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Moving Away from Discouragement With Encouragement

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The other day…. I had the worst afternoon.  Discouragement hit me like a big truck and stripped me down to a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and exhaustion.  I don’t know what brought this on, really, but it was Friday afternoon…. and I am always so exhausted on Fridays.  Or, it could be a combination of lots of things – hormones, middle age, exhaustion …. Or just life itself!

But, then I realized when we are stripped down to our core, everything usually seems worse than it really is!   The good news about discouragement is – there is usually no other place to go BUT UP! 

Later that same day, my daughter and son-in-law came by with my new grandson, and my husband came home from work.  We got takeout food, played with the baby and had a nice time.  I got a lot of sleep that night, and like the old saying goes “things looked better in the morning”. 

Conrad1

But discouragement can creep in quietly, like a thief in the night, and when we get to a place of being exhausted, it overwhelms us. 

Often I have seen the young mother with kids tied to her coattail, not able to have a moment to herself.  I have been her … overtired and thinking, what’s the point?  Is this really worth it?  But then, many years later, as our children walks across that stage to get their college diploma with a smile on their faces (and tears running down ours) …  we realize – it WAS worth it! 

Stressed out mother in kitchen with her babies

And the “empty nester” with extra time on her hands and may wonder, “Now what?”  A quiet house, early retirement and nothing to do!  Discouragement sets in… but don’t let it!  Wow, think of all the fun things you can do now!  Take that photography class you have always wanted to take, go volunteer, take a girls’ weekend escape with your best friends!

Senior Woman Sitting At Outdoor Table Painting Landscape

This discouragement is a common but unfortunate place to be … and it happens to us all at different times, in different seasons in our lives, for different length of times.

I hope some of these tips that have helped me get through discouragement might also help you:

  • Get enough rest and sleep.  I find things really do look brighter in the morning…. after I have had a good night’s sleep.
  • Get some fresh air and move. Sit outside with an iced tea, or walk your dog through the neighborhood.  Just getting some sunlight – good ol’ Vitamin D – is so energizing and really makes me feel better. 
  • Talk to an encouraging mentor I have found reaching out and talking with someone I know will understand, and that I look up to, really helps.  We grab a cup of coffee and talk things through.
  • Give to others. In giving, we are receiving, and it is such a great reward.  It makes us feel worthwhile right down to our core, and we can begin feeling good about ourselves. 
  • Stop Complaining. Complaining is not a solution!  I sometimes get caught in this, and the I try not to complain – it is really self-destructive, and in the long run, it just makes things worse.
  • Take one tiny step towards progress. I find setting some small goals helps me get a “fresh vision” of what I am trying to accomplish or what I really want my life to become.  If we are dissatisfied with our lives, this helps us move towards where we want to be in the future.  Where do we see ourselves in a year from now?  In five years from now? 

sun1

Discouragement can be overwhelming … but this too shall pass.  Stay in hope! The last chapter of our story – our lives – hasn’t been written yet.  So each of us needs to choose how the rest of our story will read!

Be encouraged!

~Clare

 

Author
Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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20 Comments

  • Amanda says:

    Great post! Talking to a mentor always helps me tremendously!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, having someone to talk to always helps me too, – my sister, a dear friend or someone who is every wise and experienced! Thanks for sharing!

  • Wow.. What a wonderful writeup! I wish it brings hope into many more lives ☺

  • candy says:

    All great advice. I like to look around when I am having a pity party. Somebody is always worse off then me. I rethink, get up, get moving and sometimes family and friends are the inspiration.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, me too – there is always something to be thankful for… and yes, always someone that is worse off than us! I try to remember that, too, but thank you for sharing that great reminder!

  • Karen Dowd-Hansen says:

    Thank you Clare! Yes, I have often been discouraged lately – too tired, too much to do, not even knowing what the future holds. It is good to remember that we all go through these times, and it does help to go out and give to others. To actually listen to my patients and respond to their needs, rather than to just go through the motions is one thing I have been trying to work on. So many people can be helped with just a few minutes of our time or just a smile. Before you know it, you are feeling so much lighter and happier!
    Thanks for the encouragement 😀

    • Clare says:

      I know personally you are such a giver, Karen…. but you have a lot going on right now – and you must be so so tired! And being overtired and not getting enough rest, I know for me oftentimes makes me discouraged! Thanks for sharing!

  • Chris Carter says:

    Ah… reading this really hit home for me. I battle discouragement SO often. It is sometimes debilitating for me, whether it’s my physical ailments or work issues or self imposed judgment- it can truly steal my joy.

    I love your suggestions. I’m comforted to know I’m not alone in those messy days. <3

    • Clare says:

      Yes, you are surely not alone…. many of us battle discouragement! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  • Awesome post! I love your optimism and vibe. Please keep it up!

    • Clare says:

      Thanks so much Stargazer! Yes, it helps to try to be positive…. although I am challenged by discouragement, too, oftentimes!

  • Great post! I’d love to get involved with charities and causes I believe in. So important to give back.

    • Clare says:

      It is important to give back, I think, however, there are different “seasons” in our lives I think, too. Glad you liked the post!

  • Pam says:

    Holding a baby always helps to put things in perspective. For some reason when I hold a baby All Things Are Right With The World! ❤️?❤️

  • Brittany says:

    Great tips! And your little one is so cute!

    • Clare says:

      Thank you – this is Conrad – my first grand baby! He is under 4 months old but he is the light of our life! 🙂

  • Ceil says:

    Hi Clare! Boy, is this a timely post for me. My daughter and her family just left after staying here for almost a week. They have three children ages 4, 2. and seven months. Phew! It was like a circus around here. How do they do it?
    As you said, we’ve all been there, but being good to yourself really helps boost you up. We cooked and got take out, babysat so they could go out for lunch without the kids…small things, but hopefully were a nice, uplifting little break!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    • Clare says:

      Wow wow – Ceil! You had a houseful and your hands full! 🙂 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!!!! Now…. you need some rest! 🙂

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