The days are long but the years are short

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These powerful words were shared with me recently when I was having a moment, in the context of parenting, where the days were feeling really, really long.  It resonated deeply.  While one day may feel quite a marathon, it is simultaneously true that the weeks, months and years appear to be galloping by.

As I've reflected on it, it seems to me that this idea applies to many contexts, not just to parenting.  In life we often face adversity.  There are many times when we may feel that we are surviving, not thriving.  It may be that your work, relationship, finances, family or any other aspect of life is troubling in a way for which there are no quick fixes.  It may be that all you can do is be with your distress and discomfort, and cope as best you can.

In these times, it can be comforting to know that no thought, feeling, or sensation will last indefinately.  This too WILL pass, and your experience of it will change.  You may not always be able to choose what happens to you, or even how things turn out, but you can, given practice, begin to choose your responses.

One option for helping to change the context of what is happening is to change the timeframe over which you are considering it.  You might ask yourself how significant what is happening will feel in 10 years time.  You might try and remember back to what was troubling you 5 years ago, to get a sense of how much just passes into the mists of time. 

Another way of working with your experience of adversity is to reflect on what you most want to remember about now in the future, and focus some time each day on thinking about that.  At the beginning of each day you might capture three things that you appreciate today, right here, right now.  When there are difficult things happening in life, noticing what else is also happening may not come naturally, but can be very helpful.  You may want to write down what you are grateful for, to have as a record in your darker moments.

If your days feel long currently and you want to explore how your experience of them can change, then get in touch.

Go to the profile of Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

I am here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to clients based in Durham. I am UKCP Accredited, BACP Registered, and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists locally. I have worked in private practice, the NHS, and in charitable organisations, with a wide range of clients and conditions.

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