How to recover from a “bad” year?

It’s that time of the year again, when we all start doing a little bit of reflection, it’s a bit corny if you ask me. I say that but I’m probably going to do the exact same thing, hypocritical or what? Jokes aside, we live our lives without a care for a good 360 days and then BAM in the last weeks of the year we suddenly realize we should probably start thinking about all the not so wise decisions we have been making throughout the year.

Lol it’s funny how the human brain works isn’t it.

 Upon my personal reflection, I discovered that the majority of my 2017 was spent recovering from difficult experiences of 2016, sadly towards the end of that year I experience an unexpected loss. I wasn’t sure how to feel and to be honest I spent a lot of time questioning my emotions. I didn’t really know whether I had the right to be upset given the circumstance surrounding the events that had taken place. I realize I am been extremely vague in regards to this experience, however, the purpose of this post is not to divulge any personal information regarding this, instead I would like to share a few things I’ve learnt about growing from a tough experience and hopefully help others who may need some time to recover from a difficult year.

How do you recover from a “bad” year?

Before we dive into how you can recover from a tough year, it’s important to understand that the assessment of a bad year is solely up to you, although my experience is regarding a loss, you do not have to have experienced a loss to follow the following steps. A bad year could be related to a break down in your relationships, financial problems, issues relating to health etc.

Please remember that I am not a professional life coach, therapist or medical practitioner and these tips are solely based on my personal experiences so do take care in applying them to your life. It is also important to note that even though these steps have helped me I believe that Gods’ grace is the main reason I was able to recover from my difficult year so if you are a person of faith do pray regarding your situation first before applying these steps.

Step 1: Face your problems head-on.

When a terrible thing happens in life, it is natural for you to want to hide from it but by hiding you give more power to the situation and it becomes even more difficult to deal with. Instead of hiding take some time to address the problem, think about how it makes you feel and express these feelings to someone you trust, by doing this you will hopefully start to feel better about it. In this process, it is really important that you do not sugar coat your feelings, you really have to be brutally honest with yourself in order to heal.

Step 2: Believe that things will get better.

Without sounding like one those extremely positive motivational speakers lol you really need to tell yourself that things will get better. I don’t have a way of proving how this works but in my experience when I start to strongly believe something, it actually tends to happen. For this reason alone I try and monitor the type of thoughts I am having and correct negative ones.  As a Christian, I also believe in the power of the tongue as the bible talks about the tongue having the power of life and death, so it’s equally important that you speak positively about your current situation. Please read Proverbs 18:21 for more on the power of the tongue.

Step 3: Do something rewarding with your time.

When you are going through a tough time, you can find yourself doing a lot of thinking. Whilst I am a big fan of reflection, spending too much time pondering on your problems does not help. If you have a lot of spare time on your hands you need to fill it with an activity. In my experience, I found that helping others helped me to take my mind off things. I volunteered at a local youth club for a short period of time and found that being in an environment that had little to do with my normal life was quite refreshing.

Step 4: Assess your progress.

 To assess your progress you need to have completed step one properly. If you have faced your problems head-on and have acknowledged how you feel, in the process of occupying your time with various activities, you need to reassess your emotions. Are you feeling better about the situation? Are there things you can do to improve the situation? Do you need to speak to a professional? Are you beginning to feel ok?

Step 5: Understand that moving on does not always mean forgetting.

In the process of recovering from a bad year, you may find yourself remembering the terrible events that happened in the previous year, this is ok, with time the feelings attached to those memories will hopefully become less intense.

I hope these guidelines help you move forward in the new year.

Please leave any question you have in the comment box below or contact me on any of my social media accounts.

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