Coping with life’s challenges

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Coping with life's challenges

Life may sometimes present us with challenges that test our ability to cope. These challenges may impact our identity or self worth but they can be overcome.

Issues such as relationship upheavals, retirement, children moving into adulthood or leaving the home will emerge now and then to test us. More sudden events may also occur, such as the loss of a spouse or family member, a major illness, or unemployment.

Whatever the cause, there is no denying how difficult it can be to adjust your life and try to move on. It is not always something you can plan for and in most cases, you can’t directly control the circumstances or predict exactly how you will react.

So how will you cope?

Some will naturally cope better than others, but some find themselves in a struggle with anxiety or depression, even if they have previously had a well-adjusted and independent personality. In many cases, coping with such challenges will mean opening yourself up to professional  help and placing reliance on friends and family for support. There are also ways that you can help yourself to push through toward recovery.

One critical issue to address is the loss of self-esteem or sense of purpose. Combating this, may mean adjusting self-expectations and setting smaller goals to rebuild confidence. Even setting simple goals around mundane everyday tasks will help to generate momentum.

Life after trauma

If a major personal loss is the cause of your situation, then seeking new interests, hobbies or connections become vital stimuli to recovery. Try doing a new activity that you have never considered before, such as classes on cooking or fitness, or join an interest-based club such as bushwalking. Volunteering is also a useful way to stay active as well as reinforce your sense of worth and value. Such activities can lead to new relationships as well as fresh unexpected directions in life.

Ask for help

Never be afraid of asking for professional help if things become overwhelming. A willing ear and practical help can be found at:

www.beyondblue.org.au

www.lifeline.org.au

www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

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