Six Ways to Stay Strong during Tough Times

Six Ways to Stay Strong during Tough Times

Earlier this week, I shared a little bit about some of the challenges I’ve been facing in my life. [ICYMI: July Recap + August Goals] Doesn’t it seem like a lot of the times, as soon as things finally start looking up for you, something awful happens that knocks you right off your pedestal? Maybe you notice that you have a hard time finding joy in anything, and your life is suddenly a landslide of negativity?

I used to go through life on this roller coaster of emotions. When things were going well, I felt great! But as soon as things got tough, I’d get very negative. Everything was awful and I wasn’t a very pleasant person to be around. I’d hide in my room and isolate from the people who wanted to help me. I didn’t believe in the whole “just be positive” thing because it felt like I was lying to myself. How could I tell myself that everything was going to be okay when it clearly was not okay? I was–and admittedly still can be–an “expect the worst but hope for the best” type of person.

Back in high school and early college, I thought that there was a sort of glamour that went with being chronically sad (shout-out to my fellow former emo kids!) Now I can’t possibly fathom why I would want to feel that way anymore. I realized that  back then, sadness felt real. Negativity felt authentic. It was palpable. Whereas trying to be positive when I didn’t really believe it felt more uncomfortable to me than the familiarity of sadness.

Now when I have those same slumps, whether they last a day or a couple weeks, I fight to feel better. I’ve realized that being negative doesn’t serve me at all. Although negativity is easy, it doesn’t do anything to change the situation. Learning how to stay strong during tough times is not an easy task when your instinct is to wallow. Positivity is like a muscle. It requires exercise. So be sure to practice these six tips to help you stay strong during tough times.

Positivity is like a muscle. It requires exercise. Click To Tweet

Six Ways to Stay STrong during Tough Times

1. Remember, this won’t last forever

Think about all the tough times you’ve been through in your life thus far. Somehow, you’ve survived them all, even when you weren’t sure you would. Even if this trial feels like it’s lasting forever, it isn’t, and it won’t. You are stronger than you think you are.

When you have a hard time staying strong, look back. You are strong. Click To Tweet

2. Look for the Silver Lining

You know the phrase about “seeing the world through rose-colored glasses?” The opposite is true as well. If you look at the world through a dark lens, all you will see is darkness. I’m not asking you to look at the world like it’s all sunshine, but see if you can find the silver lining to the situation. When I was scared of being sick, I continued to remind myself of all the time I’d get to spend with my pets if I had to take time off work. When it’s raining, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars.

3. Practice Gratitude

When you’re thankful for what you already have, you have everything you need. So if things are not going your way, count your blessings and watch your attitude evolve.

[Related: The Life-Changing Power of Gratitude]

4. Take Control

When things seem hopeless and out of your control, remember that you do have control over one thing: yourself. You can choose to do practice self care. You can choose to talk to someone about what’s going on. Find one small thing you can do to improve the way you feel.

5. Give yourself Permission to Feel Better

Sometimes when things are going wrong, we feel like we are supposed to feel bad– like that will somehow fix things. We think that if we feel happy, strong, and confident that maybe that means we were overreacting, and somehow we end up feeling ashamed. It feels backwards and confusing. So give yourself some validation. It’s okay to feel sad, and it’s okay to feel strong. You can be both at the same time.

You can be sad and strong at the same time. Click To Tweet

6. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Attitudes are contagious, so surround yourself with people who will build you up. You don’t even have to tell people what’s going on if you don’t want to. Some of my most transformative moments have happened just by being in the presence of people who look on the bright side.


Six Ways to Stay Strong during Tough Times

How do you stay strong during tough times? What can you do to improve your attitude just a little bit today? Tell me about a time where you were stronger than you thought!

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  • Ayanna

    Great tips!! We all go through tough times in life and need tips like these to help us weather them. I also pray a lot during these times for peace and strength to get me through.

