Hope is being able to see that there is a light despite all the darkness. – Desmond Tutu

Unemployment, sickness, financial struggles, loss: we all experience hardship at one point or another. In times of overwhelming uncertainty and struggle, it’s natural to feel discouraged.

But having hope and doing your best to say positive can see you through seemingly impossible situations. Research has shown that people who are hopeful often cope more effectively with obstacles, while more pessimistic individuals tend to shut down.

Curious? Here are a few simple ways to stay hopeful during hard times.

Reach Out To Others

No matter what’s on your mind or causing you struggle, it’s nothing you should have to face alone. Turn to family, friends, or a trusted counselor. Engage in the community around you and create space for meaningful connections.

Express Gratitude

Listing what you’re thankful for may seem difficult when you’re struggling. But there’s always something to be thankful for. Whether it’s your health, your family, or even the sky above, take strength from that which is good and solid.

Be Kind

Kindness not only feels good, it is also good for you. Performing good deeds for others takes your mind off of your troubles and fosters relationships with those around you and in your community. You may even make a difference for someone else who is struggling. 

Take Care of Yourself

Get sleep, eat right, and do activities that restore balance. When you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take breaks and engage in self-care. You can’t foster hope if your body is spent and your mind is flailing.   

Have Goals

Think of something you’d like to work towards. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s meaningful and gives you a sense of purpose. Having a tangible goal will help you get up and face the day, even when all seems pointless. As Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

Ask for Help

Asking for assistance can be scary, but it can also make a world of difference. You may be surprised at the solutions and ideas others can provide. Even if they don’t have the answers, they can give you the help and support you need to make it through a rough time. 

Engage in Meaningful Action

You can’t control everything, but you can control some things. The antidote to despair and anxiety is action. Focus on the things that you can change for the better, no matter how small. Work with what you have one step at a time.

People survive and thrive in all sorts of scenarios, they always have. Take inspiration, knowing that this too shall pass.