When Life Throws You Lemons: Learning How to Deal With the Unexpected
Life can give you great things, and then sometimes out of the blue something bad can happen. Life is just like that. Everyone experiences loss, injustice and sadness. When these unexpected and unfortunate events do happen, allow yourself to find happiness and positivity again with these five ways to help you cope:
Take Care of You
When faced with an emotionally difficult time, all you may want to do is curl up and shut the world out. That’s a totally normal and understandable response to feeling overwhelmed and emotionally vulnerable. It can make tasks for your own wellbeing seem exhausting, pointless and even unattainable. But that is far from the truth.
Self-care is essential during demanding times. It includes your taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health. Getting the food you need, the rest and exercise you require and any medical attention necessary cover off your physical needs.
Your mental and emotional self-care can be maintained by seeing a counselor, journaling and making quiet time for yourself to mediate and reconnect with yourself.
Ignoring or denying your self-care needs will only prolong your suffering. If you cultivate good self-care, you’ll be better able to face the ups and downs life offers up.
Don’t Look for The Why
Figuring out why a tragic or complicated set of events could happen doesn’t get you anywhere. And even if you do figure out it out, it won’t necessarily bring you any relief. Whether it’s a flood, a forest fire, a car crash or the death of a loved one including a companion animal — it has got nothing to do with karma or you deserving the unfortunate circumstances.
Life hands us all trying times. Everyone endures suffering. But you’ll drive yourself crazy looking for the why and how, when you could be looking forward, practicing self-care and deciding on your next steps.
Allow Some Space and Time
Working through loss and pain isn’t a quick process and no two people experience in quite the same way. Grief can manifest in a multitude of ways including concentration difficulties, anger, apathy, guilt, loss of appetite, numbness — the list goes on.
There is no sidestepping grief. You can’t outrun or outthink it. The way out of grief is through it. Give yourself permission to feel the waves of pain, loss and sadness. There is no time limit or timeline on when you have to be over a negative experience.
Provide yourself with the space and time needed to process your feelings and to accept the circumstances.
Look for the Lesson in It
Bad experiences are not about teaching you a lesson but there are lessons you can find in these difficulties. You may not be able to appreciate the learnings embedded in problems when they first arise, but they are there if you look for them.
Problems can help us to get to know ourselves better, to know our limitations and where we need to establish boundaries. Not only do we learn about ourselves we also learn about the people and pets we share our lives with.
If we have the courage to face the problems and feelings that come from hard times, we will gain increased self-awareness, which can lead to self-improvement.
This too Shall Pass
When you’re in the midst of a challenging life experience it can feel like it will never end. You can feel consumed by anguish with no reprieve in sight. This is not true or accurate.
A guarantee in life is we will without a doubt experience change. You can count on it. It may not be the change you’d hoped for but it will come. You can rest assured that the pain you feel will not remain, it will lessen and shift. You will come through although we may not be able to admit it to ourselves just yet.
You can hold fast to the quote from two-time British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, “change is inevitable. Change is constant.”
Expect the unexpected — it’s what life is really good at. Just when you think you know what is going to happen next, you might just be surprised. Don’t live in fear of what’s coming, just know that you’ll make it through. You can care for yourself in the midst of a tough time and you’re stronger than you know. Embrace the ups and downs of life as a teacher because they’ll teach so much about yourself. And then, without a doubt, they’ll pass.
Kacey Mya Bradley
Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.