Amy Eksteen

There’s no doubt that life can be disappointing sometimes. Our plans don’t go as planned. Relationships end. People hurt us. Doors that we were hoping would open, remain closed. We are left feeling a little deflated and maybe catch ourselves thinking “How am I supposed to get through this?”, “What do I do now?” or “Why aren’t things going my way?”.

The theme for the month of February has been about love, specifically self-love. I’m really excited to continue this conversation because I think that when life doesn’t seem to go our way, it creates the best opportunities to put ourselves first.

I hope this post reminds us that we all go through times in our lives where our expectations aren’t met and we all face moments that feel like they are going to ‘break’ us. I am hoping that the following tips help us change these moments into moments that instead ‘make’ us.

  1. Feel the feelings: When life gets you down, one of the first things to do is acknowledge your feelings. Don’t avoid your emotions. Let them out and then remember that your feelings and emotions will come and go. Moment of reassurance: “It does get easier”
  2. Celebrate the little things: Celebrate the food you eat and savour each bite. Celebrate your warm bed, the feeling of soft grass beneath your feet and maybe the feeling of wind in your hair or sunshine on your skin. Celebrate your sources of joy and positivity. Be mindful of the moments that fill you with peace and really enjoy it. Moment of reassurance: “I deserve to feel happy”
  3. Turn to your support system: Turn to your people. Turn to the people who you know are your endless supporters. Turn to the people who are willing to be your source of strength when you don’t feel strong yourself. Turn to the people who are willing to be your encouragers at any time of the day. Most importantly, allow them be there for you and learn to lean on them without any hesitation. Moment of reassurance: “I deserve to reach out for help and support when I need it”
  4. Don’t blame yourself: Remember that whatever circumstance you are facing, it is not a reflection of who you are or your worth. You are worthy and you are enough. Nothing has the power to change that. Moment of reassurance: “I am worthy. I am enough”
  5. Be brave: Put yourself out there. Try new things. Go to new places and meet new people. Commit yourself to continue living a life full of passion and adventure, no matter the circumstances. Moment of reassurance: “I am brave and independent”
  6. It’s all about self-love: Do things that are ‘spirit-lifters’. Take care of yourself and put time aside for things that make your heart leap for joy. (Please see the previous blog post titled “Self-love and spoons” for self-love suggestions). Moment of reassurance: “I deserve to love and take care of myself”
  7. Find meaning: Reflect on why your expectations weren’t met and what this means for you. Think about how this can positively impact your personal journey and the endless possibilities that await you. Moment of reassurance: “Exciting opportunities are coming my way”
  8. Let it go: Focus on forgiveness and acceptance. Start with forgiving yourself and then others. Accept the reasons why things didn’t turn out the way you intended them to, let it go and move on. Moment of reassurance: “I have the power to let it go”
  9. Grow through it: The best lessons come from moments of adversity. Think about what this moment is teaching you. Acknowledge the lesson and view it as an opportunity to grow into a better, more resilient version of yourself. Moment of reassurance: “I have the ability to grow through my experiences”
  10. Share your story: There will come a time where this journey will become a part of your past and not your present. I am a firm believer that we can all use our experiences as a way of uplifting others who may be going through the same circumstances that we have already overcome. Use your unique story to become a source of support and encouragement for somebody else. Moment of reassurance: “My story deserves to be heard”
  11. Give it time: Be patient. Some days may feel easier than others and that’s okay. On the days when it doesn’t feel easy, remind yourself that you are on a special journey, tailored for you and only you. Moment of reassurance: “I am going to be patient and understanding with myself”
  12. Spend time with God: I feel as if all of these tips are easier with God in the picture. Personally, reminding myself that God is my ‘burden-bearer’ (Psalm 55:22) is always the most comforting thought I could have during difficult times. There is also no better way to show yourself self-love than spending time with the One who loves you the most. Moment of reassurance: “God loves me and He never leaves my side”

I hope that you found each of these 12 tips relevant and useful. Please feel free to share any tips you would prioritise when life just doesn’t seem to be going your way.

See you next week xx