Tips For Getting Through a Hard Season

There are always going to be hard days. You wake up late; maybe someone is sick; the kids have tantrums; work is stressful; nothing is going as planned. In my experience, these days happen – but you muddle through and get some rest, and the next day is usually better.

The trouble comes when one hard day leads into another hard day. And another, and another. And then you stop and realize that it’s been weeks or even months since life felt manageable.

You’re in a hard season, and you don’t know when it will end. Tips For Getting Through a Hard Season | Houston Moms Blog

I’ve been there before, and I’m there again. For reasons not under my control, this time it may last a while. Even though I know I can’t fix the main thing, I decided that with some thought and planning, life CAN be a little bit better than it is now. I can survive this hard season and still even enjoy life instead of sinking into depression due to my circumstances.

So after thinking it over and polling my mom friends, here is a solid list of tips that may help boost your mood and/or keep the demands of life under control. And whatever you do, DON’T think of this as a to-do list, but simply as a resource. Even just implementing one of these may make a big difference. 

1} Exercise.

I know, I know. When things are hard, I have no motivation or energy to exercise either. And it feels like one more thing to add into my schedule. But over and over, my mom friends told me that this is what does the most for them. It boosts endorphins, gives you a time-out, and makes you feel strong and empowered. 

So if you’re not already exercising regularly, start easy. Take walks while listening to your favorite podcast, an audiobook, or happy music. Do the 7-minute workout. I find that if I just start and don’t put many expectations on myself, I’m encouraged to do more. 

2} Have something to look forward to.

This is one of my favorite tricks because it’s fun and anyone can do it, anytime. I like to pick three things to focus on :: one small, one medium, and one large.

For a small thing, I might look forward to an afternoon coffee, or taking a walk after work. Then I’ll also think of something medium in size, like getting together with a friend I don’t see often, taking a weekend trip to a fun event, or planning and starting a new craft. Finally, it makes me happy if I can look forward to something big, like a trip to visit a good friend or a family vacation.

Anticipation is more than half the fun for me, and having these things to think about helps me make it through the hard day that I’m in.

3} Outsource, if you can.

I know not everyone can afford to hire help for everything, but it’s worth a serious consideration. Think about the logistical things in your life that cause the most stress for you, and then about how much your mental health would be improved if you didn’t have to worry about them. This could include house cleaning, lawn service, babysitting, food prep – the list goes on. The money spent may be well worth it.

At the very least, accept the help that is offered to you by friends and family. If you are lucky enough to have a supportive community around you, don’t be afraid to lean on them. Say yes to dinners and babysitting, and if you can bring yourself to actually ask for help, most people will happily agree.

Tips For Getting Through a Hard Season | Houston Moms Blog

4} Create your morning routine.

I get that not everyone is a morning person like I am, so I am not saying to do all your most important thinking or spiritual journaling or life planning at this time. For that, you need know yourself and when you operate best. However, I do think most people would benefit from some sort of simple morning routine.

How many times have I lain in bed only to be woken by a needy toddler and then rushed around yelling at the kids to get ready so they wouldn’t be late for school? How many times have I made it to dinnertime only to realize I forgot to thaw the meat? A short morning routine will save you from that.

At the minimum, I recommend waking up before your kids do. How much earlier than them will depend on you, but ten minutes to thoroughly go over your plans for the day will save you a lot of headaches. If you ARE a morning person, consider waking up an hour before your kids so you can read or journal, plan for the day, maybe do a little exercise, or get some creative work in. 

5} Do something only for you.

Whenever possible, take a break to do something that you love that is only for YOU, even if it means leaving the kids at daycare just a bit longer. I’m a firm believer that I’m a better mother when I’m a happier me, and if I never have time to do anything that I love {as a person, not a mom}, my grumpiness will rub off on my kids. 

For me this looks like reading books for fun and working on crafts every once in awhile. Maybe you have a TV show you’re really into, love bubble baths, or baking. Perhaps cleaning and organizing relaxes you, and you feel more in control that way. Figure out what you love and try to keep it as a priority in your life.

6} Say no.

You have probably heard this a lot, but it’s worth repeating. Try to create blank space in your life by saying no to extra commitments; in rare cases would this be the time of life to add anything to your schedule. Days where I have nowhere to be other than our regular routine are my saving grace in an otherwise stressful time. On those days I have the time and mental space to focus on what I need for my own sanity, and I am much more sensitive to the needs of my family as well. 

Are you in a hard season? What’s saving your life right now?

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