Have you ever noticed that sometimes life gets too hard? Nothing seems to go right and the more you do, the longer it seems to go on?
This has been my experience recently. Total first world problems but you can’t just dismiss them as not important. First world or not, the problems are real and we have to deal with them. More importantly, the impact they have on us is real.
So what do you do when everything just seems to hard to deal with?
Feel the feelings
One of my mentors is big on letting yourself feel all the feelings. We have a range of emotions for a reason and each one serves a purpose.
Take a few moments and let yourself really feel what is going on. Ask yourself what is my emotion? Frustration? Anger? Sadness? Fear? A combination of things. Let yourself feel them. Have a big cry if you need to. Scream. Jump up and down like a 2-year-old (it’s surprisingly effective). Acknowledge the emotions and give them an outlet.
Personally, I had a little last straw moment the other day. In the midst of a project that was not going well, was swallowing up my life and seemed to have no end in sight (and was not the only ongoing problem impacting me – because, well life), my clothes dryer died. With my sheets in it. In winter. I was really mad. I literally jumped up and down and yelled.
Take a break
Sometimes what you need is a break.
My little temper tantrum above was on the back of something in my project going particularly badly – you know the scenario right. So I flounced off (yep I flounced) to the laundromat to get my sheets dried before they closed in the next half hour and when I got back I just refused to do any more work that day. I cleaned out a drawer. I made dinner. I cleaned the kitchen. I put the sheets on the bed and went to bed early. While I did it, I refused to think about work.
Because I had taken a step back, the next morning I felt much better. I’m not going to pretend it solved all my problems or that I wasn’t still stressed. But I had released something. For me, the act of cleaning was firstly not about my job and it made me feel I had control over something when everything felt out of control.
Your break might be a walk in the park, reading a book for fun, going to the movies, painting, visit someone you love. The only rules are:
- you change your location
- you DON’T think about your problems
The second one is HARD. I get it. That’s why doing something that distracts your brain from the cycle of stressing over your problems even for a while is really helpful. Movies or books are good. I listened to an audio book while I cleaned out my pajama drawer.
And sometimes it just means not trying to do EVERYTHING when you have too much on. The laundry can wait.
Ask for Help
Sometimes we just need to ask for some help. In my project example, it’s escalating to get help where we need it. In life, there are other ways to seek help. But the key is to actually Ask. I know, this is a weakness of mine too. I think I can solve my own problems so I don’t ask for help and get overwhelmed. It’s something I am working on.
Oh, what’s that? No one can help you? Really? Are you sure?
Perhaps you ask your partner to take over making dinner for a few days because work is crazy? What about asking someone you trust to pick the kids up from school for a couple of days? Heck, what about hiring a cleaner to come in a couple of times as a one off.
Help comes in many forms. Rather than have your brain go No, no one can help me, set it the problem of how you can get some help. You never know, you might be surprised.
The main thing to remember is that the situation won’t last forever, even if it feels like it.
What have you done to take the pressure off when life gets too hard, comment below!