Tips for Overcoming Tough Days
Adults and children of all ages often struggle with frustration, sadness, anxiety, and a slew of other mental health and other challenging issues. Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, or a student, or if you fall into another category, tough days are just par for the course. Even if you don’t normally struggle with particular mental health challenges, you’re bound to face a difficult day every now and then. So how do you overcome those times? How do you look your challenges in the face and find yourself victorious at the end of the day? We’ve put together a handful of tips and tricks to help students and adults combat their daily stresses and tough moments so they can accomplish their goals and live a healthy and happy life.
Pinpoint the Stressors
If you’re stressed out, angry, or upset, figure out why. Sometimes you know exactly why you feel a particular way, but other times, you may just have an off feeling and you’re not certain why. Delve into your thoughts and emotions and do your best to pinpoint a particular stressor. Maybe you have an upcoming deadline, you’re worried about a presentation you did yesterday, or you’re simply tired. Identifying what is making your day tough will help you to overcome it more easily.
Think Through Solutions
Sometimes, the root cause of your tough day has a very simple and actionable solution. You’re stressed about an exam? Study for it. You are tired? Plan to take a nap later. You’re overwhelmed with a huge number of tasks you have to do? Make a list and start knocking them out one by one. Write out your concerns, frustrations, or challenges and then write a solution. Not all solutions might be easy to come up with or even something you can do right away. Some solutions may be as simple as, “Don’t worry about it” or “Trust that you did your best.” But writing them out and having them to refer back to will help you find victory in overcoming your stressors.
Let Go of What You Can’t Control
Know that some things are simply out of your control. Let the past be the past, and move toward the future. And know that you cannot control or change anyone around you—you only have control over yourself, your thoughts, and your actions. Don’t keep beating yourself up or stressing yourself out over something you can’t control. Instead, let it go and do what you need to do to be successful right now.
Put Things into Perspective
Sometimes, small problems can seem humongous. That bad grade, that rude comment a classmate made, and the test you forgot to study for can all seem hugely significant in the midst of dealing with them. Try to put things into perspective and look at the grand scheme of life. While multiple bad grades can have a negative effect on your future, one bad grade isn’t going to ruin your academic career. Friendships can be challenging and people can be rude, but ultimately, something that someone said to you in a moment of frustration or rudeness isn’t worth you losing sleep over it. This can definitely be challenging, but try your best to step out of your stressful situation for a moment and gain some perspective on the situation and the things that are making your day so tough. You’ll likely find it easier to focus on your tasks and overcome stress when you have a better perspective.
Change Your Mindset
In the midst of a tough day, this can be hard to do. But if you are in the practice of focusing on more positive things, achievable solutions, and more optimistic thoughts, it will be easier to shift your mindset in the middle of a struggle or challenge. Rather than focus on everything you still have to do, think about everything you’ve already accomplished as well as the great feeling of fulfillment that you’ll experience when you’re done. Instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about how much you’re growing from the task and how you’ll be a better, stronger person when it’s finished. Staying positive and optimistic can hugely benefit your attitude,
Take a Break
When you’re stuck in a rut or are getting bogged down by frustrations and stress, taking a break is hugely beneficial. You may feel counterproductive by taking a break, but trying to work through a big challenge or a “writer’s block” situation when you are already frustrated typically isn’t super productive. Get outside, take a walk, or do some other outdoor activity to refresh your mind and body. Even a simple stretch break will help re-energize you and help you come back to work focused and more efficient than ever.
Take Care of Yourself
Even if the midst of a very difficult day, self-care is incredibly important. Simply washing your face and doing some breathing exercises can help a great deal, particularly when you’re in the middle of a difficult challenge. On a daily basis, ensure you are sleeping enough, eating well, getting regular exercise, and practicing general self-care so that you can be healthy both physically and mentally. Take care of yourself well, both on good days and bad, so you can overcome anything that comes your way.
Know That You Are Not Alone
Everyone has tough days. Some may experience challenging times more often than others, but know that no matter what kind of struggle you deal with on a day-to-day basis, you are not alone. Your peers, your teachers, your friends, and your family members have all likely had similar experiences and may be able to offer support. Talk to someone about how you feel during your particularly tough days, especially if they occur frequently. Trust that you can overcome your hard days and your struggles. You can achieve success and growth, and you will be victorious in the end.