Here's a no-fuss plan to pick yourself back up after a fall.
It’s getting worse. You just spent another day rehashing your failures, listing all the stupid things you’ve done and reliving your lows. You might be indulging your negative voice, wondering why you should even bother getting out of bed. No one needs you. Maybe you throw on Bridget Jones’ Diary, to cheer yourself up, but then realize it’s not as funny as you remember, it just feels like it’s poking fun at a cheerier version of your own bumbling life.
I have good news for you: an ambulance is not the way. But you are going to fix it yourself. Because when life seems like it is losing its meaning and you feel as thought you’re wasting it on routine chores and pointless jobs, you have to act. Act now, and act gently, but firmly.
No more drama, mama
Let’s start with the iron rule — when you feel sad, do not allow yourself any sad or melancholy influences. That’s a waste of life, and, yes, a waste of a perfectly good evening. You can listen to your favorite music about life’s disappointments another day.
Lean on prayer and silence
Sit comfortably. Turn off everything, including your smartphone. And spit out everything that hurts you. Everything. Don’t beat around the bush, just say it honestly and out loud: all your regrets, worries, anger. You have the right to do so. You are going through a hard moment. In this space, no one can tell you that there is nothing to worry about, or that there are other people in the world who have bigger, more dire problems than you do. These are your problems and worries, and you have a right to them. If you believe in God, tell him. If not, just get it all off your chest, and listen to your own voice.
Are you comparing yourself to someone?
Most of the time when we get like this, feeling disappointment in ourselves and our lives, it’s after a hefty scroll through Facebook or Instagram cataloging the sparkly, smiley adventures of old friends or celebrities. They are so beautiful! And so rich! And so happy! (No, they aren’t. Everyone has problems. Even celebrities.) Which brings me to my third rule — only compare yourself to women who are truly worthy of being an inspiration. Read about Amelia Earhart, or Audrey Hepburn, look at the poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning — that will put you in the right mind about a beautiful and happy life.
Your rescue chart
Take out a notebook and pen. Make a chart — no, I’m not joking. Divide it in half. On one side, write what changes you would like to see in your life, and on the other the dreams you would like to accomplish. Nothing helps to improve a bad mood as well as a constructive plan. Every crisis is an opportunity that should not be wasted. A plan is how you change that crisis into something more beneficial.
Life shows us all that if we don’t stand in its way every now and again, our dreams may not come true. Because they don’t just fall into your lap. I guess that’s why I like Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot. Its central characters, Gogo and Didi, are waiting and waiting throughout the course of the play, falling into increasing apathy. Nothing and no one comes. If you haven’t watched the movie version, you should. But not tonight! After you make your chart, go to sleep as fast as you can.
Also, remember that although you are sad, and maybe you are right, things are bad, keep in mind that to quote Scarlett O’Hara, tomorrow is another day, and even when times are tough, it can be the beginning of something new. Because you can’t wait for other people to rescue you. You’re in charge here.
This article was originally published in the Polish edition of Aleteia.