This post is probably going to get super cheesy super fast. Many people I know (myself included) have just been dealing with a lot of crap lately. The universe seems to be throwing punches everywhere I look. I thought that today, instead of focusing on the bad stuff, I would write a list of my Top 10 Ways to Fight Back When Life Attacks (because it’s a Thursday and who doesn’t love lists?).
Yes, this one seems like a cliche answer. And generally it’s one of the last things you feel like doing when you are dealing with negativity. But whenever I can motivate myself to run I always feel so. much. better. Part of it is the endorphins my body releases (nothing like a good runner’s high) and part of it is having complete control over something (I will not walk before my 6th mile is completed. I will not) because generally when we are getting a good butt-kicking from life we feel like we have little control. You may not want to do it, but get out there and get some exercise!
2. Watch “Frozen” (or “Elf” or “Tangled” or any movie that makes you smile)
It is impossible for me to watch “Frozen” and stay pissed off. Olaf is just too damn cute, and the scene with Oaken makes me want to pee my pants every time. Don’t let yourself stay grumpy. Dig out your most comfortable pair of sweats and put on a movie that never fails to make you laugh. You may not feel 100% better when it’s over, but a little laughter is always good for the soul.
3. Look up inspiration quotes on Pinterest
This is where the corny-ness starts. Yes, I know. So often we log on to Pinterest and see some dumb quote that someone has pinned and the eye rolls start. But honestly, if you are feeling down in the dumps it can help to look at these. I’ve always found a quote that speaks directly to my situation. Just this morning I came across this:
This was great for me because it spoke to two struggles I’m facing in my life right now (pulling my life back together after ending my engagement and training for the half marathon). It may be corny, but it helps a tiny bit.
4. Have an Impromptu Dance Party.
I am not a good dancer. Ask any of my friends and they will quickly confirm this fact. However, if I’ve had a crap-tastic day there is nothing like putting on Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” and having a dance party alone in my room (“What Makes You Beautiful” by 1D has also accompanied several of my dance parties)
J and I rockin’ out to Paul Simon (can you tell this is the part with the epic flute solo??)
5. Go shopping
Retail therapy is not a joke. If you are feeling crummy, go buy yourself a new shirt or dress or pair of shoes or some jewelry. You don’t have to spend a lot. I’ve had $5 earrings from Forever 21 lift my mood. I combat feeling gross on the inside by buying something that makes me feel good on the outside. This may sound shallow, but hey, who cares so long as it makes you feel better?
6. Take a nap
Seriously. Being tired affects my mood SO MUCH. When I’m tired, things that I’m worried about are magnified x1000 (“There’s absolutely no way I can ever possibly finish this half marathon, even though I’ve done 2 already. I’ve only ran 6 miles and we are 4 weeks away. I’m so worried I can’t do it”). In the same vein, the negativity in my life seems so much worse when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Sometimes dropping everything and catching a few ZZZ’s can go a long way.
7. Take on a DIY Project
I am not a crafty person, but I like to pretend that I am. A good way for me to pull myself out of the dumps is to find a relatively simple DIY project to do (the relatively simple part is important. If I take on something that is out of my league I will probably fail and end up more pissed off than I was to begin with). It feels good to look at something you’ve created and think “Wow. Two hours ago that was just a picture on Pinterest and I turned it into reality.” A little self-satisfaction can help offset the self-doubt you may be feeling (again, if you are like me and crafting isn’t your strong suit, I can’t stress enough the RELATIVELY SIMPLE part).
8. Have a good cryfest
Sometimes you just need to let it out. If you’ve been fighting tears for awhile, maybe you should just let them go. A good crying session can be so therapeutic. Don’t think of it as being weak; think of it as a release of negative emotions. And if you do this, give it your all. Don’t silently leak a few tears. Really go after it. Sob, and sob loudly. Moan if you need to. But get it all out. After 10, 20, maybe 30 minutes you will feel much better.
9. Google Image search “Baby Animals”
This is not a joke. Just go search this one time. All that cuteness HAS to make you feel a little bit better 🙂
How can you be sad while looking at this little nugget?
If you are a religious person, this is the most important. Sometimes it can be tough to pray when you feel like life is kicking you while you’re down. I’ve had times where I’ve legitimately thought “there is now way God cares about me right now. If He did, life wouldn’t suck this much.” It’s important to overcome these feelings and pray. I mean really pray. If you need to get mad and chew God out, do it. If you need to just give up and ask Him to carry you, then do it. I could do all other nine things on this list, and all of them combined would not give me the feelings of relief and peace that I experience after offering up a really good prayer.
This list is not exhaustive. While typing it I thought of at least 10 other things I do to make myself feel better, and had to choose my top ten (do I included Googling “baby animals” or “cute babies”?). But I have honestly done every single one at some point, and they have all helped lift my spirits (maybe even just a little bit). So if you are feeling like life is currently using you as toilet paper, give one (or two, or all) of them a try.