Going Though A Hard Time? Here Are 8 Practices For Healing, From An Intuitive
Going through a difficult phase in one or more areas of your life is a predictable part of being alive. Just like having an umbrella and rain boots ready for when it eventually storms, it’s good to have some mindfulness tools set aside for when other types of storms hit—like a hard time with your health, finances, career, home, or relationships.
Here are eight tools to help you with just that.
Ask yourself if you are shedding an old layer so something new can be born
While most people aren’t huge snake fans, a snake’s regular shedding of its skin can remind us that we all go through times when something, someone, someplace—or a way of being with ourselves—leaves our life. Hard times are always painful, uncomfortable, and vulnerable, yet they also open the door to healing transformation.
In what ways is a new layer of you, or a new layer of potential and possibility regarding an area of your life, revealing itself? Focus on the healing new habits, people, opportunities, experiences, attitudes, thought patterns, or resources that are appearing in your world as you navigate this hard time.
Just like the snake shedding its skin, hard times have an awkward, in-between worlds quality to them, but we can often already see evidence of something positive being born in our lives, even if it’s very new and fragile.
Lean into simple pleasures, and make them an even bigger part of your day
Hard times can make you feel more alive and aware, because they usually require your full presence. Whether it’s being an attentive caregiver to someone else, for example, or having to stay focused on tending to your own mental, emotional, or physical health more than usual, use this gift of being more present in the moment to savor simple pleasures.
Remind yourself that these simple pleasures are something you can reliably look forward to each day—sipping your favorite tea, smelling your favorite lotion as you rub it into your hands, watching the sunrise in the morning or your favorite time of day from your back porch, listening to a healing story by your favorite novelist before bed, feeling your favorite blanket wrap around you as you dose off at night.
These simple pleasures help balance the energy and remind you that not everything in your life is hard right now.
Pivot, be flexible, and approach things differently
This is something hard times usually force us to do—and grudgingly. While you might not want to approach your finances differently—like having to cancel an exciting vacation, say no to something your child wants and all their friends have, or start watching your bank account daily to make sure you can pay all the bills this month—it’s when we approach things differently that we get different results and give things a chance to improve.
If you used to always spend Saturday afternoons in the park with your mom until she passed away, you will have to approach Saturday afternoons differently. Some days it might feel really nourishing to sit on a park bench and just miss your mom. Yet other days you may sense you need to pivot and be flexible, like listening to a humorous podcast while walking the park, reading a great memoir written by someone who is also grieving while snuggling your pet in the grass, or inviting a good friend to share coffee and a heart-to-heart chat with you on the bench you used to share with your mom.
Hard times make us realize that a new approach is often more healing.
Focus some of your time, energy, and thoughts on an area of your life that’s not hard right now
The hard stuff in our life can take up a lot of space in our heads and hearts. While this is normal and even useful to a degree, as thinking about what’s not working in your life can help you process your emotions and even motivate you to make changes, we all need a break from the tough stuff.
Whether it’s an area of your life you have some control over, or circumstances you don’t have much control over at all, remember that the healing process can be helped along but never rushed.
Part of what gets us through hard times is simply stamina, and connecting with hope, meaning, and joy increases that. Celebrate something in your life that’s good, fulfilling, and makes you feel optimistic. Spend time doing an activity you love, being with someone you love, or thinking about how far you have come in an area of your life. This will give you more emotional stamina to show up for the tough stuff.
Seek out specific support tools tailored for hard times so you’re not going through this alone
Hard times can feel isolating, and that can make what you are facing seem even more challenging. Whether it’s regular appointments with a counselor, a book by an expert on an area of life you are struggling with, or an online support group of people who understand, it’s important that you feel supported by others.
When we’re receiving practical support, it often makes a hard time feel easier to manage emotionally, so feeling frozen or overwhelmed gives way to feeling encouraged, inspired, and proactive.
If you’re dealing with a loss of any kind—like suffering an injury, going through a divorce, experiencing a change in a cherished role or longstanding career, or having someone you love pass away—try my oracle deck Grief, Grace, and Healing for specialized support.
Think back to a hard time in the past you overcame—what helped, and what didn’t?
The value of getting older and having lived through more hard times is learning what’s useful for you during difficult seasons—as well as what self-sabotaging habits you need to avoid.
Patterns of self-sabotage are common for everyone, and we can often identify clues that we’re slipping back into old coping mechanisms that don’t help—only make things harder. When this happens, be gentle with yourself and redirect to a coping skill that has traditionally proved helpful—like slowing down, practicing self-love, reaching out for comfort, or getting lost in a healthy escape like a creative hobby.
Thinking back to hard times you overcame in the past can also help you feel calmer about your current difficulty, put it into larger perspective, and awaken a sense of curiosity about how this situation will evolve and resolve over time.
Connect with your faith
This can be your faith in yourself, your faith in someone who is helping you navigate this hard time, your faith in the inherent goodness and better nature of others, or your faith in a higher power. When going through a hard time, it might simply help to connect with your faith that grace, mercy, and miracles will meet you along the way.
It won’t all be up to you to figure everything out and make things happen—some healing will just magically come to you. Hard times can be an ideal time to reconnect with, explore, and deepen your spiritual practice.
Make sure to entertain best-case and most-likely-case scenarios too
Uncertainty is one of the hardest aspects of a hard time. You might find yourself asking, When will this end? What will life look like afterward?
It’s understandable to entertain worst-case-scenario thinking, as this can help us prepare for a heartbreaking outcome. Although many times the worst-case-scenario doesn’t happen. Sometimes the best-case does, and more often the most-likely scenario plays out—something in the middle between best and worst.
Looking at possible future scenarios can help you prepare for the future, not just emotionally but by informing your action steps. Just make sure to take in the entire landscape of possibilities, and be open to things turning out even better than you imagine or expect.
Tough times are bound to happen in our lives, so knowing how to handle can be a tremendous help. That way, you’ll have the comfort of knowing how to support yourself, making hard times easier to weather—and even discovering the hidden blessings in them.
Tanya Carroll Richardson is a professional intuitive who has given readings to thousands of clients all over the world. She’s the author of nine nonfiction books including Empath Heart, Angel Intuition, Are You an Earth Angel?, and Self-Care for Empaths. Tanya has an annual calendar, A Year of Self-Love, and two oracle decks, Awakening Intuition and Grief, Grace, and Healing.