5 ways to make the best out of a bad situation

By Elke

We probably all imagined 2020 to be somewhat different. 

Saving money, traveling, discovering new countries, being free. That didn’t quite work out as planned. Many of us had to interrupt their travels or couldn’t even begin their long-awaited trip. Others have lost jobs and are faced with completely new challenges.

COVID-19 has provided us with many surprises in 2020 that nobody would have ever foreseen. Nobody knows how life will go on, but it will.

Can anything good come out of all this? Is the situation I find myself in really as bad or can I even use the space to grow? This article is about opportunities and rays of hope in the middle of a crisis and about how you can still make the best of a bad situation.

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger but recognize the opportunity.” – John F. Kennedy

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5 ways to make the best out of a bad situation

1. Put it in perspective

2. Reflect on past crises

3. Accept the situation

4. Focus on what you have

5. Embrace change

1. Put it in perspective

You often can’t prepare for a bad situation. It comes around the corner without warning and turns the familiar structure of your life upside down. The new reality can often seem overwhelming and threatening.

But is the situation really that bad?

Consider the ways in which the situation is not as bad as it may seem and more importantly, remind yourself that it will pass. We tend to classify situations as threatening because they are new, unfamiliar or unexpected and we are confronted with new challenges. 

But if you take a step back and look at the big picture, what is the significance of the problem? What’s the worst thing that could happen as a result of your current situation? Will it still matter in three, five or ten years?

2. Reflect on past crises

Try to remember a situation in your life where you thought “This is the end of the world.” It could be a hard time you had to go through as a child or even your first break-up. Probably many of us have also experienced “end-of-the-world-moments” while traveling.

How did it feel back then? What does it feel like now, when you put yourself back into the situation mentally? As you look back, does it still seem such a big deal? Not so much, probably. Wouldn’t it be relieving if we could look at our problems the same way in the present?

Read more: 4 reasons why traveling can make you better

3. Accept the situation

We always want to have control over ourselves and our lives. We want to be in control of our bodies, our health, our jobs, our relationships and even our emotions. And when a situation slips out of our control, we feel like we have failed.

This is quite normal — but be aware that you prolong your mental and physical suffering when you resist change. You put your energy into resistance instead of directing it towards potential. You cannot control and influence everything in life and there will always be some situations that are ‘out of your hands.’

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