All over the world, people are adjusting to a new way of living as a result of COVID-19. At the time of writing, around a third of the world is on lockdown, permitted to leave home only for such reasons as food and medicine shopping. Even those of us who are lucky enough to be well and virus-free may be finding the sudden changes to our lifestyles challenging. With this in mind, I thought we’d focus on words and phrases around the theme of dealing with difficult situations.
Let’s start with some nice idioms. If you make the best of it, you make a difficult situation as pleasant and positive as it can possibly be: For now, we’re stuck in this apartment, so we’ll just have to make the best of it.
If you look on the bright side, you think about the advantages of a difficult or bad situation: It’s not an ideal situation but, looking on the bright side, I get to spend more time with my family.
To count your blessings is to feel grateful for the good things in your life during a period in which there are lots of difficulties: We’re all healthy and we have food in the cupboard. You’ve just got to count your blessings, haven’t you?
If you rise to the challenge, you show strength of character in a bad situation, dealing successfully with it: Knowing Julia, I’m sure she’ll rise to the challenge.
Finally for idioms, in a difficult situation, if you grin and bear it, you accept it without complaining: There’s nothing you can do to change the situation. You just have to grin and bear it.
There are some useful phrasal verbs in this area too. If you put up with a bad situation, you accept it and deal with it: It’s a tricky situation for everyone but we have no choice – we just have to put up with it.
To get through a difficult period of your life is to manage to live through it: It’s going to be tough, but we’ll get through it together.
To resign yourself to something bad in your situation is to accept that you cannot change it: I don’t like working in the evenings but I’ve resigned myself to it.
Finally, a person who doesn’t complain or show negative feelings when bad things happen to them may be described as stoic /stoical or uncomplaining: Sam rarely complains about anything – he’s very stoical. / I’ve been impressed with the kids – they’re remarkably uncomplaining.
I hope you’ll find these words and phrases useful in the months and weeks ahead. Please stay safe.