As sure as the night will fall after the day, so too will difficult times befall us all. After suffering through several of my own woes over the years- such as divorce, being shunned by my family, and a devastating miscarriage- I know this all too well.
Recently I've watched several of the women in my life go through some pretty tough stuff- recurring health issues and surgeries, death in the family, marital struggles, co-parenting with a narcissistic ex, infertility, divorce, and financial problems, just to name a few- and I've watched how they handle it all. These painful experiences can really take a person down. But not these women! I've watched what these smart, strong ladies do as they go through tough times, and I gotta tell ya- it's downright inspiring.
Whether you are overcoming loss, battling an illness, dealing with relationship struggles, suffering from self-doubt, or are feeling generally overwhelmed by life, I know from the examples of the women around me that you can find the strength to endure. There are 5 things I've recognized that all of the women I've been observing do when difficult times arise:
5 Things Smart Women Do During Hard Times:
1. They feel their pain- smart women practice acceptance by acknowledging that what they are going through is painful and difficult. They know that by allowing themselves to feel and process whatever emotions come up, they can heal and grow. Stuffing down emotions- even intense painful emotions like grief, anger & frustration- is not something they do. They understand that repression only intensifies the pain, so they let it flow. They trust and make room for the natural occurrence of the emotional process, and do so with amazing self-compassion.
2. They lean on others- smart women know that they need the support of others during painful times. They welcome the comfort and support of family members and friends. They aren't afraid open up and to ask for help. They exercise incredible vulnerability in allowing others to witness their struggle. They are open to receiving love and allow others to give to them, emotionally, spiritually and materially, in their time of need.
3. They look for the lessons- smart women view hard times as opportunities for growth and maturity. They can see and feel that a situation is truly terrible, and also appreciate that they are likely going to learn something from it which will make them even stronger and wiser. With a growth mindset, they accept that struggle and pain are normal parts of life and they believe that they will pull through and be okay again.
4. They let go of things they cannot control- smart women surrender to the reality that certain things are out of their control. They focus their energy only onto the things that they can control and have influence over, and let go of trying to change things that they cannot. In this way, they gain a sense of power over their experience by staying grounded in reality, and through acceptance of what they can and cannot control, they suffer less.
5. They have a way of managing their stress- smart women take care of themselves when hard times strike. They have coping strategies and rituals of self-care that they practice in order to nurture their own needs as they go through their painful experiences. Whether through art, massage, warm baths, extra sleep, silent walks, good cries, talking, counseling, nutrition, exercise, journaling, or being held by a loved one, smart women treat themselves with tenderness and care when they are in pain. They don't abandon themselves in their own time of need.
It takes strength, courage, and wisdom to do these things while in immense emotional pain. Smart women exercise great maturity when struggles arise. At the core of their actions is self-love- the ability to see themselves and their own pain as important & worthy of tenderness, care, and compassion.
Are you going through a rough time right now? How are you helping yourself get through? Which items from the 5 things I listed can you do more of?
I'd love to hear from you! Would you add anything to this list?