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There’s no denying that we all face hardships in our lives once in a while. That’s just the circle of life, and we can’t really avoid the various seasons of change and growth. I have been experiencing one of these difficult seasons myself lately, and I thought that perhaps putting my thoughts on the blog would help me sort out my feelings, as well as encourage those of you who are experiencing a season of hardship as well.

Unfortunately, life isn’t always sunshine, rainbows and butterflies. Life is a beautiful mess of happy moments mixed with discouraging rough patches that challenge us, tear us apart, and ultimately, shape and change us. Sometimes it is comforting knowing that every person in the world struggles from time to time. I think that we can use this knowledge to build one another up during these difficult times.

Ugh, I’ve had this post in my drafts for a lonnng time. Lately, I’ve been yearning to keep my life more private than public, even though I’m a blogger. I used to have no problem sharing my life happenings and my vulnerabilities with you all, but I just haven’t felt like doing so in the past few months. I do feel like part of me is changing, and although I still love blogging, I don’t always feel like baring my heart and soul. So excuse me if today’s post seems scattered. I’m trying to hold it all together. But oh crap, the tears are already flowing as I type! Ughhhh I’m just a hot mess today, guys.

When you just can’t catch a break //

I’ve never been one to handle my stress and anxiety well. Maybe on the outside it seems that I have it all together, but it’s a constant battle on the inside to work through my thoughts. I’ve shared these struggles from time to time previously on my blog and Instagram, but especially in the past six months, I just can’t seem to get ahold of my stress, or my life. And today, I’m giving myself permission to share these struggles with you, so you can take something from my thoughts. Why did I write this post? I realized last week that I hit my rock bottom. I won’t get into everything that happened, but I pretty much realized that I needed to change some things, so I thought writing this would help.

Most of you know that I started my counseling career in August, and although I truly love my job and am very thankful for the opportunity, I am still working through the kinks of learning the position, handling the high-demand stress of the job, and feeling confident in my abilities. For the past few months I was balancing the new job, grad school, and wedding planning, and it was very overwhelming. When I graduated in December, we left for our honeymoon shortly after, and I was SO looking forward to relaxing and celebrating the fact that I survived the most busy season of my life.

……and then, that’s when I broke my ankle….on the first night of our honeymoon. When we got back to the States, my surgeon told me it was a clean break to my fibula and that post surgery, it would heal quickly. He told me I could potentially be walking within a few days. Unfortunately, upon opening up the wound, he found that my ligaments in the ankle were all torn as well, resulting in a sprain, thus a longer recovery time. I haven’t been able to walk or drive (of course, it’s my right foot) for the past four weeks, and I’m not even half way through the recovery time. My entire right leg is like a dead beat. I lost all my muscle and the scar is about 6 inches long. I guess that right there freaked me out, because I’ve always been a very healthy person. It’s likely going to take a few more weeks until I can walk again with a crutch, and even longer for me to get back into being physically active. Most of you know that I’m a very active person who is fueled by productivity, so it’s been extremely frustrating just laying around for the past few weeks, not being able to do anything. I’ve been feeling like such a deadbeat, and it’s been putting strain on our marriage as well, with my husband having to drive me to work and do most of the things I’m not able to do. It’s been exhausting for the both of us.

It’s not even so much about the injury, though. Even before breaking my ankle, I found myself still feeling stuck in a rut, not feeling like myself. It’s like I had lost all energy to do the things I loved, and I just didn’t really care about anything. I knew it was the stress of everything weighing on me that was causing me to feel this way. I’ve never had that happen before….I WANTED to care….but I just didn’t.

So, that’s where this blog post is coming from today. Hopefully you can use my advice to apply to your own rough season. Are things perhaps not going the way you had envisioned? Are you struggling with the current season of your life? Next, I’m going to share some tips on how to stay positive while riding the course, even through the bumps.

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Know It’s Just a Season 

There is a simple quote I love: “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert H. Schuller. And this is so true. Know that you’re likely through the worst of your situation, and that it can only get better from here. No matter what’s happening in your life- maybe you are a new mom who is struggling with a baby who never sleeps; maybe you just lost your job; maybe your dad just passed away; maybe you are going through a messy divorce. Heck, maybe your life is great on the outside, but you struggle with anxiety on the inside. Keep holding on. It really can only get better from here. You are strong enough to handle anything life throws at you. And you are here, surviving. So you are defying the odds already.

Positive Thoughts = Positive Life 

I wrote about this on my Instagram the other night (I’d love if you would follow along, by the way). It sounds so cliche, but it difficult times, you NEED to do everything you can to stay positive. I promise that if you think dark, negative thoughts, you are going to feel so much worse. No matter how bad things suck, try your best not to complain out loud. I find that if I physically hear myself say negative thoughts out loud, they become my reality. So keep your thoughts healthy.

Reach Out for Help 

It’s much harder to struggle when you are doing it alone. Confide in a trusted loved one and let them know that you need support. It makes all of the difference.

Write about It 

Okay, I’m not going to lie. Writing this blog post right now feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. Whether you write in a journal, or a blog, I would encourage you to put your thoughts to paper. It helps you sort out the clutter in your mind.

Take Care of Yourself- Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually 

This is the one I’ve been struggling with. Self-care, friends. Make sure you care and love yourself through the process. Put healthy foods in your body and exercise. I would do ANYTHING to get some of those endorphins right now on the treadmill. Make sure you aren’t investing all of your time and energy in other people, or in your work. Make sure you do things for yourself, each and every day. Make sure you surround yourself around positive people.

