25 Ways to Take Your Life Back When You are Broken!
We all have days when all we want to do is bury our heads into our pillows, curl up and sleep until something exciting happens to encourage us to get up and face the day. When we’re lying down like this, it’s easy to wish for the happiness fairies to come and change our lives for us, so when we wake up, all our troubles seem so far away (in the wise words of the Beatles).
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen… but there are some things that you can do to make your outlook more positive and to make small, but effective changes to get your life back on track when you’re feeling low. It sounds really easy when I write it like that; it can be difficult when you feel down to pick yourself up and we totally understand that. We just want to write down some things that have proven to be uplifting for those who have been at that point in their lives.
One of the main things that can make us feel negatively is to believe that we have no control over our life. It is true, there are some complete fools out there who might make our life difficult sometimes, but the real key to getting back on track following this is to take responsibility for your part in a situation, and more importantly, take responsibility for your emotions and how they affect your reaction.
As someone who used the excuse ‘allergic to the gym’ for many years, whenever someone said this to me, I wanted to hurt them. Recently however, and don’t hate me, I have kind of gotten into the whole exercise thing. It releases endorphins, which are essentially happiness vibes, and really does make you feel good. It can also provide a purpose for getting up and out of the house for those who struggle.
You don’t have to go far, or spend lots of well-earned money to explore somewhere new. The excitement of going where you have never been before, whether it is a new city that you fly to, or a small town nearby that you have never visited, will far outweigh any initial misgivings about actually getting up and dressed. You just have to power through and leave the house, and curiosity will do the rest. Your mind can relax and think from a different perspective if you have a change of scenery.
4.Meet someone new
I know, I know… this one is worse than exercise. The idea of striking up a conversation with a stranger can be daunting, or cringey, depending on your view. The truth is though, it doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as sharing a comment in the supermarket, or talking to a colleague that you don’t usually get the chance to chat to. Being able to share information about yourself is something that we as humans like to do, plus you might just make a solid friend.
5.Stalk local events
Don’t literally become a stalker. But it is definitely worth seeing what is going on around you, even if it just a half hour talk somewhere, or a book signing, or a huge gala affair. You don’t have to stay for long, but it can be so refreshing to have a change of atmosphere, feel the buzz of the crowds, and be inspired by others.
6.Change your appearance
Yay, finally a fun one! You have the chance to reinvent yourself and gain new confidence by changing the way you look to something you have always wanted to do. Again, this can be a little scary; if you’ve had long hair for fifteen years and want a pixie cut, it can be terrifying. The only advice we have is to trust your instinct, take the plunge and remember that outer beauty can also be reflected from within.
7.Let it go
Have a good, long think about what has made you feel down to start with. It can be easy to avoid thinking about in favour of other things, like which boxset to watch next. The truth is though, that until you confront what it is, nothing will change. Is it your job, a friend, a partner? Consider the possibility of getting rid of this aspect of your life… and then make a plan to make it happen.
There is an astonishing number of forums online for those in almost any situation. Here you can feel part of a community where you can share your story, and get the support and encouragement you need to be able to recover.
9.Be honest with others
‘I’m fine’ won’t wash with us! If you are feeling down, don’t bottle it up. Let someone know, whether in forums or your closest friends. Don’t leave any detail out, and don’t be ashamed – there are so many others in your situation and feeling as if your life has fallen apart is more common than you think. Talking about it is one of the more effective ways to visualise improvement and plan changes.
Releasing yourself from all technology can be so liberating, and make you remember all of the things that you cherish in your day-to-day life. Turn off your phone, tablets and computers, and spend a few days just soaking up the fresh air, reading a book or hanging with friends. This can have a significant effect on your mental state.
11.Now you see it…
…now you don’t! Have a clear-out. A big one. Be ruthless, and de-clutter as much as possible. One of the best mottos is ‘cluttered life, cluttered mind’ and throwing away a bunch of old stuff can really free your mind up, and make you open to possibilities and ideas as you weren’t before.
12.Back to school
Take an evening class, or sign up for a course that is completely new for you. Step out of your comfort zone and take the chance to build new skills, relationships and confidence.
This does not sound like a fun thing to do, but actually if you can organise your finances and stick to it, you will feel a lot better about yourself, and your ability to control your life. It doesn’t need to be a really strict budget; just be realistic and make it challenging enough that you can feel a real sense of accomplishment.
Feeling valued, and loved, is one of the best feelings in the world. Think of who your likely sources for validation are and use them! Even if you are not comfortable explaining how you are feeling, find a way to let a willing friend know that you want some attention. Be careful about how much you depend on this, because you should love yourself first before anyone else can truly validate you.
15.Change your mind-set
Change is a scary word, but it shouldn’t be. Change is always positive – if it challenges you, then you have the opportunity to be the person you want to be, and take responsibility for your reactions. If it is positive change, then it is self-explanatory! The first step to really making any change is to believe that it is possible.
16.Turn them down
Feeling obliged to say yes to all requests is so very popular and so very sad for a lot of us. If people are asking for your time, skills and energy, then you should want to help them. If there is no value in it for you, or you don’t wish to help, or even don’t have the time, learn to say no. Be polite, but firm and know that it is completely acceptable for you to know your limits and stick to them.
17.Face your fears!
Maybe not the really scary ones, like sharks, but make a list of what you are scared of, both physically and emotionally and find ways to face your fears gradually. The confidence and adrenaline you will feel after overcoming a fear will make you feel stronger than ever.
Take some time for yourself and write down what you have achieved and how you felt at the time. You can be proud of even the smallest thing, from cutting out sugar for a week, to finishing a challenging task at work, or even arranging a get together with friends. Think big and small, and take every achievement as a sign of your potential.
19.Forgive and forget
Or at least forgive. Forgetting is nigh on impossible, but holding grudges can be so damaging, not just to your relationships with whoever has wronged you, but also to yourself. Harbouring anger and resentment can create a negative mind-set, so find a way to talk through your problems and forgive those around you.
If you don’t see much, then make some plans and try again. A sense of anticipation is good for the soul, and will give you a reason to get out of bed in the mornings.
Think of something that you are keen to achieve that can be measured. It can be to plan more social events, lose ten pounds, set up five meetings at work, or apply for three new jobs. Anything! The hardest part of this challenge is actually to remember to regularly measure your success and count every increment as an achievement. Seeing slow progress is actually more motivating than a one-off big event so this can be particularly effective if the reason that you feel disheartened is something measurable.
Failure is a horrible word, but a fair reality. We don’t always succeed first time, and actually that is okay. It might be tough to get straight back up and try again, but it will be so much better for you in the long run.
23.Give something back
Not necessarily spend hour every week volunteering, although this is an awesome thing to do for a cause that you believe in. Up your recycling, help out a neighbour… the feeling on contributing to someone or a wider community can be so satisfying, even more so than a giant tub of Ben & Jerry’s.
24.Get a routine
If you can create a routine with at least a few of the above points in, and manage to follow this, your life will take a serious upturn. You don’t need to be so rigid that you can’t meet friends for drinks because you’re tidying your shoe cupboard (if only we all had one), but some sense of organisation can do wonders for the brain.
Lastly, be yourself and love it. There are so many things that you are good at; they may not be the same as everyone else around you but your strengths and values define you as an individual and you should relish these.
Getting back up after a series of knocks can feel like the hardest thing in the world, which is why we think these bite-size changes can help you to manage your way back to a more positive mind-set and a happier life.