We certainly live in interesting times and the last week or two have certainly highlighted examples of this. We are in full election mode at both State and Federal level with politicians from all sides making promises and dishing out blame in equal measure.The Australian Catholic Church has been dealing with the shock of having a Cardinal charged and convicted with child sex abuse and, during all of this parts of our country have been experiencing the devastation of floods while other areas are battling bushfires.
It’s little wonder we might be feeling a little unsettled. So how do our children cope with these issues as they go about the business of growing up and managing their own feelings in these matters? My sense is that they are probably as unsure and as confused as the rest of us.The question then becomes ‘How do we help our young people navigate through these uncertain and often difficult times?” While there is no one answer, I have undertaken a little research and come up with the following suggestions, and my suspicion is that they might work for all of us.
1. Stay Positive
“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope is what makes the difference.” – Virginia Satir
We can do one of two things when life becomes difficult. We can remain positive and remind ourselves that, despite all of the obstacles, life is good and we have the capacity to overcome any challenges.Or we can become disheartened and take a more negative view of the world. For both our emotional and physical well-being, staying positive is the healthier alternative in every instance.
2. Learn From the Difficult Times
“Facing difficulties is inevitable, learning from them is optional” – John Maxwel
There is a big difference between experiencing difficulty and actually learning from it. Experience is a great teacher if we can learn from these experiences in ways that help us to make sure we don’t find ourselves in the same situation again. It’s easier to get through a difficult situation if you have had the experience before and you have learned how to deal with it.
3. Know What Were Grateful For
Gratitude is one of the most under rated of emotions. Showing appreciation for all the good in our life, instead of focusing on the negative is an immensely powerful strategy for coping with tough times. To do this we need to be clear about what it is that we’re grateful for and reflect on these when we are going through a difficult time.
4. Focus on What We Can Control, Not What We Can’t
Some situations are beyond our control and no matter what we do, we can’t change a thing. We are setting ourselves up for frustration when we focus our time and energy on things we can’t control. We should be focusing on the things that we can control because these are the ways we can make changes that are going to be beneficial.
5. Build Up Our Community
Having the right people around us is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves when the times get tough. We need to surround ourselves with people who are loving, caring, honest, and available.We need them to be loving because a little love always makes the bad days seem a little brighter. We need them to be caring because it helps to have someone who cares about our well-being as much as their own.We also need them to be honest. We need someone who can look us in the eye and tell us the truth. Their honesty may be that one piece of information we need to get through the tough time.
6. Be Kind to Yourself
Finally, we need to care for ourselves to survive difficult times. Take a walk through the park, get some exercise or take the time to read an amazing book. It doesn’t matter what we do, we just need to do something that gets our mind and bodies engaged at a higher level than worrying about the ills of the world – even our little bit of it.
Have a great week.
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