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Staying Positive When Life Just Sucks

We all have days when life is just harder than other days. Sometimes weeks or months even. Is it difficult to stay positive when life is squeezing lemonade in your eye? Yep. We have already discussed that being negative is easy and being positive requires a bit more effort.

So the easy way out is to call in sick, turn on netflix, grab a bag of popcorn, and let the couch swallow you.

The maybe, kinda, sort of , trying method is to put one foot in front of the other and do the treadmill hamster wheel dance. You don’t exactly throw in the towel but doing the mindless zombie walk is anything but positive. Certainly not rewarding. And definitely not going to get you out of a funk.

So if life is really dragging you through the gutter, option one might be semi-doable. Here is what I mean. Go ahead and call in sick. You just might need a break from your routine to regroup for your emotional and physical well being.

But don’t turn on the netflix or resort to mindless munching all day. That’s a total waste of a perfectly good, sick of work sick day.

Use your time wisely to come up with some strategies to help you get out of the “suck zone”.

I worked a job that had ample sick, vacation, and comp time. I also had a boss who believed that sick days were to be used whenever you’d like and that included when you were plain out sick of working (as long as we didn’t abuse the privilege). Yep he was a real believer that sometimes you just need to recharge the batteries and it was better to stay home than to be unproductive and resentful of being at work. Ways to stay positive when life has you down

What did I do on these sick days? Once, because it was pouring rain, I stayed in and completely cleaned my kitchen. Top to bottom. Scrubbed cupboards and behind the fridge, you name it, it was clean.

For many of you, tackling a task that has been causing you some anxiety because you weren’t getting around to it can be very beneficial. And trust me, this was so much easier to do on a school day while I was home all alone. I cranked on the stereo, turned off my phone and got busy.

Another time, I went fishing 🙂 But the most productive sick day I had was when I got up, worked out like a superstar athlete and spent a good three hours hashing out my goals and what was stopping me from moving forward.

I had no idea at the time what I was going to do about it, but I had identified what was not working and that my friends, is half the battle.

Life is hectic and demanding, and to make matters worse, our minds have a way of ruminating on challenges and worries, creating more anxiety and unhappiness. The truth plain and simple is that Your thoughts determine your reality.

To have a good reality, your thoughts need to be reinforced with actions that will create a positive emotion within you. -xoxo Deanna

So when you accomplish that task like cleaning the kitchen, you feel a sense of pride, and a boost of willpower or motivation to tackle the next. The day of fishing was a way of detaching from any decision making and to practice some hours of just being in the moment. A positive boost for sure.

The day of exercise and tackling my roadblocks, that came after the other two days. Those first two were like a jumpstart on a dead car. I had taken these days over the course of several weeks but it was just what I needed to get off the treadmill. I was charging myself up to deal with the bigger issue, which for me was stretching myself way too thin and trying to do it all alone for fear of feeling like a failure if I dared ask for help. Foolish,  young, silly me.

Here’s the thing about the days that suck. If your tank of positive has something left in it, a single day of negative circumstances is usually pretty easy to bounce back from. But if a day becomes days, weeks, or months, chances are your tank is running on empty.

In today’s hectic high-demand, right now mentality it’s easy to let that tank run dry and just keep going anyway trying to hold it all together with duct tape and bobby pins. Despite what Tim the Toolman told you in the 90’s, duct tape does not fix all.

Being positive ties into being healthy. It’s no secret that optimists get sick less and generally live longer than their negative counter parts.

Not everyone is the same. Some people don’t charge up as easily as others. If you are ready to own your goals and identify your roadblocks, by all means sign up for the free 5 day negative nix/positive pump challenge on this page.

But if you aren’t there yet or if the idea of delving that deep is still scaring you, there are some other things you can do to start refilling that positive tank until it’s full enough to commit to jumping the bigger hurdles. Try a few of these small but effective mood enhancers below.

  • Play dress up. Seriously. Pick out your favorite outfit, doll up your hair, do your nails, etc. Go all out for yourself and smile at yourself in the mirror.
  • Watch funny animal or children videos.
  • Play a board game or card game with your children or spouse.
  • Pamper yourself. Egg yolk and mayo in the hair, don’t care! Lotion from head to toe.
  • Try a yoga or meditation class.
  • Get a massage.
  • Write a letter. Yes actual snail mail for someone you care about.
  • Go outside. Garden, Hike, Walk, Bike. Who cares just go soak up some vitamin D.
  • Play loud music and dance while you do your chores.
  • Turn off your phone, computer, and tv for just 12 hours, see what happens.
  • Relive an amazing day. Lay back and really recall the details.
  • If you have a partner, initiate some intimacy today, like go right now.
  • Clean our your closet, literally. Get rid of the wanted but didn’t really need and certainly don’t wear.
  • Look at family photos.
  • Call an old friend and reconnect.
  • Engage in your favorite hobby for at least one hour.
  • Exercise.
  • Go for a drive to absolutely nowhere. Just hop in and go.
  • Try a new recipe or diner.
  • Do anything that you know recharges your soul.

This life can be very challenging at times and it never ceases to amaze me how we can become accustomed to struggle. Don’t let that be you.

I love routine and order just as much as the next person. But spontaneity can increase your postive outlook on life and beat out some of the blues. This is why one should never skip a good vacation if they can afford to take one! Even if you can’t you should plan a good staycation.

So if your are finding yourself in a place where life kinda sucks right now, chances are your tank is empty and you have been going through the motions. Stop, take a breath and recognize that you need to recharge.

xoxo-Deanna

 

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6 Comments:

  1. Girl– I can’t tell you how many times I have had to take a day and put myself in ‘time-out’ so to speak! (And I thought I was the only one…! whew…) And at the end of them I usually have a really clean house just like you! But just last week I did bust through some goals and I’ve been feeling like I’ve finally gained a little traction on a more positive outlook. Thanks for being honest 😉 And for a helpful list!

    • It’s always great to bust out some goals and give ourselves a little boost of self-confidence and sense of accomplishment. This really matters to completing long term happiness.

  2. Thanks Erin. I was hesitant to use the word sucks but stinks sounded even worse haha. We all have moments when things are just not going our way. All too often we ignore it instead of hitting reset because we are time crunched or whatever other excuse we come up with, suddenly we feel overwhelmed. Americans in particular are really bad about taking their vacations or using any amount of down time to actuallly slow down!
    Have a wonderful weekend to the opening of summer!

  3. Deanna, I linked up to Porch Stories yesterday. Today, I was looking at the posts that were linked under mine. Your title really struck me. This is a fun list. Going outside is always a pick-me-up. Have a wonderful day, Deanna.

  4. Good suggestions for a pick-me-up in life. I’m glad you linked up at #PorchStories!

    • I have really enjoyed meeting ppl through your link as well as Holley Gerth and Sarah Koontz! Thank you for giving us a space to grow, learn and share.

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