Giving up is easy. Life isn’t.
But you’re smart. You’re hard working. Your friends, spouse and kids respect you. And everything you have, you achieved because you’re a determined, bright and confident person.
You knew that, though, and it’s still not any easier to cope with what you’re up against. Maybe you lost your job, someone close to you fell ill, or it’s just one of those weeks—or months—when the little things keep piling up until the proverbial camel’s back is dangerously close to snapping.
If telling yourself that this, too, shall pass isn’t enough to shake the negativity, you need to take some action. Here’s how.
Take care of yourself
Not even Michael Phelps can tread water forever, and trying to keep your head above the surface while life keeps tossing waves at you can get you feeling like a pretty terrible swimmer.
In fact, it can convince you you’re just a downright terrible person.
When things get hard, you get depressed. That’s natural. And when you’re depressed, it’s a lot more difficult to find the motivation to do even the simplest things like cook a healthy meal, style your hair, or change into something that can’t double as pajamas.
But do them anyway- walk, run, exercise, go for a bike ride, lose weight if you need to, get out there and experience life.
Nutritional expert Isabel De Los Rios has countless stories of mothers who felt like the world was crashing down on them, only to turn it all around through putting themselves (and their health) first.
Eat. Get some sleep. Take pride in your appearance. Maybe it sounds like added stress, but it’s the physical and emotional boost you need to stay afloat through this. So first and foremost, take care of yourself!
Count your blessings
Literally. Make a list of everything good in your life—the big stuff, the little stuff, the silly stuff. If it makes you happy, put it on your list. Your kids, spouse and home are probably no-brainers. Your dog? Cat? Iguana? Throw him on there, too.
And don’t forget your grandma’s amazing stuffed shell recipe; your wedding photos; the way your daughter’s head smelled when she was six months old.
Anything that has brought you joy, anything that you’re grateful for, put it down on paper. Don’t be afraid to get crafty and glue some photos or trinkets on there, too. Then, hang it somewhere—like the fridge, or your office—so you can glance at it now and then and remind yourself that life is wonderful no matter how awful it may be right now.
The worst thing to do to yourself when you’re overwhelmed is add weight to an already unbearable pile. Most of us think that staying busy is the best way to distract from whatever obstacle we’re up against, but knowing when to hang up your cape and let someone else fight the battles is a really crucial skill to overcoming adversity.
If you don’t power yourself back up with ten minutes of deep breathing a day, you’ll lose your mind. No matter what you’re facing, there’s always time to give your mind and body a few minutes of peace. So take a walk, a bath, a nap or a job. Whatever you do, just turn your mind off.
Take out the trash
On the opposite side of that same coin, find a constructive way to handle all your negative energy. Maybe your finances are a puzzle you can’t seem to solve, or your marriage is in a rut. Or maybe your son just brought home a bad report card. Whatever’s filling you with angst, find a useful way to drain it.
My suggestion? Clean out your closet. Or your garage. Your basement, storage shed, or under the guest room bed. Wherever unwanted crap piles up in your home, attack it.
This constructive use of excess energy will keep your mind off whatever issue happens to be monopolizing your mental energy, allowing you to revisit it later on with a fresh set of eyes.
Plus, getting rid of some of the crap in your life is always uplifting.
Invoke some altruism
Whether you offer to babysit the neighbor’s kids while they’re at a movie, or offer up your time at a soup kitchen, find a way to help other people out with absolutely no gain for yourself.
Look, when things feel too big to manage, a new perspective can shrink them back down to size. If you feel like you can’t fix whatever’s beating you down, fix something else. Reminding yourself that you’re a competent, compassionate person might be the jumpstart you need to get out of whatever rut you’re broken down in.
One bonus tip?
Look in the mirror and smile.
Guest post by Hannah, a sufferer of Crohn’s disease, who has been through many challenges life can dish out. However, she never let it deter her from her dreams of helping herself and helping others. From the days she was in a hospital, severely thin and sick, to the healthy version of what she is today, she is living her dream of sharing the message of health, fitness, and healthy eating through her writing. From her writing for http://naturalweightlosstruth.com, to her reviews for The Truth About Abs Program, she’s always finding ways to help more people live the life their meant to.