Posted by: silverliningsblog | February 2, 2018

What to do when life gets you down…

Sad woman 1Let’s face it…life ain’t always easy. It sometimes throws us a curve ball like a lost job or a friend who passes away. Obstacles suddenly appear on our path to our goals. We get taken down by the flu. We get a bad case of the winter blues.

No one escapes having challenges in life…but some people definitely seem to handle them better. So when life gets you down, what are some concrete actions you can take to feel better and turn things around?

Action #1: Take care of your body

When we are under stress, no matter what the cause, the most important first step is to nurture ourselves and take good care of our body. It will be much harder to stick-handle any problems and see the solutions if we get sick (or more sick), or succumb to depression and anxiety.

Some ways to care for ourselves include:

  • Get 8 hours sleep (you may need even more if you’re ill)
  • Exercise regularly (walking outside and doing yoga are very helpful when under stress)
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables (and limit refined carbs and sugar)
  • Take vitamin D and/or use a sun lamp (important in Northern climates during the winter)
  • Do something relaxing (take a bath, get a massage, meditate)

Action #2: Ask for help

It’s also critical to reach out for support. Many of us have a tendency to hide when we’re struggling, but this just increases our sense of isolation and separation. Instead, share your struggles with someone you trust, whose advice you value (e.g. friend, family member, coach or therapist).

Sometimes talking it out can be enough. Other times, you may need to make a specific request for help. Here are some ideas for things you might ask for:

  • Can you come over and spend time with me?
  • Would you be able to watch the kids for me?
  • Can you help me organize my paperwork?
  • Would you mind picking up some groceries for me when you go get yours?
  • Could you take me to see the doctor?

Action #3: Shift your focus

Once your basic physical and emotional needs are met, it’s time to shift your focus. Dwelling on what’s not working in your life will only attract more of what you don’t want. Instead, use your challenges as an opportunity to ask empowering questions like, “What do I want instead?”

Another great way to shift focus is to do gratitude journaling. Every night (or once a day at a time that’s convenient for you), write down what you’re grateful for about your life, yourself, and the people around you. No matter how difficult things may seem, there are always aspects of your life that are still good, and ways in which the Universe and others are supporting you. The more you pay attention to the good things you already have, the more will come to you. (And the faster your challenges will turn around!)

Action #4: Do things you enjoy

When we’re struggling, we tend to not only withdraw, but also to stop doing the things we love most. And yet, the best way to raise our energetic vibration (and mood) is to do things that make us feel joyful and alive.

So, make a list of things you love to do, and then pick something each day to lift your spirits. A few good ideas include:

  • listening to uplifting music
  • getting outside in nature
  • going to the spa
  • spending time with friends
  • buying yourself flowers

Tip #5: Don’t take things personally

When things go wrong, we often take it personally and beat ourselves up for it. But this habit is very disempowering, and keeps us from being able to see the best course of action.

In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz advises to take nothing that happens personally, because what others do or say is never really about you; it’s about their own experience and perspective.

So when life throws you a curve ball, instead of replaying what happened over and over in your head, ask yourself “Who do I want to be in this situation?” Consider how you can remain true to your values and what advice your best self would give you, then decide what to do next.

Share your thoughts!

What are you struggling with? What helps you to feel better? Please share your tips/comments below!

Resources for further learning

If your self-esteem feels a little shaky lately, I invite you to attend my free upcoming online masterclass: Fall Madly in Love with You!

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