Coping when life isn’t fair… How do we do that? Everyone has something they wish they could change about their life. Everyone has something that is a really big hurt, or burden, or impossible struggle. What are some ways we can find strength and learn healthy ways of coping when life isn’t fair? Here are some ideas that help me.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Everyone Else
I have learned that everyone has a struggle. Just because the person next to you, or across from you doesn’t have the same struggle as you, doesn’t mean they don’t struggle. Everyone hurts. Everyone has things they wish they could change. So don’t add to your burden by thinking someone else has a lighter one. Chances are good that they actually don’t. It’s just different from yours, so don’t compare. We are all different, and all need support.
Reach Out And Support Someone Else Who Is Struggling
Which leads me to the next point. One of the BEST ways to feel good about ourselves and our own situations is to reach out and help someone else. It could be literally anything. Random acts of kindness, email a friend who has a struggle you could be supportive with, or donate to a charity. The act itself almost doesn’t even matter. What does matter is that you are looking outside of yourself and your struggles to see how to make something better. Maybe you can’t control your own situation, but what you can do is help someone else, somehow, somewhere. This is a very uplifting practice, and for me, I find it helps me not to fall into the self pity trap. This is also my primary reason for sharing essential oils! When I am busy helping and being supportive of other people, it becomes harder to sit and dwell on my own stuff! Instead of moping, I begin cheering for them and sharing their journey! It has been so powerful and wonderful to be a part of this. If you would like to learn more about sharing oils and using this as a tool to cope with your own struggles, please contact me!
Some things we can’t change, but others we can. Maybe you have something in your life that you are trying to cope with which you know you could beat… but don’t know where to start. You don’t have to do this alone. Find a coach, find a friend, mentor, therapist…. many, many options! Set some goals with your helper, and have them keep you accountable. This applies to things we would like to do, know we can do if we work hard enough, but just get “stuck”. A supportive friend will help you a lot with setting goals and meeting them.
Don’t Bear It All Alone
This is huge. Don’t bear it all alone and feel like you are the only one with this struggle, or no one cares. Because there are so many people out there JUST LIKE YOU. Seriously, you are not alone. You are not the only one on the earth with this struggle. No one will be exactly like you, and that’s a good thing, because you are special and unique. At the same time, many people experience similar hardships. Seek out and create friendships with those in similar situations. A great way to find people is to look for an online support community. Facebook is perhaps the easiest way, but there are others, such as email groups. Don’t be scared to open up to those who understand you and just want to help. Remember that this also gives you an avenue to reach out and support someone else, thus feeling better about your own situation. Huge win!
Share Your Burden With Someone Stronger
This is not a religious blog, but at the same time, I don’t make a secret of how I believe. So for me, this step means when I get too overwhelmed with coping when life isn’t fair, I go pray about it. Perhaps that means something different for you, I’m only writing about what has helped me. Prayer is very powerful. Do not underestimate prayer.
I also talk to my husband, or to my best friend, or my parents. They are both a lot stronger than me when it comes to the struggles I deal with. An added bonus of sharing with someone stronger is that in addition to helping you carry the load, they may have creative ideas to help. My best friend is especially fabulous with this. My mom has been a huge help to me, because she remembers things that perhaps helped in the past, and those I can try again.
People love you and want to help. They don’t always know how to help, you often need to just say what you need. This is the case with my husband. He usually doesn’t think things up on his own, but he is a powerful advocate when I have expressed what I need him to do. Sharing my burden with someone stronger helps me cope with things that aren’t fair and are a bit difficult to get through.
Keep A Journal
My journal has been my trusted and no judgement companion since I was just a kid. At various lonely times, I even referred to my journal and writing ability as my best friend. To this day, writing is still perhaps my most loyal friend. Writing has always been there for me. Even this morning, writing this blog entry, I was crying because I couldn’t make it out to church this morning. I felt so sad and upset over this. So I prayed, and then I began to write. This has been a very healing pattern for me. Your journal is a space that is solely yours. No one else needs to read it, in fact, they shouldn’t! Every entry should be with the thought in mind that no one else will see this. That gives you free flow to your inner thoughts and feelings. It is important to express these in difficult situations. Unexpressed feelings just add to the overall load, and you don’t need that. Should you choose to share a journal entry later with a trusted friend, in order to discuss, that’s great. Just keep in mind that sharing any entry is your choice alone.
If your situation permits, time spent outside is a great way to cope. There is something about connecting with air and sunshine that helps everyone feel a bit better about life. I have set a time each day that I will be outside with my kids. I sit on the deck, reflect, sometimes I even get on Periscope if I want to connect with my online community. I use this outside space to figure out things. Taking a few minutes to get outside daily might seem simple, and it is! So go do it, and see if it helps you cope a little better.
It’s Okay To Escape For Awhile
Sometimes, it’s all just TOO MUCH. We all need a space where it’s okay to escape and just forget about things for a bit. Maybe you are social and need time with a friend doing something that doesn’t involve your troubles. Maybe you just want time alone and want to read a book and eat junk food. Whatever you need to do, it’s fine. Don’t feel guilty about needing this space. Reading has become a wonderful outlet of escape for me. When life is extra tough, you will usually find me with a book. What is something you enjoy so much that you can fully immerse yourself and forget the serious stuff for awhile? This is your escape place. Spend a few minutes here every day.
Use Essential Oils
I often use uplifting essential oils when I am feeling discouraged and life is hard to cope with. My favorites are the elevating blend, and wild orange. Perhaps you also have a favorite oil? Let the fragrant aroma help you feel good about coping with whatever life is throwing at you. I feel the wild orange is especially calming for me when I feel upset about the unfairness of my situation. If you need oil ideas for coping with your own situation, I would love to discuss and share ideas. Please feel free to join my essential oil group on Facebook, where we all support each other on our essential oil journeys!
Measure Your Successes
Sometimes I get discouraged about hard to bear things because I forget how far I have really come. If you are dealing with something that is gradually getting better but taking a long time, you need to figure out a system to measure your current success. I bet when you think about it, you will find yourself so much further on the road that you thought you were. My own health journey has been years in the making. Every day is a step closer to where I want to be, but it doesn’t make where I am now any easier unless I choose to reflect on where I was x amount of time ago. Then I begin to see patterns, growth, and progress. This helps so I don’t beat myself up over the fact I am not as far along as I would like to be. At least I can ____ now, and I couldn’t before. Last year, I was doing ____ and now I don’t need to. Look for every positive measure of success, and you may be surprised and how far you have really come!
Look For New Ideas And Never Give Up
I hope this article has been a help to you! Coping is a process, some days are better than others. Hugs!! You WILL get there, and so will I. We can support each other on the journey, I always love to connect. These are just a few ideas to help, maybe you have others. Sometimes it helps to think outside the box and try new things.