Learn from the Season

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Breaking my ankle at the worst time possible in the thick of my career has taught me the importance of slowing down and shifting my focus on what the most important things in life are – my family, my health, and my emotional wellbeing. All of the other fluff can wait. Whatever challenge you are facing, learn something from it. Create meaning from your experience to carry with you.

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Slowly but surely, I know that things will get better, and I’m taking baby steps to change my perspective. Yesterday I chopped my hair off (I’m excited for you to see it, whenever I’m able to shoot for the blog), and it felt good to get out of the house and do something for myself. I also had my sister over and we were able to hang out, binge eat, shamelessly watch KUWTK, and do all things that sisters do. I needed that.

I hope this post helps those of you who could use a little encouragement. Just remember that you are strong enough to survive any season of your life, no matter how challenging it is. I believe in you, and you should believe in yourself too. Thank you for letting me vent and be vulnerable with you today! As always, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the space below.

Xoxo,

  • I’m so sorry, friend. I know what it feels like to feel depressed and down after something like your accident/surgery; being bedridden or couch locked is horrible for the soul and the mind. This too shall pass, as you’ve said above, but for right now I know it’s hard to feel inspired or good about your situation in life when you have so much piled on you and you feel so low.

    I also know what it feels like to want to pour your heart out, yet also want to keep things private. I feel like I’ve disappeared on my blog over the last year as I’ve skimmed over things going on in my personal life, not ready to talk about them out loud but also wishing I could scream them to anyone who will listen. It’s a hard place to be in, as people who use the friendships we have online as outlets for the stresses in our lives.

    Just know I’m thinking about you and somewhat understand what you’re going through, in both situations. xoxo

    • Girl, thank you so much. I truly appreciate you and your thoughtfulness. Blogging is such a funny thing. When I first started, I wanted to update EVERYONE with everything about my life. But the older I get, the more private I want to keep things. And that is perfectly okay!

      “This too shall pass.” Thank you. I needed to hear those words!!

  • I can so relate to how you’ve been feeling! I haven’t been facing the physical limitations you have from your injury, but this season has been SO hard for me and it feels like I just can’t get ahead of the stress! You’ve shared some great tips here – I especially needed the reminder that this is just a season… it may be one long-ass season, but eventually it’s going to end!! It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re in the middle of it all, but we will get there eventually, I know it!

    • Hahah right!! It’s one long ASS season, but we will get through it. I hope that you find peace and comfort in your struggles, Nina! <3

  • Thank you for sharing. Sounds like you have all the correct advice, but we all know easier said then done. It’s a struggle, we are listening.

    • Thank you so much for reading. <3 I really appreciate it.

  • Amazing! Thank yo so much for you transparency. It motivates. And you never know who needs this. 💕

  • Kristen Jones

    Yas to all of this! Thank you for sharing you heart!! Knowing that it’s only for a season is seriously so encouraging–sometimes it feels like forever, but if we try to focus on the good that is happening around us, it will help us push through! My pastor actually talked about being truly happy in the tough times yesterday, and this was the perfect follow up to continue with what he was saying! <3

    • Aw. I wish I could have listened to him speak! Sometimes it does feel like forever. It’s been 5 weeks with the ankle injury and I don’t even feel close to walking yet. But I’m going to try and stay positive!

  • I love you so much, Chelsea! Thank you for posting this. It really resonated with me, as I have been in a low season myself lately. I needed the reminder that this is just a season. It will pass and I will get through. I am praying for your recovery, girl! And that you can be inspired even during what seems like a dark season. Transparency is where true connection happens and I always find that here and on your socials – through the highs and the lows. So, thank you for that! Here for ya!

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Summer. I always try to be honest, even when it sucks. I’ve been finding lately that I’m struggling….I know that my readers want more “vulnerable” posts, but the truth is that I just don’t feel like opening up as much as I used to on my blog. I feel the need to keep things more private. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer, but I want to be fair to my readers.

      I value our friendship and your insight. Grateful to have you in my corner!

  • Beth Shankle Anderson

    I’m so glad that you went ahead and posted this even though you were a bit reluctant. Everything is a season, you’re right!!

    Beth || http://www.TheStyleBouquet.com

    • Thank you so much, Beth <3

  • Here for you anytime – if you want/need to vent or cry about anything, you know where to find me girlfriend! It WILL get better.

    • You’re a sweetie! Thanks, girl!

  • these are AMAZING tips! I love the last one especially! It’s something I always talk about!!

  • Chelsea, this was so eloquent and beautifully written. When life sucks you can’t just sit there, letting it suck! Talking/complaining/venting to someone, professional or a friend, is so helpful!

    • Venting is always the most helpful for me! Thanks for reading!

  • Nazrin Miah

    I can resonate with every single thing you have written in this post. The part I struggle with the most is asking for the help part. Most times I feel like the entire world is against me I can’t ask anyone for help I can only rely on myself. I can be my biggest enemy but you’re right – difficulty is just a season and its a beautiful way to put it.

    http://www.nmdiaries.com

    • I struggle with asking for help, too. I was almost laughing at myself when I wrote that aspect of the blog post! And I resonate with that. I tend to feel like “no body cares” or “no one will help me.” Maybe they just don’t see that I need help? Or maybe I am not seeing that people ARE indeed helping me.

  • What a great post, thank you for sharing. I too find that writing it out helps a lot, but like you I often struggle to write it out. (Not sure what that’s all about!) We definitely have to respect the seasons of life and recognize and learn from the lessons we are given during the “winter.” All of your tips are right on point from my experience. I’m cheering for you to get unstuck, and look forward to reading about that too!

    • Thank you so much, Jennifer. I really appreciate your kindness and support! I think that if we didn’t have difficult seasons in life, we wouldn’t truly appreciate the beautiful seasons.