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Creative Strategies for Coping in Difficult Times

by Katherine Keyes 6 days ago in coping
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And Overcoming Obstacles

Creative Strategies for Coping in Difficult Times
Photo by Michael Rosner-Hyman on Unsplash

Things get messed up whether you want them or not. Life happens. Chances are, sometimes in your life, you will go through really tough times. It’s in those times when it feels like your life is going downhill, and it can easily become overwhelming.

Whilst you cannot always influence what happens to you, what you can try to do in these challenging situations is to maintain a strong mindset. The below strategies can help you to overcome the challenges you’re facing as they can support you in building strength, resolve and resiliency.

1. Think of Your Life As if It Were a Book

It might feel like bad times will never end. But imagine there is a book with a story of your life. This means that, like in a book, all it sometimes takes is to turn over a new page that breathes new life into a story.

In books, even the worst situations end at some point. In works of fiction, the main characters often overcome challenges and face adversity. They grow stronger because of their experience and what happens to them.

You too will eventually experience a change. Sometimes the change is a paradigm shift. How you perceive the situation and the takeaways. Maybe you will be forced to re-evaluate the status quo, which is not always a bad thing.

2. Think of Yourself as a Hero in a Book

This leads to the fact that when facing hardship, people often tend to feel isolated and singled out as if it was only happening to them. Or perhaps even ashamed that it’s happening to them.

Going back to the book analogy — many a work of fiction teaches us that other people also have troubles. In real life, we are not as aware of other people’s hardships and suffering. Very often we do not get the full picture, unlike in books where a character is literary an open book.

And what can we learn from characters who went through hard times and triumphed in adversity? They often have to overcome severe obstacles and face insurmountable odds to find their happy ending. And don’t we all love stories of the underdog heroes who overcame the impossible? Their struggles are simply another road to victory, albeit in a less straightforward way.

3. Think of Tough Times As the Key Elements of a Good, Dramatic Story

Since you are a hero in a book in a story, imagine that it’s a work of fantastic dramatic storytelling qualities. With tension, surprise, extraordinary characters or character behaviour, plots and subplots, conflict and difficulties.

Kind of like a tragicomedy that you can laugh at and even appreciate for its dramatic qualities. And since you are a character in that dramatic story, what does the character want and desire? Try to outline the character's thoughts, and perhaps that way you discover hidden aspects in yourself and how you should tackle the situation.


Problems have a habit of consuming us, we get too involved and immersed, which makes it difficult to think objectively.

These strategies can assist you in detaching yourself from your problems and in shifting your perspective. So that you can look at your problems through a different lens to make the problem less personal and non-identify. You do not need to identify the “me” in the situation which is happening. It’s just an event that will pass. You can watch it like a storyline in a book, as an observer.

It will allow you to get your head up high, look your problems in the face and say: I challenge you! As a result, you will discover a new stronger self, rise back up and stay up.


About the author

Katherine Keyes

Writing about well-being, self-care and psychology. Occassional poet and fiction writer. Based in Prague. Passionate about coffee, yoga, reading and Toastmasters. Native speaker of Czech, fluent in English (as a second language).

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