We all have bad days. Bad weeks, even. Stress, loss, breakdowns, break ups, trauma, turmoil – sometimes, nothing goes right.
I just had one of those weeks.
My go-to for these situations is usually to dwell on everything that went wrong, and then worry about the future to the point where I have trouble sleeping or concentrating on work. My pain and anxiety become all consuming.
This time around, I did a little digging to see if there was a healthier way to deal with hard times such as these. Luckily, Tiny Buddha had some great advice to share:
#1 Assert Your Goals: When everything seems to be falling down around you, take heart in knowing you still have options. Then, assert it! I can still see exactly where my goals lie, and even though this last week has felt like a giant misstep, it will not deter me from the life I want to lead.
#2 Focus on Everything That’s Good & Working: “Negativity is not constructive…We don’t have to live in the shadow of what could have been if we shine a light on what’s working to allow it to grow.” I am healthy, active, surrounded by good friends and co-workers, and living in LA! It helps to be reminded that there are good things happening, if you open your eyes to them.
#3 Take Action: Use the time you have efficiently. This doesn’t mean having unrealistic expectations about how to get back on your feet. It means that you shouldn’t sit and let negativity consume you. Take as much time as you need to mourn, ponder, and reflect – and then get to work on solving the issues at hand.
#4 Create Balance: Life can’t be all about taking action. Take time to do things just for your own pleasure – going to a gallery, cooking, reading, stretching, spending time with friends. These activities help to not only lift your mood, but also to distract you from obsessing over what went wrong.
#5 Embrace Fear: Don’t allow fear to bog you down. Rather, let it be a “positive energy that moves you forward.” Sometimes change can be downright scary. It helps to think of fear as an accomplice, rather than an adversary.
#6 Release: It can help to seek out a friend or a loved one or a therapist to talk things out to. Sometimes our own thoughts can be burdensome if we keep them to ourselves. I tend to answer my own questions just by walking through the details with friends.
#7 Practice Gratitude: This hearkens back to #2, but it’s extra important to look back at your days and focus on at least five things that made it brighter. Amidst all the chaos and hurt of my week, I had a good friend come to stay with me, I pushed through some tough workouts, and I was able to get some solid rest in.
#8 Improve on Yesterday: “Re-affirm verbally, physically, mentally, creatively, and socially all that you have and energize it so that it continues to develop.” Tomorrow never has to be perfect, but if I can make it even one ounce better than today was, then I’m on the right track.
#9 Don’t Give Up: Tough times can feel like utter dead ends, but they’re not; they’re just stumbles. What’s important is that you keep on going no matter what.