Finding a way

You can overcome challenges — just take it one step at a time

Finding a way already implies a situation you’re facing that is out of the ordinary.

Add to it the need to overcome an obstacle of some kind and you have a challenge on your hands. Sometimes the challenge can be quite pleasant: running a race you’ve been training for, or correctly guessing the number of candies in a jar, or figuring out the itinerary for your upcoming summer vacation.  

Finding a way becomes onerous when circumstances are unpleasant, and this is the type of situation most of us equate with facing a challenge. Not only is there a question of the unknown, but the thoughts and feelings associated with the situation smack of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. You’ve no doubt experienced this before, and likely may be experiencing it now in light of what we are all living through: a mighty unknown where unpleasantness seems to predominate. So how do you find a way through?

Here are some of the things I do:

Minimize your news intake There’s only so much fodder you can take in before you’re in overload.

Disengage from online activity It’s not worth it, especially when a discussion is moving into argumentative waters.

Research opportunities This could include job options, parents’ resources (like this magazine!) gyms that are opening up, etc. Proactivity on your part boosts well-being and motivation. 

Take a walk, or better still, take a hike Get outdoors. Nature does a pretty good job of clearing your head and neutralizing swirling thoughts.

Talk to a trusted friend Letting it all hang out is like going for counselling without the cost. Feeling better relaxes the mind that then allows you to make better decisions.

Play with your kids They’re in the moment and this is gold, especially when you’re concerned about stuff. A lot of what we worry about never happens.

Laugh Get that funny movie instead of the action thriller, or at least get both. Positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses.

Find a way that works for you If you need quiet, then make sure you have a dose a day. If company is what you crave, keep friends and family on speed dial.

A challenge is exactly that — tough to get through. What you focus on can make the difference between finding a way or getting stuck. Dwelling on the difficulty without taking small measures to unstick yourself from the gob of drama around you is like feeding the wolf at your door instead of hugging that loyal companion you already have — you. Be kind to yourself, for you are stronger than you think you are. And if you do happen to have a dog, all the better. Make sure you hug them, too! Hugs strengthen the immune system. Isn’t that exactly what we need now?