Finding Balance in Life’s Hard Things

Have you noticed that when you face difficult situations they seem to come in multiples? We hardly ever get to do one hard thing at a time. Often, challenges stack atop each other, demanding immediate attention and vying for priority.

Following are ways to find balance in life’s hard things:

Learn Multi-Level Thinking

I was always intrigued by the multi-level chess game on the television show Star Trek. Not only did players have to plan moves across the board, they also had to think about strategy and potential threats vertically.

Most of us are challenged by this type of multi-level thinking. We like to be able to begin a task and see it through to completion in a specified time frame. But when you are juggling several difficult situations, you have to accept the limbo of unresolved and incomplete, while at the same time, assess how an action in one place affects outcomes in other locations.

Finding balance in multi-level thinking is hard because it can create the type of anxiety that shuts you down altogether. To keep moving forward, when you have to leave a project or activity, make notes about what you planned to do next and any potential pitfalls. Then, when you return, you have a better chance of picking up where you left off.

Glean from Past Struggles

Serving as a caregiver for my mom in her final years was one of the hardest seasons of my life. The uncertainties of fluctuating health issues, hospital stays, and recovery in physical therapy rehab facilities made it impossible for me to maintain any sort of normal schedule. Even with attempts to circumvent potential issues, plans were often derailed by unexpected crises.

Looking back on those years, I remember the times I handled best came when I accepted the fluid nature of that season and didn’t allow anger and frustration to hold me captive. When you are in a situation that is beyond your control, accept that uncertainty is unavoidable and relish times when you have a few peaceful hours or days.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of yourself when you are dealing with hardship is challenging. It’s easy to rationalize you don’t have time for self-care because your schedule is ever-changing and demands on your time leave little room for anything else.

During the years I was caregiving, I made the mistake of putting off self-care. Neglecting myself wasn’t intentional. Instead, I had a “this will have to wait” mindset. However, the problem came in waiting too long. By the time my caregiving season neared an end, I had several major health issues because I had ignored the warnings my body was sending.

While fitting self-care in is a challenge, find a way and schedule it as you would an appointment. This may mean you have to enlist the help of others so you can take a break. Avoid the idea that you are selfish by caring for yourself. You win no awards for denying yourself time to rest physically, rejuvenate emotionally, and recharge spiritually. Forward motion hinges on self-care.

Find Joy in the Process

Although struggles have the potential to steal joy, with perception, you can find sources of delight.

In recent years, my grandchildren have provided immense joy. When I am with them, I’m able to distance myself from the stress of dealing with hard things and savor interaction with them.

Time spent outside is my other joy-producing activity. A brisk walk often results in problem-solving or a temporary escape from all that clutters my mind. The beauty of nature lifts my spirits and reminds me of God’s gifts.

Remember Resolution Comes

When you are in the middle of difficulties that drag on, it’s challenging to keep your eyes on the horizon and remember resolution will come.

I have experienced life seasons when uncertainty seemed overwhelming. We are currently living in such a time. When no end seems likely, believing that issues will resolve requires looking beyond our own sense of timing and resources and tapping into God’s strength and presence. Often, when we lease expect it, circumstances change, stress lessens, and seemingly impossible situations clear up.

While you handle the hard things of life, employ multi-level thinking, glean from past struggles, practice self-care, look for sources of joy, and remember resolution will come. Glance at the horizon while you deal with difficulties, trust God’s timing, and expect a new season to dawn.

God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1 TLB

©CandyArrington

Candy Arrington

Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.

 

 

 

 

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