Every good story is full of conflict. I mean, they would be pretty boring without some sort of challenge, right? The characters can’t just get from point A to point B without dealing with some sort of obstacle that threatened their peace – maybe even putting them head-to-head against their greatest enemy. But when it comes to real life, I’m sure we can all agree that we would love to avoid any and all challenges.
However, fate is tricky and likes to throw challenges our way when we least expect it (or want it). And while we aren’t able to choose the challenges that we face, we can usually control how we deal with them or respond to them.
The start of 2023 has been more than a bit of an adventure for me, so I wanted to take this time to reflect on 3 obstacles I’ve faced or seen others dealing with – and how you can prepare yourself to get through them.
Dealing with Layoffs at Work
Logging into LinkedIn always leaves me a little drained nowadays. For months, it’s been one layoff post after another as I scrolled through my feed. And then in January, I got the sad news myself – I was part of the latest reduction in force at my company. And with even more companies having layoffs in March, there are more people entering the job market to search for their next gig. Meanwhile, rent and other bills are due for all of these job hunters while prices on everyday items have increased due to inflation. It’s stressful for anyone.
While a priority is to start looking for a new job, it’s also important to try to not let the situation break you down. It can be more than disappointing to see a rejection – or worse, to get no response at all – when you’re worried about paying bills. Make sure to focus on your mental health and take time during the week to decompress. For me, taking some time to read, playing video games, or doing an at home spa day at the end of the week helped me relax when I first started looking for a new job.
And if you are looking for a new job, I recommend checking out this list by The Balance of the best job search websites in 2023, as well as this roundup from Career Sherpa of some of the best job search tools that can get you through the job hunt, from job tracking to organizational tools to interview practice tools. Don’t forget that LinkedIn is a useful tool for networking with others and connecting with recruiters or hiring managers that are filling a role you are interested in.
Cutting Off People Who No Longer Need to Be in Your Life
Growing up, I’ve learned that not everyone is going to stay in my life – and that’s okay. In fact, we’re all going to deal with a friend breakup at some point in our life. Sometimes friends just drift apart with no explanation and no goodbye. Sometimes hurtful words are said and you get to learn more about that person with how they treat you in the moment. If you have people in your life that disrespect you again and again, then no matter how painful it is, it’s time to cut them off to protect your peace. In 2023, we’re taking drama out of the plot of our lives and and turning the page to a new chapter that allows us to focus on happiness.
In the end, no matter how the friend breakup happens, it will hurt and you may question why it happened at all. You’re allowed to feel sad about it – just don’t let it destroy you. Make sure to focus on your mental health. Take time to practice self-care, talk to others who you trust (be it a friend, family member, or therapist), and try to stay active by just getting out of the house or exercising. Find a Spotify playlist that you can listen to on repeat.
Taking Care of Your Health from Aches and Pains to the Cold
This doesn’t really need to be said after the past several years of COVID, but it’s important to address your health and get ahead of anything that could affect your day-to-day life. A main character won’t save the world if they can’t get out of bed because they’re really sick. Make sure to see a doctor if you’re feeling ill or have any aches or pains that are affecting your day-to-day activities. And the part that might feel like the hardest thing to do – take time off of work if you don’t feel well. Even if you work remotely. It doesn’t matter if you work in an office or at home, if you don’t rest to let your body to get better, you might end up feeling worse (something I wish I would have cared about more when I first entered the workforce in my 20s).
While this list could go on and on, I don’t want to share a long round-up of obstacles with not enough information on how to address the problem. I plan to create an ongoing series of challenges that characters and real people face, and share information on how to tackle them. So stay tuned for more – hopefully coming soon!