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Leisa Watkins: What to Do When It Rains and Pours Problems
Episode 13816th February 2022 • Stories of Hope in Hard Times • Tamara K. Anderson
00:00:00 00:35:02

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Within a period of a few days Leisa’s husband was diagnosed with cancer, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and their daughter went to the hospital. In today’s episode she shares tips on how you get through heavy times with your sanity and even with joy.

Episode Discussion Points

  • Leisa has had many points in her life where it has both rained and poured problems and complications.
  • A couple of things she learned during the hard times were the power of positive self talk:
  • “Leisa, you can make it through the next minute.”
  • “Leisa, you can make it through the five minutes.”
  • “Leisa, you can make it through the fifteen minutes.”
  • Another thing that helped was looking at the big picture—we got through this situation and that situation previously, and we can surely get through this new situation as well.
  • There is wisdom that comes only by going through tough times.
  • Focus on the things you can control—like maybe you can’t control when your husband gets hit by a drunk driver, but you can begin to take back control of your life by cleaning out a drawer or some other little thing to create order.
  • Going through hard times helped her become resilient, and for her resilience is tied to hope.
  • Change is constant and the sooner you can adapt to it, the easier it is.
  • We also have to learn to control and change our expectations—because life isn’t going to turn out the way we thought or hoped.
  • For Leisa acceptance means, “This happened. So now what, what can I do about it? And the only thing you can do is control how you react to it.”
  • When Leisa was raped as a young woman, she went to a therapist who helped her process all of her emotions and helped her learn it is okay to be angry. So, Leisa learned to process all of her angry emotions out on paper by writing it out in a journal. Then she’d burn the angry words and her anger would dissipate. For Leisa burning the pages is more effective than shredding the pages.
  • You have to be willing to do the work. Often people feel stuck when they stop working on themselves.
  • Take baby steps when you don’t know what is the next thing you can do.
  • If you don’t know the next right step you can ask your brain, if we were pretending we knew what the next right thing was, your brain will fill in ideas.
  • Sometimes when you are heading for burn out because you are doing too much, you have to pause and take time to breathe and do self-care. You will be better at doing all your other roles if you stop and take a day off now and then.
  • Choosing to do things “happily or unhappily.”
  • When you have a negative thought, dismiss it and then counter it with the truth or a positive thought.
  • Asking the right questions is important when we encounter a difficult situation. If we ask, Why did this happen to me? Then your brain will find answer to it. So be careful to ask more productive questions like:
  • How do I want to look at this?
  • How do I want to approach it?
  • What can I control?
  • What can't I control?
  • What can I do?
  • What can I do about this?
  • What good things can come out of this?
  • Another idea is to take photo per day of something you’re thankful for that day.

Tips to Get You Out of a Dark Spot

  1. Ease up on the self-judgment
  2. Give yourself credit for the little steps forward you make.
  3. Take focus off yourself by helping others.
  4. Do self-care. (Leisa’s favorite is to turn on music and dance in the bathroom). Moving physically can actually help you get unstuck mentally.
  5. Do positive self-talk.
  6. Let go and let God be in control. Talk to God if you are struggling to move forward, picture handing your problems over to Christ.
  7. Ask God to help you figure out how to take the next right step for you—especially if you are stuck.

Connect with Leisa

  • Leisa blogs on her website
  • There you will find resources, tips and more of her family’s experiences getting through hard times with happiness and joy.
  • You can also download her Overcoming Obstacles Checklist

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You can find the transcription of today's episode here: