Sometimes life throws us curve balls which end up smacking us right in the face, leaving us feeling stunned, beaten and downright miserable. Whether it’s a bad break up or being fired from your job, it’s hard to get back on track or stay motivated when all you want to do is curl into the foetal position and rock quietly in a dark corner.
So what do we do when even the smallest of tasks feels like climbing Everest? How do we stop ourselves from sinking even deeper into the lonely abyss of depression? One step at a time, one day at a time, that’s how.
Even though you’re feeling like nothing else matters besides eating twenty packs of Oreos and watching Simpsons reruns, the other jobs and responsibilities in your life won’t go away and they’ll just keep piling up. There may be bills to pay or important work to go on with; things that if left unfinished, could mean your life gets even harder, which is not what you want when you have enough to deal with. So have a good old ugly cry, take some deep breaths and get on with your life.
Mundane jobs help
When our mind is spinning round and round from recent bad news or a messy situation you’re in, it helps to focus on the smallest and dullest tasks that need to be done. Start by cleaning the house or do jobs which require the least amount of brain power.
These jobs aren’t going to take your mind off things, but they do get you moving and allow you to stew while you work. Having a clean house and getting odd jobs done will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something amidst the raging storm that is your life. Being surrounded by a clean house will help de-clutter your brain as well.
Focus on something else
Dig deep and find the motivation to get out of the house, go shopping or get stuck into the hobby you love. It may be hard at first, but if you can get your mind thinking about something else, it will give you a much needed break and make you see your problem in a different light.
Go shopping for a new look or change your hair style to make it feel like you’re having a fresh start. Just don’t do a Brittney and shave it all off. Stay sane and don’t over spend. If money is an issue, stay in and finish that painting you’ve left for ages or start bottling up your home brew. Re connecting with the things you love will help ease your pain.
Hang with friends
Turning to your closest friends is a good way to get everything off your chest and dump some of the baggage, hopefully leaving you feeling lighter. Good friends can help put things into perspective, making you realise your problem isn’t as bad as it seems and can shed light on new ways to remedy the situation that you hadn’t thought of yourself.
Just be careful who you speak with, not all friends are good ones to have around in a crisis, so choose wisely. Your alcoholic friend may think 10 shots of tequila is the best way to fix any problem but trust me, it will only make it worse.
Fix the problem
Not all of life’s dramas can be fixed. We can’t bring back the dead or make someone love us, but some problems are a bit easier to mend.
If you’ve lost your job, there’s no point getting on your knees and begging for it back. You’ll look like a fool and it just won’t work. Instead, look at it like this, the quicker you find a new, far superior job, the better you will feel. So start looking.
If you’ve broken up with your partner, then it simply wasn’t meant to be. The better you feel about yourself, the more you will realise that he or she simply wasn’t good enough for you. Being awesome at everything else in your life will not only make your loss seem smaller, it will make for some great ammo when you bump into your ex.
If your problem is a bit messier, writing it down can help un-scramble the tangle and make it easier to find a solution on paper.
Talking to a professional can also be helpful. Having an outsider listen to your worries can mean you get the weight off your shoulders. They can also help you deal with things in a more manageable way.
Doing physical exercise is a great way to burn off your pent up anger and frustration. If you don’t have a gym membership, take some long walks to help sort out your thoughts.
The fresh air will help you see that not all is bad in the world after all. Plus it has been scientifically proven that exercise helps with depression.
What to avoid
When one of life’s curve balls do smack you on the noggin, it’s best to avoid these things:
Trying to drown your sorrows may be what you feel like doing the most, but the fact is alcohol is a depressant, so while you’re flying high after ten beers, you’ll soon be falling flat on your face and feeling even worse than before.
Having a bad hangover will not only make it hard to untangle your thoughts, the pain will mean you’ll likely feel even worse about them. OUCH!
As much as we want to have a good whinge to our mates, it’s sometimes best to keep your mouth closed.
Of course, everyone loves to gossip and the sordid details or your drama will probably get around to all those pricked ears eventually, so just lay low and be careful who you speak with.
Once you’ve told someone your problem, you can’t take it back, so either say nothing or turn to someone you can truly trust, like your parents or a professional.