The Blogger Herself

The Blogger Herself

Saturday, July 22, 2017

5 tools For Overcoming Discouragement

Summer used to be my favorite season.  Honestly, it still is in many ways  I always loved the cookouts, the ball games, the ice cream.  The day trips, vacations, The late nights, the sleeping in.  Summers past I loved reading by a pool.  The heat was a friendly reprieve from cold or rain of winter or fall.  As I get older though my acne is often triggered by heat  Last summer I was still in survival mode learning how to embrace life without mom. Friends went truly out of their way to plan outings and such over the last 2 years, and I am so thankful.  Now though I have learned to create my own meaningful summer. on days when I have no plans or responsibilities to handle.  There are moments where I will look at friends summer vacations on Facebook, and think wow I miss that.  As an adult in need of physical care, I have only certain hours for outings and so in some ways, my time is very structured.  I have always been a person who thrived on the structure in the past, but in the summer I find myself a bit resentful of it.       Recently, I have discovered some ways to offset discouragement which is a temptation I must guard against regularly. Nothing can hinder embracing the Sunsets of our lives like discouragement.     One definition for discouragement is:  to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit. find it I'm hopeful this will be helpful to someone, and you will share your strategies for fighting seasons of discouragement.  I know some people face this fight more frequent than others.  Others battle alone inside their minds and hearts, never admitting the struggle, because they can't stand the possibility of the perception of being "labeled as weak.  Yeah I know I hear you, but we can't fix something if we never see or admit a problem exists.  Here is the truth most of us are prone discouragement at some point.     It could be discouragement from a job loss, broken marriage, betrayal from a friend, A disappointing setback, or just wear and tear of the daily grind.  How can we fight against something so invisible, still so real and present?  Here are simple tools five which seems to be working for me. 

1. Find something to show gratitude for.  Big or small and write it down. If you pray recall and dwell on the items listed.  Look back at the record often, and express gratitude."Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thess. 518  I will never forget when one of my favorite authors Jennifer Rothschild wrote, "God does not say be thankful for all our circumstances, but IN THESE.  I'm not thankful for obstacles or tragedy, but in it with time and practice in a lot of cases I can find something that evokes gratitude in a situation, often not right away but in hindsight  

2. Look for the hidden joys in the common places.  Every time this friend of mine washes dishes she dials my number.  As much as this loves me, I'm pretty sure she does not enjoy washing dishes, so talking on the phone makes time pass faster and serves hopefully as a pleasant distraction.  For me, it is process of dressing daily, because it can wear my out, the constant turning, pulling and tugging so I sometimes turn on music and remind myself how blessed I am to have nice clothes, and caregivers willing dress me.  I haven't always done so, but recently found it Col. 3:23 encouraging to focus on this.
3.  Help others even in a seemingly small way, because this will encourage you as much or more than others.  Send a card, buy a gift, say a prayer, Listen to someone who needs your ear.  Meet a need. Phil. 2:4
4 Take action despite feelings of discouragement.  Feelings are real, but not always accurate.  This is hard, but sometimes action is needed before feelings follow.
5. Remember past joys, but don't live in these.  Press forward.  Phil. 3:14