Read This When Life Feels Hard

These ideas help me. Maybe they’ll help you, too.

Linda Smith
Aug 14 · 4 min read

Some days, life just feels hard.

We all know the feeling. World events feel overwhelming, we have a fallout with a friend, we get some unexpected bad news that stops us in our tracks. Something triggers us, and it’s difficult to regain our footing.

Or maybe life feels hard and it’s difficult to pinpoint a reason. You wake up one morning and things just feel heavier than they did the day before.

Inevitably, life is a mixture of ups and downs. It’s part of the human condition. Our emotions are a spectrum. Some days are good, some days are not.

If we’re lucky, most of our days fall somewhere in between, hopefully even leaning towards the good. Most days we feel a mix of emotions, delight and sadness, wonder and worry, and the average of these feelings puts us somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

Sometimes, even inevitably, though, life simply feels hard. It may last only a few hours, it may last much longer. Your world seems to shrink to yourself and these suffocating emotions that seem to have no end in sight.

You wonder how you ever felt otherwise.

You wonder if you’ll ever feel happiness again.


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Leaning In

Whatever the cause, non-cause, or trigger for your hard day, know that it’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. Really. Truly.

Blame and guilt are never productive ways forward. Instead, here are a few things that give me comfort when I’m having a day that simply feels heavy.

In good company

Whether you’re currently in this space or not, it may be comforting to know you’re not alone.

No matter what you see on your friends’ shiny and flawless social media feeds, every single one of us feels low at times. It’s part and parcel of being human.

We rarely share (or see others share) this part of the human experience because it can feel vulnerable. It’s much easier to share pictures of our new highlights or artsy cappuccino than to openly discuss our hurts and our low points.

Never forget this, though: everyone, no matter how rich, happy or successful they appear, has bad days. Everyone has days where life seems hard and overwhelming. You can’t be human and escape it. It’s inevitable.

Worth hurting for

“Hey listen, it’s alright, feeling a little heartbroken now and then is a good thing. It’s how you know you still care. It’s how you know there are things for you in this world that still matter, that are worth hurting for.” -Beau Taplin, Reminder

I love these lines from Beau Taplin. When your day is hard and your heart feels heavy, what a gift this quote is.

Feeling grateful for that heavy heart, because it’s proof you still care, proof there are things in your life worth hurting for is so valuable. It may not be easy, necessarily, but it’s so much better than the alternative.

Because when we get to the point where are hearts are calloused, where we’re numb to the pain in our lives and in the world in general, we’re severely cutting ourselves off from our essential humanness.

Shards of beauty

“Maybe it’s not about having a beautiful day, but about finding beautiful moments. Maybe a whole day is just too much to ask. I could choose to believe that in every day, in all things, no matter how dark and ugly, there are shards of beauty if I look for them.” ― Anna White, Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith

Amidst the pain and sadness of life, it can help to find a ray of sunshine among the clouds.

This isn’t about jollying away the bad mood. It’s about accepting and sitting with your feelings, and at the same time, finding something beautiful, something to lift your spirits among the ruins.

A smile from a stranger. A hug from a child. An unexpected call or text from a friend.

Sometimes, a beautiful moment or kind gesture is enough. It may not turn your mood around, but may simply give you a sliver of hope.

And sometimes that’s enough.


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Linda Smith

Written by

owner at burlap+blue | creative | coffee-enthusiast | Enneagram 9 | www.burlapandblue.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +540K people. Follow to join our community.

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