Read This When Times Get Tough

When times get tough, it can be hard to keep going. Here are some motivational tips to help you get through the tough times and help you keep on going till you thrive again.  I will also share my favorite inspirational quotes for tough times. Breathe, read this, and take things one day at a time.

When Times Get Tough

When you’re up against what feels like insurmountable circumstances it can be tempting to toss your sneakers in your gym bag and walk off the field.

Giving up is easy. Life isn’t.

But you’re smart. You’re hard working. Your friends, spouse and kids respect you. And everything you have, you achieved because you’re a determined, bright and confident person.

You knew that, though, and it’s still not any easier to cope with what you’re up against. Maybe you lost your job, someone close to you fell ill, or it’s just one of those weeks—or months—when the little things keep piling up until the proverbial camel’s back is dangerously close to snapping.

If telling yourself that this, too, shall pass isn’t enough to shake the negativity, you need to take some action. Here’s how.

5 Motivational Tips For Going Through Tough Times

Take care of yourself

Not even Michael Phelps can tread water forever, and trying to keep your head above the surface while life keeps tossing waves at you can get you feeling like a pretty terrible swimmer.

In fact, it can convince you you’re just a downright terrible person.

When things get hard, you get depressed. That’s natural. And when you’re depressed, it’s a lot more difficult to find the motivation to do even the simplest things like cook a healthy meal, style your hair, or change into something that can’t double as pajamas.

But do them anyway- walk, run, exercise, go for a bike ride, lose weight if you need to, get out there and experience life. Nutritional expert Isabel De Los Rios has countless stories of mothers who felt like the world was crashing down on them, only to turn it all around through putting themselves (and their health) first.

Eat. Get some sleep. Take pride in your appearance. Maybe it sounds like added stress, but it’s the physical and emotional boost you need to stay afloat through this. So first and foremost, take care of yourself!

Count your blessings

Literally. Gratitude is powerful. Make a list of everything good in your life—the big stuff, the little stuff, the silly stuff. If it makes you happy, put it on your list. Your kids, spouse and home are probably no-brainers. Your dog? Cat? Iguana? Throw him on there, too.

And don’t forget your grandma’s amazing lemon icebox recipe; your wedding photos; the way your daughter’s head smelled when she was six months old.

Anything that has brought you joy, anything that you’re grateful for, put it down on paper. Don’t be afraid to get crafty and glue some photos or trinkets on there, too. Then, hang it somewhere—like the fridge, or your office—so you can glance at it now and then and remind yourself that life is wonderful no matter how awful it may be right now. 

There is always something to be grateful for and sometimes it is easiest to focus on the small details.  The cool pattern the walls of the tent make, the way the sun pokes around the clouds, the pretty color green of new buds.  Those type of details sometimes pull me into the present moment when I am getting lost in the past.

Gratitude can also help place things into perspective. Whatever is tough for you right now may be small in comparison to all the good you have in your life or how much it will really matter in a year’s time.

Relax. Now!

The worst thing to do to yourself when you’re overwhelmed is add weight to an already unbearable pile. Most of us think that staying busy is the best way to distract from whatever obstacle we’re up against, but knowing when to hang up your cape and let someone else fight the battles is a really crucial skill to overcoming adversity.

If you don’t power yourself back up with ten minutes of deep breathing a day, you’ll lose your mind. No matter what you’re facing, there’s always time to give your mind and body a few minutes of peace. So take a walk, a bath soak, a nap or meditate. 

I particularly find the below Wayne Dyer meditation music helpful for relaxing. It helps me recenter.

Take out the trash

On the opposite side of that same coin, find a constructive way to handle all your negative energy. Maybe your finances are a puzzle you can’t seem to solve, or your marriage is in a rut. Or maybe your son just brought home a bad report card. Whatever’s filling you with angst, find a useful way to drain it.

My suggestion? Declutter your room. Or your garage. Your basement, storage shed, or under the guest room bed. Wherever unwanted crap piles up in your home, attack it.

This constructive use of excess energy will keep your mind off whatever issue happens to be monopolizing your mental energy, allowing you to revisit it later on with a fresh set of eyes.

Plus, getting rid of some of the crap in your life is always uplifting.

Practice some altruism

Whether you offer to babysit the neighbor’s kids while they’re at a movie, or offer up your time at a soup kitchen, find a way to help other people out with absolutely no gain for yourself.

Look, when things feel too big to manage, a new perspective can shrink them back down to size. If you feel like you can’t fix whatever’s beating you down, fix something else. Reminding yourself that you’re a competent, compassionate person might be the jumpstart you need to get out of whatever rut you’re broken down in.

One bonus tip?

Look in the mirror and smile. Smiling can actually trick your brain into happiness!  Besides, you don’t want to forget how to smile.

I am also going to share a few of my favorite when times are tough quotes to help inspire you to to, “just keep swimming.”

Inspirational Quotes For Tough Times

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” -Mary Anne Radmacher

“Believe in yourself, trust your gut, surround yourself with resilient people who inspire you to be better and work hard.” -Monique Hicks

“Conflict is growth trying to happen.” -Harville Hendrix

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” -Alexander Graham Bell

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” -Robert Schuller

“You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun.” -Shaun Hick


I hope you found these motivational tips helpful for getting through hard times.  They come to us all and you just have to keep going. I sometimes picture Atreyu struggling to get through the Swamp of Sadness in the Never Ending Story. It feels like that sometimes but you don’t want to let yourself be swallowed up like Artax. You have to keep going.  You’ll get through it and you’ll be stronger.  Of my favorite when times are tough quotes that I shared above, my absolute favorite is the one from Mary Anne Radmacher. Tomorrow is a whole new day! 

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