Recently I have been seeing a lot of posts on social media and have been having conversations with a lot of people, about difficult times. Lots of people are dealing with a lot of things. Times are hard for a lot of people right now, for a variety of different reasons.
I include myself in that, the last 9 months have been a mix of some amazing highs and some really terrible lows. Things looked like they were picking up, but things are hard again. So, I felt I would write this post, for me as much as for anyone else.
When times are hard, and we feel a little low, lost, helpless or (most often for me) directionless it is easy to lose focus. Both on ourselves and on our ability to cope and continue. Sometimes we even lose sight of the fact that things get better or have been better in the past.
In my tough times it is that recognition of the fact that things have been better, obstacles have been overcome, and no matter how much we feel that things are bad and out of our control, we can influence the outcome.
There are many ways to achieve this. I have mentioned in previous posts that I have some truly amazing friends and family. They have no idea the impact of their words and actions sometimes. Checking in. Sharing memories. Keeping chats going. Distance isn’t an obstacle here. I am lucky some of them are very close by, but many are far away. The level of care and intervention is the same.
In my last blog post When times are hard, what grounds you? I wrote about some of the things that I do to ground myself when I am low. One of these is iPhoneography. Taking pictures on my phone. I can be annoying in the number of pictures I post over social media (which is only a fraction of the number I actually take).
One of the benefits of this is that Facebook throws up some great memories. Some pictures that make me smile. Sometimes make me sad. But always make me feel and remember.
Today is a great example. This week has been tough, both in work and family life. Lots to take on, lots to overcome, a lot of distraction and a lack of sleep meaning processing all of this through a foggy mind.
Facebook came to my rescue this morning. It reminded me that this time last year I was in Ivalo, Finland. Having one of the most amazing experiences of my life. A true holiday of a lifetime. Experiencing and seeing things that took my breath away and made me feel truly uplifted.
So, this morning, having woken at 3 and been unable to get back to sleep, finally giving in and getting up at 5. Writing an article, watching some tv, planning this blog post, catching up on social media. I felt exhausted. Then I looked at my Facebook memories and some pictures from that trip really uplifted me.
What keeps me in balance is a combination of all of these things. My friends and family and the amazing support they give me, the memories of good times, the memories of bad times and how I overcame them. The balance for me is that there are the memories of the good times to counter the bad. My friends give me support, but also strength.
What is it that keeps you balanced, where do you get your support from, who gives you that strength?
More importantly, are you one of those friends who gives strength and support without even knowing?