]

Before you sit down in front of your desk for the workday, set three alarms—two 20-minute breaks and one lunch break. You aren’t proving anything to anyone by forcing yourself to be miserable in front of your computer. You deserve flexibility and compassion. Let these breaks be a radical act of self-care.

5. Listen to Some Upbeat Tunes

Another way to improve your Friday motivation is to listen to some upbeat tunes. Music is medicine. It is not a mystery that the vibrations of sound can affect our mood. Ancient communities knew this and embraced it through practices like chanting, the use of singing bowls, chimes, bells, and other sound instruments as tools for healing. Practices like Kirtan and Bhakti yoga use chanting to heal and shift energy. The Hindu and Buddhist religions use bells and chimes in many of their spiritual healing rituals. Throughout the modern world, we have adopted the use of signing bowls for energetic healing.

Most people could recall at least one moment in their lives when music or sound has helped shift their mood. Music has been shown to have a direct effect on the listener. Studies show that listening to music while you work can lead to an “increase in both mood and quality of work”.[4]

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If you are feeling super unmotivated, the solution to your problem may be throwing on your favorite album in the background while you try to get a few things done. If you can’t work while listening to music with words and you do not like classical music or traditional jazz, explore genres like Trip hop, house, ambient, Beach House, JamBand. You may also enjoy artists like Bonobo, Thievery Corporation, and Grammatik.

6. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To

As a yogi, I’m all about being present in the moment. But sometimes, the present is a little too intense, and being super present is not going to help to improve your mood. In those moments, tapping into the power of positive anticipation can be your secret weapon because “knowing that something good is coming your way pushes you to accomplish those tasks you may not necessarily want to do.”[5]

We all love to be rewarded, especially when we are doing something we don’t want to do. Giving yourself something to look forward to is the way to guarantee that you will be rewarded for the hard work of getting through the day.

The reward doesn’t have to be immense. It can be something small like getting ice cream, going for a walk, spending time with friends, or vegging out with your phone on do not disturb for a few hours. I used to employ this trick a lot when I was in boarding school. The time between semesters in new England would feel so long especially in the winter that my friends and I would let ourselves get excited about little things like drinking lime rickeys at Brigham’s. Believe it or not, it worked.

Try it the next time you get the hit with the Friday funk. Think about something you can look forward to no matter how small, and notice how it shifts your energy.

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Final Thoughts

As the adage says, “this too shall pass.”

Friday is just a day like every other day before it will end. One thing you can count on is that time waits for no one, so despite how difficult it may feel to get through, know that the time is on your side.

No matter what, Friday will wind on. The best thing you can do to improve your Friday motivation is to make sure that your body has the micronutrients it needs to power through the day, identify what’s urgent, tackle low hanging fruit, give yourself time away from the desk, throw on your favorite tunes, and think about the fact that you have the entire weekend to look forward to.

You got this!

More Tips on How to Improve Your Friday Motivation

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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