finding comfort when life gets hard…

inspiration for when life gets hard on the Geoffrey & Grace blog

When life gets hard, something I find to be helpful is writing my thoughts down. It sounds so simple to do, but it can be so cathartic.

More and more I find writing to be like a meditation, a chance to deeply tune into one aspect of my life. Sometimes my head can be quite full, and writing is a good way for me to order my thoughts and sift through them. If the same thing keeps bobbing to the surface even amongst the calm, if something is niggling away at me then I know it is time to address it.

Whilst sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of tea for comfort, I can begin to face the thing that has been lurking uncomfortably. The repetitive action of tapping my thoughts into the laptop helps me move on and begin to let go of whatever it is that is troubling me.

Having said that, the cloud that has been hovering for a while now, is a tricky one to shake. Even on the sunniest of days, it can still find me. I am struggling to even go through the process that has previously been so helpful. It would seem I have picked up a thing or two from my toddler, who is a master in avoidance at bedtime, and I am managing to find any excuse to put off confronting this one.

Eventually when I can bring myself to sit and write, I know my words will be met by others who have had similar experiences. I am hanging on to the knowledge that I am not alone in how I am feeling. Like finding a star on a dark, dark night, that is just the little bit of light I need.

I am fixing my gaze on that bright spot, (hiding all my Cure CDs) and telling myself everything will be okay, even though it’s hard to feel that at the moment. I know it is just life being life, but it got me thinking about how we cope with the rubbish stuff that comes along with being a grown up.

What do you do when life gets hard? Have you got strategies to help you cope when things are difficult? Would be interested to hear how you get through the tough stuff.

 

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  • Hi Melanie,

    I’m sorry to read that you’re trying to work through something that has been ‘lurking uncomfortably’ – I know that feeling well!

    I too find writing to be helpful in working through my thoughts and feelings, as is giving myself some ‘white space’ – so allowing time to play and do things that I know I enjoy doing (such as baking or cooking, sometimes I find focussing on a recipe far easier than trying to meditate!). Surrounding myself with loved ones is vital, making time to see friends even when all I want to do is hide away – I’m very introverted – but I know that organising just an hour for coffee and cake can make a world of difference.

    Best wishes on finding your way!

    Esther xx

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thank you Esther for your advice. Yes I must make more of an effort to see friends and actually talk about what’s bothering me to them. I haven’t been doing that, and I am sure bottling it up isn’t helping. xx

  • I too, find warm tea and writing through my introspection is the best way. Every so often I write about my life in that moment in the third person – ‘she is a 37 year old Mum of two, who works hard, feel deeply, loves to create…’ etc… which helps me to see my talents, vulnerabilities and gifts to be thankful for, more objectively and so be able to put any problems in their place and perhaps even envisage ways forward. It’s a great marker to record and look back over to see how my evolving sense of identity has grown and changed in focus.

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thanks Beth πŸ™‚ Have never tried writing in the third person, but can see how it would give you distance and perspective. Will give it a try.

  • I’m terrible at following my own advice (why is it so much easier to wallow in our sadness rather than confront it?) but going for a walk or some other type of exercise outside can help me. Being in nature helps me see the big picture and reminds me that my problems are not so bad. Also, I know it seems simple but I take a hot shower, get dressed in something that makes me feel good and make sure I have eaten something healthy. Best of luck that you’ll be feeling better soon. XOXO

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thanks so much for your advice Annalise. Yes, being in nature is a big helper for me too. Love the simple idea to wear something special. And I too find I can give really good advice to others, and see their problems with such clarity, but really struggle to do that for myself. I think that’s because I can get too fixed in how my difficulties are making me feel. Maybe a bit of wallowing is good though, I think you have to feel the emotion to move passed it πŸ™‚

  • Melanie,
    I am so sorry to read that you are facing the hard side of life and wish there was something to comfort you. Just like Annalise commented, I personally find being outside of great help in times like that. Especially rainy or stormy days can make me feel like my problems – no matter how big – are small in comparison to nature out there and at least for a moment it can lift the weight of the things that worry me and make me feel free.

    I hope you will soon find comfort and that your hard days transform to sunny ones.
    All the best to you,
    Maike

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thank you so much Maike for your kind comment. And I think you are absolutely right about nature putting things into perspective. Hoping there are some sunnier days round the corner too πŸ™‚

  • Hi Melanie,

    I too journal. I started in earnest about two years ago, writing as often as I could. I always write at night when I’m in my cozy bed because that is where it feels the safest to write about the things that I feel deeply about. I have found it to be cathartic too. It helps me work through not only my own issues, but those of my children as well.

    I agree with what has already been said about spending time in nature. I have a small garden in my backyard and it is a great source of pleasure. Also, just doing the things that give me the greatest pleasure – art, crafts, music – those things lift my heart.

    I find reflective time to think through problems very helpful. I need time to digest problems before I can start to think through them and figure out what to do.

    Best regards in your endeavor.

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thank you June πŸ™‚ Yes I too definitely need the reflective time and time to digest. Really interesting that you journal to focus on your children’s problems as well. I bet I will find that a really useful tool as Bailey grows. x

  • Hi lovely, sending hugs and happy vibes to you. As you know I went through a pretty dark patch last winter and I wrote a whole post about how I made myself feel better here . In short- self-parenting. I just re read it and it’s all still true. I’m still doing these things 10 months later! http://www.seedsandstitches.com/blog1/2015/2/4/the-month-of-love-why-its-important-to-love-yourself

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thanks Hannah πŸ™‚ Will have a read, but love the sound of self-parenting.

  • Hello lovely. You’ve started a really interesting discussion – so helpful to read all the comments already left. Totally agree that it’s so easy to give other people advice and much harder to take your own advice. As someone who tends to overthink things far too much, I find what helps more than anything these days is to actively choose to stop thinking about whatever is bothering me and to throw myself into something else, preferably something I enjoy doing. I find that insights and breakthroughs come to me when I’m not looking for them, when I’m doing something purely for the fun of it, not for an endgame.
    So lovely to see you the other day. I’m here whenever you need. Z xxx

    • geoffreyandgrace

      Thank you Zoe, that’s so lovely to know. And I think you’re right about throwing yourself into an active task. I know it’s not ‘fun’, but I can do some really good thinking whilst washing up πŸ™‚