  • Surrounding yourself with positive people is such a needed thing that we all overlook way too much!

    The Felicia Renee | a minimalist lifestyle & beauty blog

  • Those first two paragraphs sum up so perfectly how I’ve been feeling lately. I had a rough couple of months, and then things finally started looking up… and then something else happened that brought me even lower than I was before. It’s hard sometimes to fight the sadness. Positive people have definitely been helping me, I am very fortunate to have so many supportive friends in my life.

    • Aw Becky, sorry to hear that you’ve been in a similar place lately. It is hard to fight the sadness, you’re right. I’m glad that you’ve found your people to help you. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Thank you. I just saved this to my mindset folder!

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    Love this! I don’t struggle with depression so some times it is tough for me to relate but I love that you say to give yourself permission to feel better and to take control. I would think that some people don’t allow themselves feel better.

  • I’ve been wanting to try sticking to a gratitude journal. I’ve been through a lot this year and I’ve only recently started trying to focus on the good things I have. I’ve also tried to start putting my problems in perspective and remembering they aren’t end of the world problems.

  • Love your tips. I definitely go through these times too and for a few hours think the world is ending lol. I’m working with my therapist on different mindfulness techniques and learning how to be in the moment (I stress about the past and future) and it is so GROUNDING. I really recommend it.

    • Hey Anna, that’s great! I’m actually a therapist in real life and write about mindfulness here on my blog 🙂 It is something I recommend to everyone! I’m so glad that you have found it to be helpful for you!

      • My bad!! I definitely admire that field so much and wish more people would utilize their services 🙂

  • Andrea

    Fantastic tips! I do practice most of them except for the “surround yourself with positive people”. I think I need to make some fixes in that area🙈 Thank you for sharing this wonderful list! 🙂

  • I love #4. It can be so hard to remember this sometimes, but ultimately, we are in control.

  • April Kitchens

    I really needed to read this today. Seems as if, things are happening back to back. I’m pinning to read over later.

    • Aw sorry to hear, April! I’m glad that you found something helpful in this post. Hope things start looking up.

  • Kayla Dene Slusher

    I needed this right now- in this moment. This couldn’t have came at a better time!

  • This is such an important topic! I think a lot of us fall victim to negativity when the going gets tough but it is so important to remember what you’re grateful for and to surround yourself with positive people 🙂

    Kristen |

  • thesophiadiaries

    I agree with these points so much!! #1 is the one thing I always live by for sure! sometimes i don’t remember but i always take a moment to remind myself!

  • Taylor Smith

    These tips are AWESOME. I love this. Everyone goes through hard times — it’s how you handle them that is important.

  • Yoga and meditation have helped me soooooo much with this.

  • I went through a really tough time back in Spring and it helped a lot to have friends to talk to me and remind me that it wasn’t the end of the world and that I would be ok.

  • So, so needed this extra boost of encouragement today, Amanda! Love how you incorporated the gifs into your post, as well. 🙂

    • So glad it came at the perfect time for you girly! And thanks 🙂 Trying new things.

  • Yes, this was so needed today <3

    • Hey Jenny, sorry to hear that things have been rough. <3 Glad that I could help today.

  • Yep! This is very good advice! Attitudes really are contagious! And you are right, we are the only one’s who can correct our own attitude, but being around positive people sure does help!

    • Oh for sure! Last week, only a handful of people knew what was going on in my life. So I just got to soak up all their positive energy and not worry about worrying them. It helped so much.

  • Steph Croft

    Awesome advice. I especially like #5. Sometimes it’s easy to feel a certain way because that’s what is expected. And sooo important to surround yourself with happy people. Thanks for the tips!

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  • These tips are great! I def needed to read this after this weekend! <3 Such a great encouragement post, thanks for sharing

  • Yaaas, girl!! These tips are AMAZING! I find it so helpful to look for the silver lining when things are tough. Gratitude journaling is SO helpful, too!