HOW TO KEEP GOING WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

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Throughout my life, I have been knocked down more times that I care to mention.  So I know from experience that the most important thing you can do when you fall, or fail, or someone knocks you down, is to get up, brush yourself off get right back on track and move forward gracefully.

But it is so important to make sure you think rationally and plan or revise your plan if necessary.  Don’t act in haste.  This could lead to injury, illness or an even worse situation.  

When the going gets tough, and unfortunately in life, it is not always smooth sailing.  Here are some ways to calm your mind amid the chaos right away.

15 MINUTES JUST FOR YOU (*from the Social Entrepreneur Empowerment Network).

[Find a quiet place for 15 minutes and use this exercise to recenter yourself.

5 minutes of physical activity

Even though you may already have your blood pumping from whatever or whoever it is that tried to knock you down, try to get outside for some running or fast walking around the block.  It will give you a break from the immediate chaos. Separation from the action will help your mind let go of the immediacy of issues. The release of endorphins will lift your mood and begin to break the stress.

4 minutes of gratitude

Now that your body is a little looser, you can start to clear your thoughts. The easiest way to slow down the pace is to remember why you are doing all of this to begin with. Use these minutes to contemplate how grateful you are for the people in your life who support you and add value to your life. Be thankful for good health, good opportunities, and the wonders of the world you live in. You can take a broad approach and make a list, or pick one person and write a note. Send it tomorrow; no need for another task right now.

3 minutes of meditation

Now that you are in a more positive state of body and mind, you can go to work on getting your mind to clear. Meditation is a very effective way of clearing out all the distractions. It can be difficult to quiet your mind but try to find a comfortable quiet place and just sit or lie down and relax and listen to your breath.  A few different approaches  are prayer to quiet outside noise and create an inward focus.  Others cross their legs and hum.  I personally prefer to lie flat in a comfortable position and just breathe.  You can find examples and video guides on YouTube. Either way, make sure it has specific structure that guides you through the process so you have one less thing to think about.

2 minutes of silence

With your mind clear, the last thing you need now is to walk back into the distracting frenzy. Find a quiet place you can sit and desensitize. Wherever you may be, dim the lights, turn off your computer and electronics, put on some noise canceling headphones (or turn on a fan for while noise, and block out all stimuli. Be alone with yourself and focus on being calm. Silence your phone so it won’t disturb you and set the timer for two minutes.  If it’s in vibrate mode in your pocket, it will gently let you know when the two minutes of quiet are over. By now, you should be calm, cool, and clear.

1 minute of deep breathing

After the 2 minutes of silence, set one more minute on the clock. For the next 60 seconds, focus on slow breathing as you bring yourself back to awareness. I find that just breathing deeply will slow everything down. For the rest of the day, if you find things edging out of control, you can simply go to a quiet space and repeat this one-minute breathing exercise, which should settle things down again.

You can repeat this 15 minute ritual as many times as necessary and when you are going through extremely stressful times I recommend it daily.  

Give yourself time before you devise a plan for moving on with your life.]

STICK TO YOUR ROUTINE AND SCHEDULE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

If at all possible carry on your daily routine.  Be sure to get plenty of sleep, eat right and exercise.  Don’t allow yourself to break down completely.  Try to prepare your meals joyfully.  Enjoy the experience by listening to your favorite music.  Create joyful moments in your life to make up for all that is going wrong around you.  Don’t cancel plans unless you absolutely have to.  If you have had plans to go out of town for a family reunion, business trip, whatever, do it.  Don’t cancel.  You need to keep your focus on positive growth, being around positive people, and being constructive.  

CONFIDE IN A TRUSTED FRIEND OR RELATIVE

For me this is easy, I have sisters who I can call on for support when I need them.  I know that they will be there for support and encouragement.  Not in a nasty, spiteful, revenge sort of way but rather in a soothing, calming “I’m here for you” way.  They help me center and help me find the strength I need to stay calm, plan and ultimately move ahead (we’re talking about the big stuff here, not just daily routines).  

THINK, PROCESS, PLAN AND MOVE ON!

Like I said think about the possibilities, make a plan write it down and act on it (take the first step and all the ones that come after).  Life goes on and so will you.  Success is falling down 9 times and getting up 10! (Jon Bon Jovi).  I think this makes 10 for me.

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