Dealing with tough times can be difficult. Sometimes it looks like there is no end in sight. Many times in the Bible individuals and groups were faced with tough, if not impossible situations and unknown outcomes. For example, Noah was told to build a huge Ark and gather animals even though there was no apparent threat of flood and Moses left his home not knowing where God was leading him.
During difficult times, examples from the Bible may not seem very practical. What do we do with this now? How does this help me today when I’m struggling with fears and worries? Having faith brings meaning, direction and the assurance we’re not walking alone.
Finding hope when faced with the unknown
When you don’t know what to expect from one day to the next, it can become very difficult to find your focus. You might find yourself wavering between binge-watching your favorite shows or hyper-focusing on cleaning every piece of lint out of the sofa. Neither of which will help you continue to move forward. Instead, try these tips to regain your focus and bring purpose to each day.
- Start by making a daily routine. Outline how you would like to spend your day from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Having a routine will give you specific incremental steps to get through the day. From making your bed (yes you should!) to making meals and taking some time to get fresh air. Planning ahead will make your day worthwhile and the time will pass more quickly.
- Set a goal. Even if it’s just one task you would like to complete each day. A goal doesn’t have to be a large or far off, it can be as simple as committing to writing in a journal or teaching your pet a new trick. By the way, don’t underestimate the healing power of talking to and snuggling up with your pet during trying times.
- Perform random acts of kindness. Offer to pick up a few items at the store for an elderly neighbor or overworked mom. You can also read to a child, using Facetime or Skype if not in person. These little things make a big difference in someone’s life and you’ll feel better for it.
- Push past obstacles. You will have times that you are stuck. The key is to keep trying to move forward. Phone a friend or family member just to chat.
- Turn off the news, unplug from social media. It’s okay to take a mental health break and go read a favorite book, color, meditate or watch a funny movie. Do something you enjoy. The more you can focus on what’s good and right in your life, the more relaxed and comfortable you will be with your day to day efforts.
- Take care of yourself. Eat right, drink plenty of water, exercise and get good sleep. Tending to these basic needs will help you keep focused on what’s important and what is good in this world.
- Take time to pray. You may think that He isn’t listening or you just don’t feel like praying. But without exception, everyone who has taken time to pray has felt better afterward. Turning to your faith can give you comfort in hard times. “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
While it may be difficult, try to take things one day at a time. And if that is too much, take each day one hour at a time. This is where your routine comes in handy.