13 Things To Consider When You’re Struggling, Feeling Frustrated and Stuck
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We’ve all been there and it’s not fun – feeling stuck, frustrated or just plain struggling with a problem or situation.
As women we often split our focus between home, career and personal issues. This can be particularly problematic when we encounter problems and they’re left unresolved. It can effect both our emotional and physical health among other things.
Any kind of progress is welcomed when facing a problem, but when you seem to be going nowhere and have no idea how to get out of the place you’re in, it’s especially discouraging.
Regardless of your situation, there are several things to consider when you’re struggling or feeling stuck.
Keep these ideas in mind to help ease your frustration and give you a much-needed boost to get you moving in the right direction. Consider:
1. Your Situation Is Not Permanent
Whatever issue or problem you’re facing at the moment, remember that this will not be your situation for life.
Even with issues that seem long-lasting, circumstances do change. People change. And you, too, can change.
This is not a life sentence. Keeping a big picture perspective can help to ease the burden of your current situation.
Knowing that today is not your forever can help give you the strength to keep moving forward right now.
2. Focus On the Real Problem
Maybe you’re discouraged about relationships not working out for you. Take some time to closely examine why.
Is there a possibility that you’re setting unreasonable expectations or attempting to live up to the expectations of others in a way that doesn’t allow you to be authentic? Are you afraid of being hurt and thereby building emotional walls to protect yourself?
Maybe you’re making the mistake of comparing the person you’re in relationship with to someone in your past.
Whatever the reason you’re having issues, dig deep to find the root of the problem whether it’s a job issue, problems with your kids or something more personal.
Maybe there’s nothing below the surface of the problem at all, but if there’s a chance that there could be, you owe it to yourself to identify the true source of your struggle so you can overcome it and move on.
3. Write it Out
Often, being able to see our struggles in black and white gives them more definition and creates something tangible for us to work with.
This is especially true if you are a more visual person. Write down your problem, your struggle, how you feel about it and your desired outcome. Make a list of possible solutions, pros and cons, whatever applies to you and your situation.
This not only helps you to identify and acknowledge what it is you need help with, but to clarify what you want and how you feel. This will help you see the overall picture more clearly.
4. Talk it Out
If writing isn’t really your thing, talk out your situation with a trusted friend or family member. Sometimes just verbalizing what you want and how you feel can bring a tremendous amount of clarity to you.
Gaining a different perspective is also helpful, especially from someone who knows you well and has your best interests at heart.
No individual will have all the answers, and you need to identify the answers for yourself. However, just a listening ear and a sincere desire to help can be immensely helpful to you.
5. Remember What Has Helped You in the Past
Is your present problem or situation similar to a situation you’ve been in before? How did you get through it then?
Even if a situation is not exactly like the one you’re facing now, remembering what has helped in the past can be of great benefit to you now.
The opposite is also true – what have you learned not to do? All our experiences, good, bad or ugly, can be stepping stones to a better future.
Make the most of past mistakes or problems by learning from them to help you make better decisions today.
Whether or not you consider yourself to be a religious person, a time of prayer and/or meditation can be very beneficial, for both reassurance and relaxation benefits.
If you’re a person of faith, prayer during a trying time can help to strengthen your faith and put your soul at ease.
If not, taking the time to quietly reflect and meditate on all that you are dealing with can still be helpful. However, you must do it in a way that is objective (as much as possible) and not to let your imagination (think negative speak) run away with you.
Keep your focus, but let the healing power of prayer or solitude calm your spirit and strengthen your soul.
7. Encourage Yourself
Discouragement is a confidence, character and spirit killer. It can paralyze you into not taking any action at all, halting any possibility for progress.
Therefore It is imperative to encourage yourself in whatever way speaks to you. It can be inspiring quotes or music, speakers that motivate you or books or articles about people that have overcome their struggles.
In addition to encouraging you, this can sometimes spark some creativity to help you get ‘unstuck’ from your current situation.
