Vicissitudes are a part of life.
It doesn’t always have to be a life-and-death situation or clinical depression. Sometimes, even a minor cold, the depressing weather or a harmless argument with your boss can weigh you down.
Unfortunately, these little situations can result in overwhelming stress and anxiety. That’s why you need to fix them before they get out of hand. The good news is that there are several ways to fix negative feelings and get moving in a positive direction.
Things to Do When You Feel Like Shit
The next time you feel like crap, try doing these seven things to feel better:
1. Avoid Negative Self-Talk
It is easy to engage in negative self-talk such as, “I will never be good enough” or “My life sucks.” Though it is not possible to avoid such thoughts completely, do not entertain them for long.
Excessive self-criticism can lead to higher stress levels and even chronic depression. That’s why you should avoid getting on the bandwagon of self-trash talk.
- Learn to recognize negative self-talk. Usually, your mind is racing from one thought to another, so pay close attention to your thoughts in general. The moment you notice a negative thought, note it down. It is better to write them down in a journal at the end of the day.
- Train your mind to put a positive spin on your negative thoughts. For example, if your girlfriend breaks up with you, instead of saying, “I am never going to find true love,” say, “It’s nice to be single once again. I can enjoy some alone time.”
- Talk back to your self-depreciating rant. When you hear the inner critic say, “You are a loser,” ask yourself, “Would I say this to my best friend?” If the answer is ‘No,’ tell your inner critic to shut up.
- Negative self-talk often tends to point out your drawbacks. Therefore, keeping a list of your good traits handy will help you deal with the inner critic. Whenever a negative thought pops in your mind, remind yourself of the positive qualities you have, including your sense of humor, down-to-earth attitude, the willingness to help others, and so on.
- Finally, you must learn to embrace your imperfections. This line of thinking will help you understand that it is okay to feel down when things go sideways. So, you should cut yourself some slack and hold yourself up to realistic expectations.
2. Go off the Grid
Going off the grid doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live in a cave and meditate for months before returning to civilization.
Sometimes, turning off your cell phone for a few hours is enough to clear your mind. This is perhaps the best way to introspect and reconnect with your loved ones.
Unfortunately, most people tend to lose themselves in their cell phones and laptops when they feel like crap. The more you lose yourself in your gadgets, the further away you move from your loved ones.
Breaking your technology addiction, however, is easier said than done. Nevertheless, with patience and determination, you can learn to put a leash on your online life and pay more attention to the people in the real world.
- One of the easiest ways to stop yourself from checking your cell phone every few minutes is to turn off the notifications. Thus, you can concentrate on the task at hand.
- Another way is to create usage rules about how, when, and where you can use your electronic gadgets. For example, you can decide not to use your cell phone during grocery shopping or bathroom breaks.
- However, you will still need to engage in a productive activity to keep your mind from going back to the negative thoughts. So, when you go off-grid, spend some quality time with your family members or friends.
- Ask them what they are doing and try to get involved in the best possible way. It will not only take your mind off painful memories, but also bring you closer to your loved ones, or you can always grab your favorite read and get lost in it!
3. Volunteer with a Local Charity
Volunteering is one of the best ways to break the vicious negative thinking pattern, also known as ruminating. It is also an excellent way to interact with fellow humans.
However, the biggest benefit of volunteering is that it brings you face-to-face with people you may never encounter otherwise.
Interacting with diverse people exposes you to different perspectives on life. Thus, it may change your negative attitude into a positive one and you might start having thoughts such as “I have skills that so many people don’t” or “If I can help others, I can help myself too.”
It can improve your self-esteem and even advance your career.
- Begin by asking yourself why you want to volunteer. Are you doing it for personal satisfaction? Do you want to connect with like-minded volunteers? Are you going to do it to help your career?
- You will also need to consider your personality and skills when selecting volunteering opportunities. For example, if you are a computer graduate, you can volunteer to teach computer skills to children from a local orphanage.
- You may also want to support a cause that reflects your own values and ideals. When you volunteer for something you are passionate about, you are more likely to enjoy your time as a volunteer.
- Consider your work schedule before zeroing in on a volunteering opportunity. You should be able to put in enough time and energy to fulfill your responsibilities.
- If you don’t have the time to volunteer with a non-profit organization, you can organize a yard sale for a local charity. Most households and offices have outdated electronics, furniture, clothes, or equipment that can be of help to others.
- You can find information about the various charitable organizations in your area on the Web. You can also visit websites such as VolunteerMatch, Idealist, and HandsOnNetwork to search and contact nonprofits for volunteering opportunities.
