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Confronting Hardship

Confronting Hardship

Hardship Tips

One inevitable truth about life is that there will be tough times. No matter what is going on in your life, you will have to deal with some hardship. When you feel like everything is crashing down around you, stop, breathe, and then move forward. 

May is Mental Health Month. This special month raises awareness about mental illness, its prevalence in today’s society, and its impacts on people of all ages and backgrounds. 

These tips remind ourselves to set priorities, calm our mind, and restore balance, when hardship take hold.

Stress undermines our mental and physical health, happiness, and performances in all areas of life. By incorporating these straight forward tips, you can reduce in your daily routine. 

1. Pain Is a Part of Life 

The first step is to accept that pain is part of life. It might not be easy to hear, but it is the truth. The silver lining is that pain helps us grow and evolve. It’s our response to pain that builds our character. 

2. Acknowledge Your Feelings and Emotions

Go ahead and “feel your feels.” It’s okay not to always be okay. Acknowledge you are upset. Cry if you need to. Get angry if you want as long as don’t lash out and hurts someone. Scream with the world. Casting your feelings and emotions away can create both physical and emotional issues long-term. 

3. Self-Care Isn’t a Luxury 

When dealing with life’s challenges, it is easy to give up self-care. This is an unhealthy practice. Depleting your physical and mental energy for others is not self-care. Taking care of your physical and mental needs is your priority.

4. Try Not to Disappear

When your physical and mental energy is depleted, the temptation to withdraw is necessary to recharge. When life is challenging, you may find a desire to withdraw strong. While withdrawal for self-reflection is important, withdrawal long-term can become unhealthy. Embracing connection, even in small doses, helps us remain anchored, supported, and reminded that we’re not alone. 

Take the time you need for yourself, but connecting to the people in your life who love and support you is healthy.

5. Nurture Your Passions 

Our passions are beacons of light in darkness. Passions are fragile and need nurturing and nourishment. Engaging in activities that bring us joy and fulfillment can serve as powerful sources of motivation and positivity. 

When life is challenging, you may not prioritize your hobbies or passions. Focusing on your passions is one of the best ways to reenergize and connect back to yourself.

6. Take Action to Take Back Control 

When life challenges you it can feel overwhelming and like you have no control. To combat these feeling, try to take action. Do something for yourself. Make a simple decision like what to have for lunch; take a walk, a deep breathe, and re-center yourself; or take a moment to help someone else to get out of your head. A small, simple step is all you need to get started.

7. Look For the Lesson

Failure can be our greatest teacher. When we are challenged or fail, it brings humility. How you react and respond is the lesson. Failure builds resiliency and teaches adaptability and a growth mindset. By embracing these lessons you discover and grow from adversity and transform in the process. 

When you are knocked down, instead of focusing on the bruises look for a the lesson. 

8. Remember What You Have

Reflection is a power tool for self-improvement and to evaluate your life lessons. During tough times, it’s easy to focus on what’s lacking. Reflect on where you are and what you do have. This fosters appreciation, gratitude, and shifts your perspective towards abundance rather than scarcity.

When life gets challenging, it’s hard to see the good things in life. Everyone has something positive in their life. Reflecting on gratitude is like clinging to a life preserver in the water. It keeps you afloat and the things or people that you love close to your heart.

9. Ask For Help

Asking for help is the strongest thing you can do! Showing vulnerability to admit you do not have all the answers is brave. Whether from friends, family, or networks like 2-1-1, reaching out to share your burden, challenges, or stumbles can be uplifting and reduce your stress. Tap into your networks to gain support and new perspectives.

When you feel overwhelmed by life, be daring and ask for help. If you are not comfortable talking to family or a friend, 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day to listen and support you. 


Try these fast-action steps to take back control.

  1. Define your struggle. If you are dealing with tough times, take a second to define exactly what that means. Acknowledge the feelings you are dealing with. 
  2. Practice gratitude. Make a list of ten things that you cherish. Focus on people, places, or things. Use the power of gratitude during tough times.
  3. Take action. It might be hard, but taking a step – no matter how small – towards addressing your struggles can give you a renewed sense of hope.

For additional tips and stress relieving ideas you might reference these following articles and sites:

American Red Cross –

IDPH – Illinois Department of Public Health Prevention and Wellness

Mayo Clinic –

Center for Disease Control –

Illinois State –