Keep encouraging messages in front of you regularly as reminders that you can do this, you will get through your circumstances and better days are ahead.
8. Take Care of Yourself
As important as it is to take care of our minds and spirits during this time, it is equally important to take care of our bodies. Allowing yourself to become run down or worn out from lack of sleep or poor eating habits only makes your situation worse.
You cannot make confident decisions or have a positive life outlook when you’re exhausted or sick. Make the effort to get an adequate amount of sleep, eat right, move your body through physical exercise and do things that you enjoy.
Spend time in the park, at the beach or with friends, drink your favorite tea, watch a good movie. You’ll be much better equipped to get out of the place you’re in when you have the physical strength and clarity to do so.
9. Avoid Damaging Habits
This ties in closely to the last point – stay away from activities and habits that are not beneficial to you. It’s tempting to reach for another glass of wine or an extra sleeping pill to help us “relax” when we are struggling.
But when this becomes routine, you’re only setting yourself up for more problems. Temporary relief or escape will not solve a permanent problem and may cause you to make wrong decisions that can affect you far into the future.
Keep your lifestyle in check and avoid regret.
10. Ask for Help
I hate to be the one to tell you, but…you’re not Wonder Woman. You can’t, and don’t have to do it all by yourself.
If there are good people around you that can help you, by all means, ask!
Whether it’s child care for a few hours to let you get away and clear your mind or run necessary errands, or enlisting a friend with expertise in an area that can help you right now, don’t be afraid to turn to those around you for help.
We all need it from time to time and it doesn’t mean you’re weak or incapable – it just means you’re human. And that’s okay.
11. Help Someone Else
It seems a little illogical, but helping others when you are in need of help can be very therapeutic. For one, it gets our minds off ourselves for a while, which can be a welcome relief. Plus, it just makes you feel good.
Plus, it just makes you feel good.
Volunteer at a church or shelter, donate to a local fundraiser, take a single mom’s kids out for ice cream – it doesn’t have to be a monumental task to make a real difference.
Being involved in the lives of others helps us realize that there are so many people with so many different kinds of problems and needs.
Doing good for others creates a connection with humanity that strengthens us by instilling or reinforcing a greater sense of community and goodwill.
And, it activates the principle of sowing and reaping – when you help others, help often comes back to you.
12. Get Away
If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, especially to the point of indecision or paralyzed thoughts or actions, it can help to take time and just get away.
It doesn’t have to be for a month (although that might be nice), but sometimes just a few hours in a different place can help clear your mind enough to get back on track.
Go for a drive, to a park, maybe overnight in a nearby town.
(When I was a kid and my mother would get stressed from her work, we would often escape on weekend “trips”. People would think we’d left town, but we were actually checked into the local motel just 10 minutes from home. Mom would enjoy a few days of rest, and we kids played, stayed in the pool and thought we were on a great adventure.)
Find a peaceful, favorite place and focus on the surroundings there; get all you can from it and do your best to put aside your current situation – temporarily.
Allow your mind and body to relax. This is not a denial of reality, just a small break from it to refresh and renew your mind and senses.
13. You’re Not Alone
It’s tempting, when we’re struggling, to feel alone in our circumstances.
And while it may be true that this issue needs to be resolved by you and no one else, you are never completely alone.
There is nothing, NOTHING that is happening to you that hasn’t already happened to someone else.
Find your support system – that circle of trusted friends and family that can rally around you and be there for you.
Even if they can’t help you directly, this support can be invaluable to motivate you and help you find the strength to keep going. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Being stuck in and struggling with a problem or situation is a place that many of us find ourselves at one time or another.
It can discourage even the best of us. But it doesn’t have to be a place where you stay.
Remembering and implementing these considerations can help you pull yourself out of being stuck and take those progressive steps to move forward.
You may be somewhere you don’t want to be right now, but with some effort it won’t be a place where you live, just a temporary place you’re passing through.
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Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.