The original title for this piece was “When Life Hands You Tacos..But You Ordered a Burrito” then I realized that was ridiculous. Anyway, I’m going to give you a few of my tried and true tips to getting through a terrible day, or week…or month. Because, let’s be honest, bad things don’t always happen in three’s, sometimes they happen in seventeens.
- Find Something that Gives You Hope
This could be ANYTHING! But find that thing that sparks hope inside of you and hold on to it as tight as you can. This could be a song, a soundtrack to your favorite movie or musical (Hamilton, anyone?) or a TV show that never fails to make you laugh. Whatever it is that makes you feel like the world could be a happy place after all, focus on that and don’t let it go.
- Do Something for Someone Else
Now, you’ve probably heard this tip before but I PROMISE it really does help. Sometimes we can get so focused on ourselves and our problems that we forget about the people surrounding us. So, call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, buy a co-worker their favorite muffin for a surprise breakfast treat, visit a nursing home, offer to babysit for free, pay for the person behind you at Starbucks. There are endless ways you can take the focus off yourself and worry about someone else for a few minutes, it feels great!
- Let Yourself Be Angry/Sad/Upset
Sometimes the best way to deal with a negative emotion is to confront it head on. Put on some gangsta rap and deal with it. If you’re angry, go take a kick-boxing class (or find a YouTube video and a sturdy pillow), listen to some heavy metal and drum on cardboard boxes, write a really angry letter (but DON’T send it). Sad? Watch a depressing movie, listen to the new Adele album, write a song about your emotions right in the moment. Letting emotion flow out, as opposed to bottling it, will make you feel relieved and refreshed.
- Fake it ‘Til You Make it
Keep on keepin’ on, even if you have to fake it. You can’t call in sick to life when you’re hitting a rough patch, and being a cranky critter isn’t going to make anyone feel better. I’m not saying you have to pretend you’re high on life or hide what you’re going through, but try to keep a positive attitude, or at least pretend like you do.
- Go Outside
I know, the last thing you want to do right now is leave your bed, but I challenge you to go outside for just half an hour. You can do half an hour! Go somewhere beautiful! Try a nature walk, a quiet hike, a lake shore drive, any place that might remind you how big and beautiful our world is, and never forget that you are a valuable part of it.
You won’t always feel happy, or inspired, or good enough in life, but I promise that no matter how you feel, you are always loved. Keep your chin up!