How To Grow Through Challenging Times And When To Ask For Help

How To Grow Through Challenging Times And When To Ask For Help

February 28, 2024

The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp

Life is a series of moments- some that feel wonderful and positive and some that are challenging. Along the way, our resilience may be tested. This is normal and can even be healthy, as we can develop coping strategies and tools to grow, thrive, and blossom.

This guide explores some common life challenges that many people face. Hopefully, if you are also experiencing some of these concerns, you’ll see that you are not alone. This post will also discuss strategies for navigating times that can feel difficult.

Healing and growing is a journey; we owe it to ourselves to prioritize our well-being so we can be happy and show up strong for our loved ones.

Common Life Challenges

Despite what we see on social media and in parenting or lifestyle magazines, no one has a perfect life. Luckily, happiness is not dependent on that. It’s possible to live a satisfying and fulfilling life even when stress mounts and challenges arise.

The key to overcoming most obstacles is to stay in touch with ourselves, with honesty and love. Judgment has no place here, it is rarely, if ever, helpful. It’s also helpful to be willing to be vulnerable, open, honest, and ask for help from others. These may be supportive people in our lives or professionals.

How To Grow Through Challenging Times And When To Ask For Help

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders affect people of all genders, lifestyles, socioeconomic status, and ages. They take various forms but each affects an individual’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

Eating disorders span beyond anorexia nervosa and binge eating. Any disrupted relationship with the food we require for nourishment can be a sign to ask for some help.

Some people feel anxiety about eating. They may worry about food choices or volume. You might find yourself considering some foods ‘’good’’ while others are ‘’bad’’ and even sometimes feel obsessive.

Signs and symptoms like these and extreme weight loss, anxiety or obsessive feelings about exercise, or feeling unable to eat certain foods can also be indications that some healing could help.

Here is a more comprehensive list of eating disorder symptoms, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

  • Extremely restricted eating
  • Extreme thinness (emaciation)
  • A relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted body image, a self-esteem that is heavily influenced by perceptions of body weight and shape, or a denial of the seriousness of low body weight
  • Thinning of the bones (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
  • Mild anemia and muscle wasting and weakness
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Dry and yellowish skin
  • Growth of fine hair all over the body (lanugo)
  • Severe constipation
  • Drop in internal body temperature, causing a person to feel cold all the time
  • Lethargy, sluggishness, or feeling tired all the time
  • Infertility
  • Chronically inflamed and sore throat
  • Swollen salivary glands in the neck and jaw area
  • Worn tooth enamel and increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth as a result of exposure to stomach acid
  • Acid reflux disorder and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse
  • Severe dehydration from purging of fluids
  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in a specific amount of time, such as a 2-hour period
  • Eating even when you’re full or not hungry
  • Eating fast during binge episodes
  • Eating until you’re uncomfortably full
  • Eating alone or in secret to avoid embarrassment
  • Feeling distressed, ashamed, or guilty about your eating
  • Frequently dieting, possibly without weight loss
  • Dramatic restriction of types or amount of food eaten
  • Lack of appetite or interest in food
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Upset stomach, abdominal pain, or other gastrointestinal issues with no other known cause
  • Limited range of preferred foods that becomes even more limited (“picky eating” that gets progressively worse)

If you feel you may be experiencing a challenging relationship with food, reach out for help. Professional guidance and therapy can provide valuable resources for people with concerns or challenges around food.

Although some people may be able to heal their relationship with food on their own, eating disorders generally require some professional intervention.

Should I Find An Eating Disorder Therapist Near Me

How To Grow Through Challenging Times And When To Ask For Help


Misuse of substances that alter consciousness can turn into addiction. Alcohol, prescription medication, or non-prescription drugs can get out of hand quickly. If you are experiencing negative consequences in your life as a result of the misuse of a substance, you may need addiction treatment.

This does not make you a bad person and it is not a failure. Our relationship with addictive substances is complex and they affect everyone in different ways.

Many underlying factors mean that personalized treatment approaches are often necessary.

Addiction treatment may be one-on-one, in group settings, in a rehabilitation facility, or conducted on an outpatient basis.

Some symptoms of addiction may include:

  • Loss of control over your actions.
  • Intense cravings for a substance, or
  • Changes in behavior especially surrounding access to the substance.

Consulting with trusted loved ones and a professional counselor or therapist may help you identify if substance misuse is creating stress in your life.

Relationship Challenges

Satisfying relationships are good for our health, but when things don’t feel right, it can be stressful.

Common relationship challenges may hinge on communication, trust, differences in values, or even the mental health of each partner. 

If left unaddressed, relationship challenges can snowball. However many couples find relief and even growth after seeking professional help from a therapist. Whether you choose to seek therapy as a couple, individually, or both, a trained and objective observer may help guide you toward solutions. 

How To Grow Through Challenging Times And When To Ask For Help

Mental Health Challenges

People from all walks of life can experience mental health challenges. New moms may experience postpartum depression, busy family leaders could feel anxious or depressed. Common stressors like work, personal economy, or extended family tension can all create mental health struggles.

It may be wise to seek medical care to find out if any underlying health concerns may be contributing to how you’re feeling. 

Additionally, therapy, medication, and self-care practices including mindfulness may be part of your overall treatment plan.

Although every mental health condition has unique symptoms, there may be some common early signs that you aren’t feeling your best.

If you find yourself feeling tired, unlike yourself, anxious, or depressed, or if you are angry, experience physical pain, or are having intrusive thoughts, therapy can help. 

You Have Support On Your Path

If you relate to any of the challenges outlined in this post, support is available. When we acknowledge our struggles and reach out, we can learn valuable skills to navigate life’s challenges. Over time, this can help us become more resilient.

Taking care of our mental well-being is an important way to show self-love. It’s also a kindness to those who care about us.

If you feel like you are struggling, reach out your hand. You deserve to heal and grow.

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