I am so thrilled to welcome Kirri White from Kirri White Coaching to the blog today to share some expert tips on how to support yourself in tough times. We all have to go through bad stuff sometimes but having a few strategies to deal with it can really help.
Kirri is incredibly skilled at helping women. I can’t tell you how much her life coaching sessions have helped me this year. I have also done two online courses with her – both of which were life changing. I highly recommend checking out her fabulous new program (which you can win a spot in). More details at the end of the post!
How to support yourself in tough times
I used to hide my battles from everyone, even those closest to me. Recurring bouts of depression, generalized anxiety, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress…My list of past traumas reads like a piece of fiction, and too often, I interpreted this as meaning that I was a complete failure at life.
But that was then.
Nowadays, I’m deeply relieved that I’ve not experienced a panic attack or a serious bout of depression in almost 5 years. (And if it happens in the future, that’s ok, because I know that I’ve got this!).
Every new day is reason enough to have immense gratitude for my life, even when it feels tough.
Social media fills our newsfeed with messages on how to live our best lives and how to be unstoppable dream chasers – but that can prove challenging when your doubts, fears, and emotions have become entrenched, recurring patterns that keep you stuck and in pain.
So how do you develop inner-resilience that will help you weather any emotional storm?
Here are the some of the most effective ways to support yourself when life gets really tough:
♥ Awareness is everything. You can’t change what you’re not aware of and we all have unhelpful habits that can rear their heads in times of crisis. Do you shut down and isolate yourself? Lash out at those closest to you? Numb out with food or work or shopping? The more adept you can become at identifying and noticing the themes in your experience, the easier it becomes to pinpoint exactly what it is that you wish to change, what you can strengthen and what you’re ready to let go of.
♥ Don’t look for blame. Most of us have a tendency to either blame ourselves, or others, when life throws us a curveball. When you blame yourself, you feel guilty, powerless and worthless. When you blame someone else, you feel angry, out of control and unable to slip back into the driver’s seat. When you’re able to support yourself, you stop looking for blame everywhere and start taking responsibility.
You might ask “What can I do to move through this challenge? What wisdom can I tuck in my back pocket for next time?”
It’s all about having a worst-case scenario plan with a best case-scenario attitude.
♥ Learn how to manage your state and release emotions: There are many effective modalities you can use for managing your state and releasing emotions. The secret lies in finding what works best for you, and then flexing or practicing those skills. Mindfulness, cognitive training, EFT, meditation, learning how to get out of your head and into your body, becoming more fluent in your emotions and being able to meet your own needs, are some of the most effective support tools you can learn and develop.
♥ Prevention is always better than cure. The smallest self-care practices can create the greatest shifts. If you do more to fill your cup, make time for what truly matters reduce your stress and actively invest in your own wellbeing, you will have more ‘money in the bank’ for the times when you’re feeling tapped out, or in despair. Taking exceptional care of yourself means that you are able to prevent yourself from getting stuck in that place of suffering for longer than necessary.
♥ Lean into your sisters for support. There’s a reason why friendships, communities, and tribes exist – because no one can do it alone, and we’re not supposed to! Human beings are wired for belonging and connection. It’s not a weakness to reach out for support; it’s a fundamental need.
The greatest gift isn’t the knowledge and wisdom that can be found in a group of kindred spirits – it’s having a sacred space to share. A space where it becomes apparent that the stuff you spend so much time worrying about is actually stuff that we all carry around at one time or another. And having people bear witness to your growth and your story? Nothing short of transformational.
♥ Self Kindness – Bad things may have happened in your past but you survived! Look back at how you responded and notice what you can be proud of. Find ways to honour and celebrate the woman that you are. Acknowledge that sometimes life feels really hard and you’re doing the best that you can. (This is far more effective than insisting you ‘woman up’ and pull yourself together, and it feels much nicer).
♥ Cultivate courage – Courage doesn’t mean that you always make the right decisions, that life runs smoothly or that you are able to overcome your fears and insecurities in 5 minutes. Courage means that you’re open to learning from your experiences, that you’re willing to explore new ways of meeting your needs and that you never make a bad day mean a bad life.
And finally, the most important piece for navigating tough times more effectively?
Understand that YOU are the greatest ally that you will ever have.
Wholehearted living begins the moment you decide to become her your own best friend – by standing in choice day after day, shifting your perspective on what’s possible and trusting that you will always have your own back, no matter what.
Kirri White has a Masters in Psychology and is a certified life coach, heart-driven mentor, writer, speaker and Master EFT Practitioner.
Inspired by the belief that wholehearted living begins the moment a woman decides to become her own best friend, Kirri supports women in becoming conscious caretakers of their own lives and businesses.
After struggling for years with eating disorders, depression and generalized anxiety, Kirri reclaimed her life, through the modalities of holistic health practices and positive psychology.
She has now helped hundreds of women do the same, through her private coaching and online programmes.