What do we do when things get really tough and we feel like there are too many challenges and so much difficulty that we think we can’t deal with it? In the business balance house it’s GCSE time and there is a lot of pressure on my daughter, on teens generally, but also it’s tough for the parents when trying to balance the teen pressure, behaviour and timescales.
Also, when I think about how I balanced the household, business, family when my mum was ill. That was tough. There can be lots of reasons that we have a lot going on and things feel tough.
So what can we do to help us get through tough times. Here’s a few things I discussed with my daughter around GCSEs and with clients recently too.
In the podcast, I go into more detail on each of these, but this gives you an idea:
Keep a Perspective
We can beat ourselves up quite easily about trying to do all things. We can lose perspective about timeframes too. Break things down. Listen in for the example I give where the exams feel too much and how we broke it down from seeming like big challenge of 6 weeks, to being 17 days. It changes the perspective and keeps it more positive. I also change the countdown to my holidays, as I explain in the episode. So you change the perspective to change how big, how far away, how much it is that you have to do.
Focus on What You Can Control
This is what I used to do in corporate with transformations and change. People got stressed about the plans. We can’t change what senior level decide. We can’t change what the government decides about GCSEs. When we recognise what we can change and what we can’t, then we have to go with the flow.
Can we influence things? If you can influence with the effort you put in, the way you show up, by doing the revision, then yes we can influence this.
If there is nothing you can do, then perhaps you need to let things go. I let it go about what our government decides our kids at school need to do with exams! If it’s to do with your job then maybe you decide you can change and control by looking for another job, stepping up in area, getting coaching, learning something else to go and get another job or promotion, or, you need to let things go.
Set Goals or Rewards
When you focus on the outcomes, your big why then it can help to drive you forward. Sometimes it feels too big to focus on the bigger picture or importance, so it really depends where you are and how you think. For my daughter, getting GCSEs, it’s about where she wants to go after this, to sixth form and university. Also for her, I reminded her that she’s got a longer summer from June after the exams and she can spend time doing other things.
For my client, listen in where I explained about how I talked about making a plan, having a goal even if you don’t like having things nailed down in fine detail. Having a time set ahead you can see in your diary that there is a time for your goal and reward.
Be Kind to Yourself
Give yourself a break. The thing that will get you through these tough times is being kind to you and enabling you do some of the things you love, just as much as pushing ahead on the tough stuff.
Know You’re Not Alone
For my daughter I reminder her that there’s all the children in her school and across the country! That’s a lot of children. When we know we are not alone, it calms things down and we remember it’s not just us.
Listen in the Emma explaining about how many people she sees with the worries, stress, anxiety and tough times. That’s a lot of clients who have had struggles. You are definitely not alone.
Talk to Others
This is part of knowing you’re not alone. When we reach out we often get feedback that says “I’ve felt like that too”. The important thing is to listen. It’s not about fixing their problem, it’s just listening.
“A problem shared is a problem halved”.
Listen as Emma tells the story of how she had to offload when the kids were little and needed to train her husband to be able to listen and not fix or solve the problem.
Hopefully this is helpful. It’s not intended for someone with severe mental health issues, but times can get tough and we need to be able to change the way we think about things to feel like we can cope.
If you feel you need someone to talk to then do get in touch or call and speak to someone.
If this has been of value to you, please leave me a comment or a review and share with someone else to help them too.