Coping, surviving and recovering from extended difficult times in our lives is a process. It can last longer than we anticipated. We need to learn how to survive and also eventually thrive afterwards. But, how do we do that?
Here are a few things to think about and remember:
REALIZE THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE, GOD IS WITH YOU.
Genesis 8:1 states that in the midst of the turmoil that Noah was experiencing…”But God remembered Noah”. No matter how long a crisis may linger, God has not not forgotten you and me. It is an awesome thought to realize and acknowledge that God remembers us in the difficulties we go through! Other people may forget us, but God never does!
RELEASE YOUR REGRETS.
There is a power in releasing your regrets. You don’t need to rewind them constantly in your mind. That really doesn’t help you in the long run to go around and around in the circles of shoulda – coulda- woulda type of thinking. Get off that repeat button in your thoughts. We are to learn from the past but not live in the land of past regrets and failures and missed opportunities. We need to trust and follow God, where we are now.
TAKE PROPER CARE OF YOURSELF.
When we are dealing with prolonged stressful situations, it is essential that we take care of our health. This includes…physical, mental, emotional, as well as spiritually. Maintaining these areas will allow us to continue to be at our best over the long haul. We must take mini breaks along the way too. The Ancient Greek warriors had a saying “The Bow that is always bent ( under stress) will break.” Stopping to rest and unwind for even short periods of time will help release the tension we experience. Don’t be afraid to call a personal “time out”, when necessary. Go for a short walk. This can clear your mind and recoup your energy level.
REFOCUS and RENEW YOUR STRENGTH.
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” – Psalm 18:32 (NIV)
Sometimes it takes longer to recover emotionally from these situations. Take one step at a time. Do what you can each day. Talk to a trusted friend or counselor if needed. Then discover some new things or activities that can recharge your energy. Be proactive and intentional, and have specific priorities and time set aside in your schedule to help you recover and regain your strength. Remember, The Lord is our perpetual source of strength. We may grow weak and weary…but He is always there. His mercy, grace, and strength never, ever runs out!