Do you feel inundated by bad news coming at you from all sides? The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is spreading and the gushing thousands of feet below the surface has yet to be fully contained; new unemployment figures in the U.S. confirm the dismal private sector job creation that continues to lag; international conflicts rage and at home citizens are divided about immigrants’ rights. World news reflects the tensions you may be feeling in your own relationships. How do you deal with the challenges coming from the rich but often problematic complexity of your family life? Here are some tips for you:
Draw upon your own strength. You will learn more about your capabilities when you are tested by hard times than when everything is going well for you. Resiliency is increased each time you get up and put one foot in front of the other. Bravery comes in many actions – facing an illness, providing for your family, starting a new career – not only on the battlefield. To learn more about identifying your Character Strengths, visit the Authentic Happpiness website and take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. Use the ones that seem to define you – Signature Strengths – to support your progress through tough times.
Just as those in the foxholes feel the honest emotions of fear, anger, pain, guilt, anxiety and loneliness, allow yourself to experience these emotions when they are a part of your life.
Especially if you are a Sandwiched Boomer, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all you have on your plate. Torn between caring for your growing children and aging parents, it’s normal to feel stressed and anxious at times. Don’t blame yourself. Once you are able to acknowledge these feelings, then you can begin the long process of coping with them.
If you remember the fragility and transience of life as you move through it, you will savor each good moment you have. Integrate and reflect on all you have achieved in balancing your work and family with your own needs. Living your life to the fullest is a lasting mark of respect you can pay to your family and to the veterans you honored this week who have sacrificed the innocence of their youth for you.
For some role models of courage, look to the left of this post. When you sign up for our monthly newsletter, Stepping Stones, you will receive a link to a complimentary copy of our ebook, Courage and Lessons Learned. There you’ll find stories of resiliency and practical strategies for success in difficult times.