top of page

Carer's guide to impossible or hard things

There are moments throughout life, when things can feel very hard, perhaps even impossible. As unpaid carers, we may experience more of these hard moments than others. Perhaps we’re exhausted because things have been hard for a long time.

Illustration of a man working hard at his desk.

We can find ourselves in routines or even ruts. Meaning the thought of doing something new or different feels way too hard. But what if we’re missing out on something great? What if the “new hard thing” has benefits?

So what’s the thing stopping us from overcoming a challenge? Or trying something new, even something we would like to do? And how can we get past it?

Five ways to tackle impossible or hard things (and maybe try something new!)

1. Remember that everything changes

Before we “get past the hard thing”, we sometimes need to sit with it. A helpful starting point can be to pause and remind ourselves that no situation or feeling is permanent. It can certainly feel it. But just pausing to remind ourselves that “this too shall pass”, might just give us a tiny breathing space to get through the next moment.

For example:

Our feelings will shift as we process a big event - when we get bad news we might feel anger, denial, sadness, love, acceptance. Not necessarily in that order and over our own unique time-line.


We might feel embarrassed about something such as a personal care drama, but later with reflection, we might feel we can laugh about it.

“Some of my most challenging moments become the moments I laugh about with my friend [who gets it!] - usually with the strap-line of ‘you couldn’t make this sh*t up!”

Remembering that things are temporary can also help us to notice and more greatly appreciate those moments that are good for us. Knowing that they will pass too, so we treasure them more.

When things are acknowledged as temporary, we can both appreciate them more (the good stuff), or benefit from knowing they will pass eventually (the hard stuff).

When the hard thing or feeling has eased or passed, we may find the strength to try again.

A chance for reflection

  • What kinds of things are you finding hard at the moment (or recently?)

  • Acknowledge them as hard things.

  • How might this seem different one day? Could there be a time when this will feel less hard?

  • Can we also untangle our thoughts by drawing them out as a flow chart, or mind map?

2. Notice what’s stopping you

Money? Time? Energy? Other people? Our thoughts?

What’s the thing stopping us from overcoming a challenge, trying something new or something we would like to do?

Sometimes it’s simply that we’re overwhelmed. If we can find a moment to list the things, thoughts or people that are “in our way”, we may be able to start identifying some simple solutions.

Detangling our thoughts and getting them onto paper (or recording onto audio) can be helpful. It can support us to feel less overwhelmed, helping us to identify what solutions there might be.

A chance for reflection

  • What would you like to do if you could?

  • What are five things stopping you?

  • Who or what could help you with each of these?

Tip - Start with something ‘small’ and build up. E.g. “I’d like to meet my friend for a coffee once a week”. Rather than “I’d like to go on a six month cruise” - perhaps we can build up to that. 😉

3. Scale back and take little steps

If the “whole thing” feels impossible, is there a smaller step we can take to bring us closer? For example, if the thought of going abroad feels overwhelming or is financially beyond us, could we book a few day trips closer to home for example? Or perhaps visit a park for a day out? They would be cheaper, require less planning and allow us to ‘try out’ activities with less risk.

It can be hard to even start, when we’re facing a huge challenge. Breaking a ‘problem’ down into achievable steps, can reduce feelings of overwhelm.

Think about something you would like to do, but feel is hard - what’s that one step you could take? Then, when that’s done, what’s the next step?

Illustration of woman climbing stairs.

A chance for reflection

Psst - look how far you’ve come!

4. Challenge your thoughts and beliefs

Sometimes, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we may find that we’re in our own way. Our thoughts and beliefs are powerful things, but sometimes they can limit us.

These ‘limiting’ beliefs can sound like:

“I never have any luck” or “bad things always happen to me”.

