How good are you at persevering through hard times? Do you feel mentally strong? When faced with adversity, do you come apart or just cave in? Perhaps you need to learn how to bounce back to endure life’s hard knocks and ill fortune.

We all need toughness of spirit in order to work on becoming the best version of ourselves. Perhaps you have suffered losses, which crushed your goals or dreams. Sometimes even one mistake can make you lose all confidence and cool-headedness.

You may have convinced yourself that you have misspent or trifled away your last chance at happiness. It’s okay to feel regret, sweet friends. But a resolute mind will make it difficult to keep you down for long.

Our doubts and insecurities may convince us that there is no way out. For starters, you must learn to control the way you think, my friends. Observe how many anxious or self-defeating thoughts you have throughout the day. Do you know how to filter out pessimistic thoughts? If a relationship did not work out or a project at work failed, you may very well develop a self-defeating mindset.

If you pay too much attention to that negative narrative in your head, you can feel totally overwhelmed and defeated. Try simply observing those fears or putting that voice on “mute” for a bit. You can transform your mistakes into learning experiences, sweet friends. Yes, you can.

We have all had missed opportunities in this life. Toss away all those unhelpful ideas, even those coming from loved ones. Transform your entire outlook. Please do not permit yourself to wallow and wade in your misery for long. No need to deep dive headfirst into the self-pity pool. Hey, some guy knocked on my door today and asked for a donation for the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water. But seriously, we all curse our misfortunes, but that will only feed our defeatist narrative.

If you’ve stumbled, think about a specific change you would make if you could do it all over again. What do you know now that you didn’t know then? Nurture a mentality of self-awareness and self-improvement. Get behind that wheel. You can drive your future in any direction you decide upon. Heck, I don’t need a driver license to drive people crazy. Oh, and if I have to parallel park, don’t invite me. But truly, just remember that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.

Make sure your living space is not a hot mess. Stay organized. Maintaining a clean environment will enhance your well-being and even your motivation. Learn new things daily if you can. You can draw inspiration by simply taking a walk in nature. Fresh air and natural scenery can actually help you think through your problems. Notice the sounds, sights, and smells around you. Really taste your food and be mindful – even if it’s your favorite chocolate bar. Listen, when life gives you lemons, throw them away and ask for chocolate. You know there are four basic food groups: plain chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate.

Do you talk more than you listen? How eager are you to share your latest thoughts or opinions? What if his view differs from yours? Can you even hear her perspective? Look for your errors in judgment or blind spots when others share with you.

Do not allow yourself to be overburdened by work. Make time to call your loved ones. Calm your spirits by spending real time with your family and close friends. After all, what makes you who you truly are?

I cannot say this enough, sweet friends: Smile, smirk, and laugh. Laughing will improve your immune system, relieve stress and anxiety, and boost your self-confidence. Are the people you surround yourself with happy and positive?

Invest time and effort to cook and bake your own foods. Sure, sushi and pizza are readily available at any second. I know. You’ve been reading so many bad things lately about the bad things that sugar and junk food could do to you, so your New Year’s resolution was more reading. I get it.

But cooking allows you to choose your ingredients, and even helps you have a relationship with the food you eat. Sometimes you have to give your body what it needs, not what it asks for. Baking can be a stress reliever, and a really rewarding skill. You know that your fast food can be your last food.

So, what do you call a chicken running down the road? Fast food. Why is it called “fast-food”? Because you’re supposed to eat it really fast. Otherwise, you might actually taste it.

But truly, sweet friends, oftentimes health is not valued until sickness comes. Cultivate a healthy mind. When was the last time you felt mental freedom?

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at