Five ways to help yourself when life gets tough

“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” Do you agree with this statement? I saw this pop up on my social media newsfeed recently and it really struck a chord with me.


The theme for this year's World Mental Health Day was around making mental health and well-being a priority. I think sometimes, we can be fooled into believing that everyone is living an incredible, happy life and that we are at times left behind, waiting for it to happen to us.

The reality is, most of us have good times. Moments that fill us up with love, awe, and great happiness. And, on the flip side, most of us all have times that are tough. Times when we feel sadness, frustration, or a disconnect.

I really do believe that living happily and fulfilled is about how we work through our life, the small things we do that help ourselves.

Whenever I speak about happiness, I always stress that living happily and fulfilled isn’t about feeling excitedly happy 24/7. True inner happiness is about how we manage our lives, especially when they get tough. It’s about understanding and accepting that life does have twists and turns and that this is OK.

It’s about focusing on the small pockets of joy we experience when we are in our darkest of moments.

How to navigate tough moments 

Making our mental health a priority isn't always easy, so I have given some thought to some of the things that help me when I am going through difficult times. Looking after your mental health doesn't have to be complex. I find the following five things support me to move through tough moments as best I can:

1. Sleep

For me, allowing myself more time to sleep really helps. I make an effort to go to bed earlier and when I can, sleep for a bit longer. Sleep helps me to escape and helps build my energy and resilience levels too.

2. Being outdoors

Walking or sitting outside. I can’t deny, the thought of this one can sometimes seem a lot, yet I always feel so much better for getting a change of scenery. I often find if I can find an initial purpose to get me out (e.g. popping to the post office or corner shop) then I keep going and really feel the benefits.

3. Talking

Start opening up and talking to someone. This could be a friend, family member, your coach, therapist, neighbour, etc. Sometimes it can seem easier to struggle alone, yet difficult emotions don't disappear by ignoring them. Opening up to someone is really important and can help you to relieve some of the stress and pressure that is building up and helps you build connection with another. 

4. Being in the moment

Consciously not trying to fix the past or plan the future. Accepting that at the moment all I can do is take each moment as it comes. When I remind myself of this, it really feels like a huge weight has been lifted and it help’s me to really ground myself.

5. Reading, audiobooks and podcasts

Reading before bed really helps me to switch off before sleeping. I love to read at the best of times (fact, fiction, self-improvement… I love it all) and that doesn’t change when I am not feeling my best. I use the time to get curled up and immerse myself in something different.

I would suggest reading/listening to whatever you most connect to at this particular time. For me, in these moments, I like an easy-to-digest fiction book because I am looking for a bit of light relief when everything around me is feeling heavy.

All of the above help me to deal with life when it feels difficult. And they all give me happiness, stability and hope. I really do believe that living happily and fulfilled is about how we work through our life, the small things we do that help ourselves.

I have only touched on a few ways that help me personally deal with life when it gets tough, I know there are so many more. 

Why not take a moment now to write down your top five? These could be a mixture of things you have tried before and things you want to try. Put this list somewhere and the next time life gets tough, pull it out and give them a try.

For extra support with this or for the opportunity to talk further, please reach out to me directly via my Life Coach Directory profile.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5
Written by Sohaila Sophia, Life Coach & NLP Practitioner, ICF & ANLP accredited
Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5

Sohaila Sophia is an accredited Life Coach & NLP Practitioner, an advocate for mental wellbeing & passionate about supporting people to believe in themselves and live fulfilling, purpose-led lives. Founder of ‘Find Your Happy’ coaching programmes - the 10 step approach to re-evaluating and living with more fulfilment and meaning.

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