- Alternatively, you can also ask your friends and family members about local volunteering opportunities.
4. Take Care of Your Health
Your mental well-being is directly related to your physical health and vice versa. So, when you feel like shit, you are more likely to ignore your physical needs including nutrition and exercise.
In fact, increased stress levels may force you to make unhealthy choices such as eating junk food, which may further jeopardize your physical health.
To make matters worse, eating unhealthy food can lead to a negative impact on your mood. That’s why you should take care of yourself, especially when you feel like crap.
- Don’t opt for takeaway or junk food. You may feel better for a few minutes after consuming a big bowl of fries or a large pizza. However, frequent consumption of these foods can lead to chronic health issues such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and weight gain. If you don’t have time for cooking, try to cook/order wholesome food with loads of veggies and no deep-fried ingredients.
- Irrespective of your mental state, avoid consuming alcoholic beverages at all costs. Replace a can of beer with a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice of your choice. If you don’t have a juicer, find a juice bar in your neighborhood. Try having at least one glass of juice daily.
- The bad mood may make you feel like staying in bed all day. However, you need to move your butt and do some exercise. You don’t have to hit the gym and break sweat for hours. Just a brisk walk in the fresh morning air can do wonders. Another way to rejuvenate your body is to stretch or do some yoga first thing every morning. You can start with at home yoga videos; there are a plenty of them on YouTube.
- Meditation can also help improve your mood as it enables you to control your breath.
- Taking a hot bath in the morning followed by eating a healthy home-cooked breakfast is also a great way to pamper yourself and lift your spirit.
- Make sure your daily diet consists of every nutrient including vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Consult a dietician or a doctor if necessary.
- Most importantly, try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Create a sleep schedule and stick to it.
5. Don’t Be the Victim
When it comes to reacting to negative situations, people often tend to play the victim. People with this mindset blame others for their own faults and setbacks. In fact, we have all been guilty of playing the role of the victim at some point or another.
No one chooses to play this role consciously though. The attention and sympathy one gets from playing the victim often makes people fall into the trap of victimhood unknowingly. Unfortunately, this mindset can destroy your willingness to change your circumstances.
- Accept that your thoughts and actions are responsible for making you feel like crap. Take a closer look at the situation and examine your role in it. After all, if you are the one who created the problem, you also have the power to resolve it.
- Change begins with you. Instead of asking others to change themselves, try to change your own attitude first. Once your point of view changes, you will be able to regain control over your life. Thus, you can commit yourself to a new and healthier mindset.
- Stop complaining about how hard your life is. Life is hard, but that’s no excuse to become the victim. Remember, most successful people had to confront difficult situations at some point in their lives. So, work as hard as you can.
- Forgive those who have wronged you in the past. Instead, connect with the people who have always loved you irrespective of your flaws. Tell them about your self-empowering goals and seek their support if necessary.
- Stop using phrases such as “I won’t,” “I can’t” or “I don’t know how.” Instead, start using powerful affirmations or words that can help you shed the victim mentality.
6. Take a Short Road Trip
When you are down in the dumps, you may get tired of meeting the same people, taking the same route to your office, and eating the same meals every day.
What you desperately need is a change of scenery. Even the shortest trip out of the house to some new place can be completely uplifting.
- If you have the time and the resources, go away for the weekend. Explore a new place where you can interact with new people or connect with nature. You can do this with your family or even solo.
- Another option is to drive to a new place for a couple of hours to get away from your daily surroundings. Drive around on the back roads just for the sake of wandering.
- If possible, go for a short trek or camp in the nearby woods. Spending some time amidst nature can help relax your mind and stimulate your spirit.
7. Learn Something New and Exciting
You may not feel like doing much when your spirit is broken.
However, learning something new and exciting can quickly turn your bad mood around. Unfortunately, most people think learning is only for school children. However, the human brain continues to develop throughout life.
The more you use your brain, the more it develops. Learning new skills will not only lift your mood, but also make you sharper. It also introduces you to a range of new perspectives, encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone. As a result, your self-confidence boosts up.
- Whether you decide to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby, make sure it is something outside the scope of your work. Thus, you can stay away from work-related stress.
- Create a schedule to include at least 10 to 15 minutes of learning time in your daily agenda if possible. Whatever you intend to learn, make it enjoyable and interesting for yourself.
You are going to feel like shit at various points in your life.
When you do, you have only two choices: you can either continue to feel sorry for yourself or get up and take control of your life. The above seven tips can certainly help you feel happier and empowered even in the worst circumstances.
Have you ever felt worthless? What did you do to overcome that feeling? Feel free to share your wisdom in the comments section below.