5 ways to make the best out of a bad situation

Coronavirus has turned the whole world upside down, but not everything is really as bad as it may seem. Here's how to deal with bad situations and stay positive in times of crisis.


Mar 17, 2023


ways to make the best out of a bad situation

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.'

Only by accepting this can you let go of negativity. So ask yourself whether there is anything you can do right now to address the problem you are worrying about, and if there is not, stop investing your energy in things that simply cannot be changed and instead...

4. Focus on what you have

Focus on what is, on what you have achieved, on who you are and the people you share life with. This might be difficult, but it is important to keep in mind that whatever you focus your attention on, expands

Personally, I get caught up all the time in the "stories" I tell myself about what is supposed to happen, about the "right way" things are supposed to unfold in my life. As a result, I stop focusing on the present moment.

If you start consciously focusing on the present — on the little things you can enjoy right now — there will be no space for negative thoughts. No matter how small the good moments are in difficult times, focus your attention on them. They will grow and you will grow with them.

5. Embrace change

Don't wait for opportunities to arise. Take action. You are the master of your decisions and you can still pursue your dreams

If you are passionate about something, then use this opportunity in the best way you can to achieve your personal goal. Identify the areas you want to improve in your life and start working where you can. In the current situation, many of us have way more free time than before and this is a huge chance to develop new skills and grow personally.

Rediscover an old hobby, work on your fitness, learn a language, make music, create something, do an online course, plan for future travels.

By embracing change and making the best out of a bad situation you are not only strengthening your resilience and ability to adapt, but choosing to be the master — and not the victim — of the situation.

"In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path — the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love." — Amit Ray 

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