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How To Cope During Difficult Times

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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How To Cope During Difficult Times


Life is not all rainbows and sunshine, unfortunately. The hard times will surely come between the good ones. Thus, it is important to know how to cope during difficult times.


Gaining greater perspectives through your actions and seeking professional assistance when you need it are beneficial coping mechanisms that will serve you well time and again. Click To Tweet


Deal With a Loved One’s Problem in a Healthy Manner

You most likely have a family member or friend who is battling an addiction. The addiction not only affects their lives but has a great and lasting impact on your own life, as well. While you have no ability to change the past, you can and should work towards ensuring a healthy future.


You can only do so much to help another person in their relationship with their addiction, however. If you have an alcoholic parent, you have witnessed the daily cycle of dependence and all of the negative energy and actions that flow from that dependence. Know that there is help for them when they are ready and willing to take that step and accept it.


Even though you are not struggling with addiction yourself you still have a front-row enmeshed ticket to witness the entire experience from your own unique perspective. You do not have to continue in that pattern. You can and should seek help to deal with the trauma of what you have lived with in relation to a parent’s addiction. Mental health professionals are specially trained to work with you to achieve clarity and understanding while helping you heal.


Even if you do not know where to go for support, try reaching out to those around you. Talk with trusted adults, school teachers or guidance counselors, coaches, clergy members, friends, and other family members. You deserve to have a healthy and happy life outside of what you have experienced. Ask for mental health support to live the life you deserve.


Watch this video to learn a perspective on the explanation of addiction.


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Find a Purpose

In encouraging you to find a purpose, the intent is not to presume that you currently have no purpose whatsoever. It is to motivate you to find a new purpose. Try new things that will help others. Research shows that when you do good work for entities other than yourself you tend to feel better. You move out of your current zone where you are mired in sad memories and past experiences that have left you feeling less than you want to be.


There is an overabundance of agencies and groups that always need extra help. You can approach finding a new purpose in any way you choose. 


  • Start by considering your interests. Are you enamored by fluffy little kittens and willing to change a litter box or two? If so, volunteering at a local animal rescue group may be a heartwarming option for you.


Perhaps you have a great love of art. Try translating that into volunteering to teach art classes to local youth at a shelter or Boys and Girls Club.


If you routinely pick up trash on your outdoor adventures, transfer those actions into adopting a local park or highway to keep the areas clean.


  • Review your current skill set. If you have a way with spreadsheets, you can offer your assistance to revamp a local non-profit’s antiquating tracking system. They might want assistance with tracking inventory, the number of dogs adopted, or money donated.


Knowing how to create and design an inviting and easy-to-use website is something most volunteer organizations do not have the time or money to invest in. If you enjoy using your expertise for them, it will be a mutually-beneficial arrangement.


Having carpentry or woodworking mastery can be helpful to others. If a local charity needs extra bookcases or shelves for their residents, you can lovingly make them. The sky is the limit to what you can offer to help others.


Support a Loved One

Showing up for others is helpful for you, but sometimes the difficult moment does not happen to you. Instead, it is someone you love who is hurting. It is important to know how to be there for them without filling them with unwanted and unnecessary platitudes. 


If you know your friend well, step in and do what needs to be done. Empty an overflowing garbage can. Walk their dog or change the cat litter. Bring coloring books for their children and sit with them for a while to offer an entertaining distraction. Make food for their children and understand when your friend is not particularly hungry. 


Talk about a loved one who has died instead of making the subject taboo. Honor who they were. Don’t hide away the fact that they existed. Sometimes talking about someone who is no longer living is cathartic. It keeps the memories alive. Appreciate the funny and good times they had together.


Another aspect of being there for someone you love is recognizing when they need help beyond what you are capable of offering them. When their trauma or experiences become too much to bear alone, help is the best answer to their problem. Recognize that they are having difficulty regaining normalcy and encourage them to seek professional assistance from a mental health professional.


Learn some mindfulness and meditation techniques.


No matter what interest you discover or lifestyle you want to live, it helps to have accepts dbt in your toolkit. These techniques help you to avoid stress with healthy and controlled distractions.  


Living your life to the fullest does not mean going on a grand new adventure over and over again. It means living every day with intent and purpose. Living well can encompass binging the latest show while eating popcorn and ice cream if that makes you happy. What it does not include is doing that too many times in a row.


Find activities that bring you peace and joy outside of your current circle. Try new things and help others to keep you balanced and give you perspective. And, when you inevitably find yourself in a situation dealing with things that are beyond your control, know that help is always there for you. Just reach out. You will feel supported and better for taking that step.


For More on Emotional Health
Tackle These Mental Health Drains Today
Tackle These Mental Health Drains Today
How To Ask For Mental Health Support
How To Ask For Mental Health Support


Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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32 thoughts on “How To Cope During Difficult Times”

  1. Thanks a lot for the positive energy and I agree that could be hard and confusing for people to handle matters during tough times. Your insights will help a lot of people. Thanks. – knycx journeying

  2. Thank you for your guide. Not everyone knows how to cope with a difficult situation, especially with the family. Being surrounded who truly care, plus professional help works most of the time.

  3. While I don’t know anyone battling addiction right now (that I know of) I do have family members with other mental health issues right now. It can be hard for them and for us as their family to cope, but it helps to have a path and an idea what to do.

  4. These are great tips and I agree that finding a different purpose is a great way to help cope. For me personally, I have started to look into applying for schools. To see if I can help low income children read and write. Plus, a great way to give back to the community!

    Maureen |

  5. Such a very timely post as the world is dealing with so much uncertainty. This will definitely be a big help to any person in the same condition! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing I have a friend going through a lot and I sent him this post and he said it really helped, I think getting the information from an article soaked in more than us telling him.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. This is going to help so many people. I have gone through some absolutely soul-crushing things in my life, and it can be hard to muddle your way through things like that.

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.