I’m no stranger to the Waiting Game. You know the game I’m talking about, right? The one where you find out some terrible or exciting news and have to wait weeks or even months to find out more information? Or maybe you know something is wrong but you don’t know what yet and all you can do is wait. So you put yourself through mental torture, running a million what-if scenarios in your head, unable to think of anything day in and day out until you finally have the answer.
Believe me, I’ve been there. I’m playing the waiting game right now and it is absolute torture! In the past week, I have gone from my foot hurting a little bit to being unable to sit up for any period of time and losing most of the strength in my foot, toes, and parts of my leg. Though I’m (thankfully!) in the care of good doctors, I still have no idea what’s wrong with me, and watching the strength of my leg slowly waste away is definitely not the most comforting experience.
Though this is probably the worst waiting games that I’ve played yet, it’s not the first time that I’ve been in this situation. Over time, there have been many times where difficult challenges have come and all I could do was wait. So today I wanted to share with you 7 steps to stay sane while waiting, no matter what challenge it is that you may face.
1. Reach Out To Friends And Family
Whether you want to talk about what you’re worried about or you want to talk about literally anything else, talking to others is a great way to get out of your own head. Family and friends can be one of the best resources for comfort, distraction, and a good laugh.
I know that it can be hard to admit that you are struggling to others, and if you don’t feel like you have a good enough connection with anyone in your immediate circle, I encourage you to find support groups and chat forums online with people who are going through similiar challenges to your own. My many online support groups have gotten me through so many challenges in a way that friends and family wouldn’t have been able to
2. Learn Something New
Take a lesson in Origami, master a new video game, or go on youtube and learn how paper is made. Finding a new activity that stimulates your mind is a great way to distract yourself from the worries at hand.
3. Watch A TV Series or Read A Novel
Sometimes the best way to distract yourself from your problems is to escape from reality itself, and how better to do this than to get involved in a new Book or Show, or even with an old one that you love? When I’m dealing with a health problem with no end in sight, entertainment is oftenly escape – and there’s nothing wrong with that! If it is making you happy and helping you cope with your challenges, or if it really is all that you can do at the moment, then it is a good thing to be doing. Of course, all things in moderation. You don’t want to watch movies or even read books all day, or you may just turn into a noodle-brained zombie.
4. Find Ways To Serve Others, No Matter How Small
The Savior taught that “when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.” One of the best things that you can do when you are feeling overwhelmed with your own life is to look outside yourself. Most people naturally want to help others, but it can be hard to know what to do or how to do it, and you may worry that you are too busy to help or that the things you could do wouldn’t make that big of a difference anyway.
I have faced many of these challenges and concerns myself. Right now, it isn’t easy for me to reach out to other people. I spend 99% of my time on the couch at home, and it takes all the energy I have and then some just to go hang out with friends for a few hours or to attend church on Sunday. Still, whenever I am determined to find ways to serve others, and especially when I pray to God to know what to do, the opportunities come. I call friends and family members, send texts to let people know that I’m thinking about them, and share my experiences online, with the hope that I will be able to uplift just one person along the way. These may seem like small things to do, but God has a way of taking small and simple efforts and turning them into something beautiful, and many times I have had people tell me that the phone call or text they received was exactly what they needed.
So get out there and go serve someone! Even if it is as simple as a phone call or even a smile in the hallway, serving other’s will not only lighten other people’s day, it will lighten your own as well!
5. Treat Yourself
Eat your favorite flavor of ice cream, buy a new outfit, get your nails done, or take a walk outside in nature. You deserve to splurge a little and do the things that make you happy during this difficult time!
6. Set Aside Time To Worry and Time To Relax
Worrying is a part of life, and when something bad happens or a change is just around the corner, it’s only natural to spend at least a little time wondering what may happen. For me, I often have to do a lot of research on whatever health problem I’m dealing with on my own, because it is so difficult for me to get proper care without it. I’ve literally taught myself medical language to understand it better, and am known to scour everything from medical journals to blogs to online forums in order to find the information and doctors that I need.
Though all of these resources are wonderful, it’s important to pace yourself with how much you research online. Once I’ve found physicians that I can trust, I try to relax and let them to do their job. Even before them, I’ve learned that it’s important to take breaks from my research and allow myself to relax. So if you find your head spinning from worrying too much about a particular problem, set the problem aside, get out and go have some fun! Take a walk, be with friends and family, and do whatever it takes to reset your mind. Relaxing when there is a problem to be solved is one of the hardest things to do, but it is so important to living a happy, balanced life!
7. Give The Rest To God
While traveling on the sea, Jesus and His Disciples found themselves in the middle of a great storm. Great waves crest over and into their boat, and a watery grave threatened to overtake the disciples. Yet, in spite of their peril, Jesus was sleeping through the storm! How could he be sleeping during their time of need? Desperate for help, the disciples shook Jesus awake shouting, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”
Many times in life, you may feel as if the Savior is sleeping through the storms of your life. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt that God was absent at the very moment that I needed him the most. But if you are following God and putting your trust in him, though the ship be moments from tipping over, God will not allow you to sink. He will rescue you and say unto the storm “Peace, be still.”
When any trial comes your way, it is important to do all that you can to prepare, but at some point you will have to put your trust in God. You will have to give control to Him, and “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not to thine own understanding.” Trusting in God isn’t easy to do, but I know that doing so will make your journey easier and give you peace along the way.
What do you do to keep from going crazy during difficult times? I would love to hear what helps you in the comments below!