On roadblocks & what keeps me going…


We all know this feeling, when nothing seems to be going our way and when every effort is met with the most stubborn resistance. We all have banged our head on the proverbial wall (or maybe, the table or piano, like Don Music on Sesame Street).
Life is unfair and everybody has it better than oneself.
We all said (or at least thought) it before.

The thing is, how do you pick yourself up and keep going?

Here are some things that work for me:

1) Make time for yourself. Even if it is 15 minutes during your lunch break or after work. Do something that makes you feel good. Go for a walk. Read a book. Knit. Stitch. Crochet.

2) Take a bubble bath. I don’t know about you, but I am not a person who usually takes the time to take a hot bath (especially in the summer, ha!), but if you need some time to yourself, some time to relax, there is nothing better than that (especially now in the fall and winter). Light some candles. Read a good book and really dive into the story. Let your mind float. Close your eyes and try to concentrate on the moment.

3) Talk to a friend. Something that always, always pulls me out of a rut is talking to my sister or a close friend. There is nothing more therapeutic (and cathartic) than spilling your guts and frustration to someone who knows you and loves you. It really helps to gain some new perspective and fresh energy to keep going.

4) Write it all down in your journal. Be brutally honest with yourself. Sometimes seeing your issue in ink on paper makes your realize that hardly anything is really worth losing your head over.

5) Work out. I know you probably think that working out is the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling low, but working out actually does little wonders to you. (Remember, all those endorphins that are released during a workout? You’ll feel so much better afterward – not just in regards to what’s going on with you, but also because you kicked your own butt and went running! Double win!)

6) Treat yourself. We all know it, retail therapy works for the most of us (at least temporarily). The trick is to not mindlessly spend money on things that you don’t need or even want, but pick out one item – and it can – or even should – be something small – that will really brighten your day. For me, that can be a pretty mug at the thrift store (for $0.49), a couple of $1-stamps at Michaels or just an indulgent drink at Starbucks. (Do I hear, salted caramel topped latte, anyone?)

7) Watch mindless TV. I know, many of you do that anyway (just kidding!)… but I don’t watch much TV during the week, besides the news, and it’s a real treat for me to just settle into the chair and watch some silly shows for a couple of hours. It easily takes my mind of anything.

8) Consciously admit to yourself that you feel miserable and work through the feelings. I think the biggest mistake that people often make is to not acknowledge their feelings. Sure, life doesn’t stop just because you’re having a bad day and there are still commitments and duties that need to be taken care of, but that does not mean that you should simply ignore your emotions and carry on as if everything is fine. Obviously we sometimes have to grit our teeth and just keep going, but not to the point where everything has been bottled up inside you for so long that you don’t even remember where to start to fix it.

What are your coping strategies when you are having a bad day?
What  keeps you going?

Remember: every day is a new day!

  1. You know what has helped me recently? Watching mindless RTL shows on my laptop. It totally works for me. :) I also love that I started to get up early on the morning to go running. There is nothing better than running through a sunrise.
    .-= Stefanie blogged this: Shaping up =-.

  2. I usually gorge on bad food, which is a bad habit of mine. ;)

    But I give two thumbs up on the bath theory! Baths are the best at helping to soothe away a bad day.
    .-= Stephany blogged this: On Being an Introvert =-.

  3. I think my blog friend Stephanie over at Femmena Mala could’ve used this today! She just wrote asking for input on how to pull herself out of the blues.

    All great tips. Particularly the tip about drinking salted caramel hot chocolate. THE BEST TIP.
    .-= Suburban Sweetheart blogged this: Stranger Danger Is a Myth =-.

  4. I needed this post today!! :)
    .-= ToBeAnnounced blogged this: November 9 =-.

  5. All excellent, excellent suggestions. I usually need to call a complete time out on life. I actually did that just today — I canceled plans I had for the rest of the week and the weekend. I just need some me time to zone out and focus on me instead of everyone else.

  6. Oh my, can you read my mind? I had a really really bad day yesterday, and the last few weeks have also been very straining …I need to make some time for myself maybe this weekend to get over it and feel better…I guess my husband needs to take the kids somewhere so I can relax at home.
    And I already know a treat I will get for myself…the new limited edition 30 seconds to mars-CD that has just been released…heading over to Amazon now to order that…
    oh, and thanks for the post, even though you probably didn’t know about my bad day(s)

  7. I usually reavaluate my goals — most of the time if I’m frustrated, it’s because I’m not making HUGE (impossible) progress. So I sit down and remind myself that while I may not have achieved HUGE success or the entire goal, every day, I do little things to work towards it.

    I also take time to relax and enjoy the things that make me happy!

  8. Those are good ones. When I lived in Santa Cruz, a walk along the beach was a good fix. Meditation, journaling, yoga, a long walk all help. Or a pedicure or massage! And yes, some days call for a latte (salted caramel? YUM!).

  9. Working out, no matter how much I don’t want to admit it, always helps be destress. There’s something about laying in all out on the mat or on the treadmill and just letting it all go.

    And admitting I’m upset or unhappy or just not okay is always hard for me. I try to convince myself I’m okay and fine and whatever, it’s cool, but when I finally think about and say no, I’m not okay, I always feel instantly better.
    .-= terra blogged this: The Attempted Burglary =-.

  10. Aw, this was such a wonderful post. So many great ideas to help give you a pick-me-up. I’m definitely going to try some of these things the next time that I’m feeling down or not inspired to do anything. Thank you, San! I hope you’re having a lovely day.

  11. Great list! I filled my entire evening last night with mindless TV after a busy week and it was WONDERFUL! :)
    .-= lauryn blogged this: The sharp knife of a short life =-.

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