Self, Heartbreak

7 Ways To Pick Yourself Up After Life Knocks You Down HARD

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break up

Going through a hard time right now for feeling like a failure? Whether you're going through a break up, just lost your job, or you've lost someone dear to you and you’re still grieving, I hope to make things a little easier for you.

To that end, here are the seven best ways I know to get through a hard time. Remember, this too shall pass! 

1. Develop a routine.

When it feels like your life is falling apart, a regular routine provides structure that helps stave off total despair. Whether it's a regular morning work out or eating meals at certain times, take care of your life at the same time, the same way every day for awhile. This way, even though you might not want to get out of bed, you have a structure to lean on.

You don’t have to get fancy and turn this into a goal-setting exercise (although, you can). Just focus on the basics like eating, sleeping, exercise, and work. When you’re feeling better, you can incorporate more. For now, give yourself a break and rely on predictable consistency for awhile. 

2. Focus on things you feel proud of. 

Look for the silver lining (even in this hard situation) and celebrate it ... even if that silver lining seems incredibly tiny right now and you’re scared to death. Pick something to think about that you’re proud of. 

Be proud of the fact that you're holding yourself together. Feel proud of your strength. Be proud that you chose to change out of your pajamas today. You can even feel proud of the simple fact that you’re awake. Just pick one thing and focus on that. 

When negative things come up, go right back to that positive thing you've already picked out. There is always a positive, even in dark times. 

3. Don’t worry about the future or the past ... just stay in the present moment. 

I’m well aware that sometimes it’s an effort just to make it though the next five minutes. If you think about “what you’re going to do for the rest of your life in light of this crisis,” that thought process is guaranteed to keep the hurt and self pity operating at a fever pitch.

Stay in the present as much as you can. And know, dwelling on the past is just as bad as worrying about the future. You’ll tie yourself in knots thinking about what could have, should have or would have been. Letting yourself dwell on the “shoulds” is an exercise in futility and just another way to make yourself feel bad. Those realities are not in this moment. Only this moment is. Choose that.

4. Set a daily time limit for feeling sorry for yourself.  

Holding it together is really tough, especially when you constantly feel on the verge of tears and have to make it through work or not fall apart in front of your kids.

If you feel really terrible and know you’re about to lose it ... that's OK. Give yourself full permission to fall apart, wallow, cry — whatever you need to do — only just give yourself five to 10 minutes to feel those feelings completely. Go to the restroom or shut your office and bawl your eyes out. Seriously. Get it all out. Don’t shame yourself over it either.

However, once the five to 10 minutes is up, move on and think about (or do) something else. Even if you have to force it. Even if you have to white knuckle it for awhile. (Doing this will get easier.)

Saying that you’re never going to feel bad about this particular issue just isn't realistic. The more that you attempt to pretend you're fine, the more that repression will rear its ugly head in the long run. So, let it out ... just don't dwell on it. 

5. Lean on your family and friends

Let your family and friends support you in their own, imperfect ways. Allow them to provide emotional support while you’re going through this tough time. You might not want to talk about it. So don’t. Just let friends and family know what you need and they're usually happy to help.

Remember that they might not know the exact right thing to do or say, so try to be as clear as you can. Usually their silence isn’t because they don’t want to talk to you, they're just not sure of the right thing to say or they're going through something of their own. Don’t compound your loss by driving people away or judging their reactions to you.

If you truly feel worse after speaking with any particular person, just pause for a while until things clear up. It’s easy to get emotional and cut people out right now, but grief makes people act awkwardly. I’d advise you to just reach out to someone else. Later, you might see it differently.

6. Try your best to take care of daily business. 

You might not want to pay the bills, move out of the house, have the hard conversation or whatever. But those things still need to be handled. Just take them in small steps. You don’t have to do everything right now, but do SOMETHING to make things better. (I promise, this will get easier, too.)

7. Try new things. 

You're probably locked in survival mode right now and don't actively want to do anything (or have the cash on hand). It doesn’t matter. Do something new anyway.

If you’re at a loss for what to do, think about how you really liked to spend your time when you were younger. Try a new hobby, meet new people, experiment with a new activity, do volunteer work, etc. Add novel things to your routine. You'll be amazed how much these infusions of novelty and energy help you feel better. 

We all go through hard times in life.

If you’re going through a hard time right now, I understand. This challenging time will pass, so keep your head up!

Better days are right around the corner.

If you're coping with a bad breakup or keep dealing with guys who pull away and ghost you, get to the bottom of it with a free copy of Elizabeth Stone's book, Why Men Lose Interest and daily love email series. 

This article was originally published at Digital Romance Inc. Reprinted with permission from the author.