Sometimes, we may catastrophize:

“If I go out, I won’t be able to park the car, they'll get cross with me and fall over, I’ll have to phone an ambulance, I don’t think they could cope with another hospital stay…. I won’t risk it - best to stay home”

Or perhaps we’re basing the likely outcome on a previous similar experience:

“They ruin every day out we have ”

All of these reasons are completely understandable. But what might they be getting in the way of? What’s behind these thoughts? Perhaps the thoughts are a way of protecting us from failure. Or fear of something that can go wrong. All are valid reasons.

But are they 100% true?

The challenge with big limiting beliefs is that they shape our expectations. Our mind wants to prove our beliefs are true, so we’ll notice things that back up our belief.

For example, if our belief is “We can NEVER find a blue badge parking space” and we have attempted to go out for the day, we may place extra emphasis on not being able to find a Blue Badge spot - because we were expecting it - because of our belief.

What we may miss, is the fact that we found another spot nearby and the person we care for was happy. Those factors get less attention, because they’re not backing up our belief.

We can spot a limiting belief by words like ‘always’, ‘never’ or ‘every’ - Look out for them and gently challenge them. Or try diluting them.

For example:

Limiting belief:

“I can never find a parking spot”

Gently challenged:

  • Never? Where did we park last time (in the end). So we did find somewhere to park, but it took a while and was stressful.

Rewritten beliefs might be:

“It wasn’t easy to park last time, but hopefully today it will be easier - maybe we’ll leave a little earlier so we have more time”.

Notice which one feels better?

The limiting belief or the rewritten belief? Plus if we have the belief that we might find a parking space more easily - we might just notice a spot sooner. At the very least, we should feel less stressed in the process.

It can feel prickly to think that our own thinking may be part of the challenge. It can also be quite scary - because it means we might have some power to make some changes and feel a little better.

But that’s actually really exciting when you really think about it. Go easy on yourself - it all starts by simply noticing our thoughts…

A chance for reflection

  • Think about some of the sentences and phrases you use a lot. Is there one negative one that stands out? Remember, it will probably include a word like ‘never’, ‘always’, ‘every time’ - those big grouping words!

  • Now the statement is identified, consider if it’s 100% true. Be really honest with yourself, and be kind - if this is a strongly held belief, it might be hard to ‘let it go’ by challenging it.

  • How could you rewrite the statement into something more helpful?

Illustration of a woman reflecting.

5. Choose your hard

We’re fans of the saying “Choose your hard”. Being stuck in the same routine can be “hard” - doing something new can feel “hard” - but, what small good things might come from this new “hard”?

What fun thing might we experience if we can have a few trips out this summer?

What friendship might we discover if we’re able to join a carers group?

What new memories might we create if we’re able to get out of our routine?

Change can be hard, but it can be rewarding.

If our current situation is hard anyway - we have the opportunity to try a ‘new hard’, which might bring some unexpected benefits.

“Remembering to look after my own wellbeing is hard work. However, it’s harder work when I don’t look after myself. My mood sinks, my body aches and I feel resentful.” - Unpaid carer

A chance for reflection

  • Keeping in mind the thing you would like to do (identified in section 2) - write a list of the benefits it might bring you, if you were able to do it.

  • Choose your hard. 😉

If things are hard right now, remember we have a friendly community of carers you can reach out to. We look forward to meeting you.

Want more content like this?

Feel free to sign-up for our weekly newsletter 💌 to receive more carers' top tips and hacks. We'll keep you in the loop, from discounts for carers, to the warning signs of carer burnout.

You may also like

2 Kommentare

Della Fims
Della Fims
05. Apr.

Looking for a reliable and effective dating site to connect with people in your area? Then your reliable assistant in this matter is, a resource that offers a wide selection of functions for communicating, finding friends and, possibly, finding your love. Thanks to an intuitive interface and well-thought-out algorithms, Hily makes the dating process simple and enjoyable. Join Hily today and start a new chapter in your love life!

Gefällt mir

Ilona Lizer
Ilona Lizer
05. Apr.

Hi guys, I am more in search of a soul mate and would be glad that you would recommend me a dating site because on the streets I am shy to get acquainted and would like to communicate by correspondence at first.

Gefällt mir
bottom of page