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How to Move Forward When Times Are Tough

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

Moving forward when times are tough

It is very challenging to move forward when times are tough. No matter what the problem is, the stress and anxiety caused by it can take a heavy toll on your health, mood and overall perception of life.

You might feel overwhelmed and devoid of the energy to do anything. You might feel powerless and feel like nothing's under your control.

While you can't run away and hide from this adversity, you can follow certain ways to help you cope with the turbulent life events or changes you're facing right now.

It is really hard to stay positive in times like this and the "stay positive' advice doesn't help much. So let's look at some things that help one move forward.

5 Ways to Move Forward When Times Are Tough

Here are 5 ways to move forward:

Embrace Your Emotions

Embrace your emotions

We sometimes feel like putting on a brave front and ignoring our emotions is the best way to move forward. However, ignoring your emotions won't make them non-existent and trying to suppress them would only increase your stress.

It's natural to feel sad, angry. etc when facing a life-changing event. So what can you do? Accept that your emotions are valid and it's not wrong to feel that way. Embrace your emotions and give yourself enough time to process these emotions.

Focus on What You Can Control

Focus on what you can control

Life is unpredictable and one can never have complete control over it. Hence, trying to control everything is a futile exercise. So instead of crying over things that are uncontrollable, it is better to focus on the things that you can control.

Here's a small exercise that can help you separate the things that are controllable from the uncontrollable ones so you can focus on the controllable factors.

Take a piece of paper and draw two columns. In one column, list out the things that are out of your control and in the other column write down the things that can be controlled. Now, focus only on the controllable factors and take steps to move forward.

Practice Self-Care


Self-care is very important, especially during tough times.

Being constantly stressed can cause various healthSelf-care doesn't have to be a ten-step skin-care routine or relaxing in a bathtub.

It can be as simple as taking a walk or taking a shower.

Prioritise your health and mental well-being. If you're feeling completely drained, take small steps.

Meditation, exercising, etc are very helpful. Even dancing to your favourite song can help. It helps you take your mind off the stressful issue at hand for a few minutes or hours.

Listen to Your Body

Listen to your body

It isn't possible to function normally when going through a stressful life event. So cut yourself some slack and don't be too hard on yourself for not being able to function like you used to. Listen to your body. What does it need? More food? More sleep?

Be more compassionate to your body and don't beat yourself up for not being productive. Provide your body with whatever it requires at this stage and you will come back with renewed energy to face your problems and move forward.

Find Support

Find support

Some think that asking for help or support is a sign of weakness but it's the opposite. Asking for help or support when you need it is a sign of strength.

The people you surround yourself with have a major impact on you and your mood. Staying connected to your family, friends, etc. can help reduce stress.

Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to our woes. Your friends and family will be willing to listen to your worries, feelings, fears etc., without any judgement.

Apart from giving you a shoulder to cry on, they can also give you advice, information, tangible assistance, guidance, etc. They can also help uplift your mood when you're feeling down.


If you're going through a hard time, hang in there. Believe that you've got this. Trust that this too shall pass. Don't be ashamed to seek help if you're struggling a lot. I hope the above-mentioned strategies will help you move forward during this trying time. Here's an excerpt from Edgar A. Guest's poem Keep Going to motivate you to keep going forward:

"Even hope may seem but futile,

When with troubles you’re beset,

But remember you are facing

Just what other men have met.

You may fail, but fall still fighting;

Don’t give up, whate’er you do;

Eyes front, head high to the finish.

See it through!"

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Sherrymon Raju
Sherrymon Raju

Thank you I needed to hear this

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