You’re miserable. You claim that today is just “one of those days”.
On occasion you feel like you’ve reached a dead-end. Just you and your sad desk lunch at work –day-in, day-out. There you are loving the city you live in, but it’s producing bills you can’t afford. You’re thankful for the fact that you aren’t unemployed, but your current job is taking you nowhere. You’re frustrated but you stay put.
What do you blame? The circumstances? The economy? How about yourself?
Blaming yourself is perhaps the worst. While it seems to be appealing as a result of having no physical demands –it drains you. Mentally you’ve all been programmed by social norms to take disappointment hard and reflect on mistakes. Emotionally you want reassurance that you’re headed the right direction. It’s one thing to reflect upon mistakes but another to dwell on bad memories.
The self-inflicted pain needs to stop before anything else. You don’t have to look for something to blame. Certainly not yourself. Because in reality, does it really matter so much how your circumstances came to be when your misery is being prolonged?
So if you’re having “one of those days” consider this the sign you’ve been looking for. I hear your distress and want to help make your day better.
Before you know it “one of those days” will become “one of those weeks”, “one of those months”, “one of those years”. No one ever says it because we realize our time is limited. The thought of having “one of those years” is too overwhelming to bear. There just aren’t that many years.
So be honest with yourself. Having “one of those days” is for your recovery, not mulling over the bad memories and extending your own misery.
Here is the initial: On Making Today A Little Better For Yourself
- Take the long route home today. Make a stop by the park to people watch in the evening. Sometimes we all need a few minutes to slow down and clear out negative thoughts. Maybe you’ll even develop a new habit of taking walks.
- Purchase something that smells good. Perhaps this sounds weird at first, but air freshener and the occasional scented candle may really help on your sad days. Not to mention help you fall asleep if you happen to be a night owl!
- Break a social norm. Why is it that we feel obligated to tell people we’re doing well when they ask how we are? Tell the truth when they ask today. You may be amused to find that you’ve caught them off guard as a result of not replying with: “I’m doing great! How are you?”
- … I realize that the above can be somewhat out of your comfort zone. But fear not! Just have a friend break a social norm as a you observe. (I guarantee to you’ll get a kick out of it!)
- Watch the TV show that everyone has been raving over for the last couple of months. I know you might want to refuse to believe it’s as good as they all make it seem… or that you’d be disappointed after you watch! But come on, you’re kind of not getting any of the jokes these days.
- Clear out your closet. If you compulsively hoard items such as clothing (much like myself) I highly suggest trying one! You pretty much know you’re never going to wear those items again so chuck them out with your negative thoughts.
The same irrational thoughts plague your mind when you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Rationally speaking, we all know that typically we’re the only ones that can help ourselves but we wish for the quick fix from someone else. We want the band-aid.
Of course, this isn’t something any of us can change overnight.
We hear of the success stories; the people that overcame this battle.
We feel inspired to overcome our own problems ourselves. Unfortunately, this inspiration doesn’t even last throughout the day.
When we’re hurting so much, its so difficult to believe this too shall pass. I have yet to be able to say I’ve been able to work through this myself. The worse possible outcome I had imagined in the first place is going to become a reality. How can we lift this weight off our shoulders and move on with our lives?
Writing this, I’m not trying to make you believe I’ve always been happy or that… I’m even happy right now. In fact, I am not. However, I do believe that taking some steps back and removing yourself from such plaguing thoughts will be promising to you. At least temporarily.
- Watch your favourite movie. Trust me, you need that laugh. For me, I find this to be a wonderful temporary escape. I laugh and cry with the characters as if for 120 minutes of that day I too lived in their world. And why not? Because you certainly wouldn’t want to be spending that 120 minutes of your day continuing to plague yourself with the same frustrating thoughts pushing you towards a nervous breakdown.
- Make a list of things you would want to do if you had unlimited resources. I think many people (myself included) tend to hesitate when being asked what their goals are… or what they would like to achieve in the next year or so because we feel limited in our power and the resources we can attain. We receive enough negativity from others as it is. Don’t be beating yourself down. Once your write these things down you’ll be able to better envision them for your future. Dare to dream.
- Learn to say no. Chances are when you’re under such high emotional stress, you may not want to be around everyone. Know that its alright to say no to things and make time for yourself. When we take too much time to consider what others may think of us, we may lose sight of what our priorities are. Your priority for today is to keep the depressing thoughts away and give yourself time.
- Don’t expect everyone to understand. We know ourselves the best. As much as we would love someone to come along and be able to make everything better… know that can help yourself the best. I’m writing this today because I believe we share similar challenges in our lives but we may never understand each others’ problems, specific circumstances, struggles etc. Know that even though I don’t completely understand you situation –we’re still in the same boat and I still care.
- Be sad when you need to be. While I speak of ways to remove yourself from the verge of breakdown, I’m not saying you must try to be happy all day everyday. You’re allowed to be sad. It doesn’t make you weak for having emotions, its only one part of the battle.