Ask almost anyone about their perception of life and you’re bound to get a million different answers. But underlying all those responses will most likely be one common theme: Life is tough.
And it is. There are inevitably time when we struggle to get through the day. Other times, we simple start in the morning and fall flat on our face between mid-morning and lunch. There are circumstances when we feel completely overwhelmed or angry or confused.
Sometimes there is no reason for the foreboding feeling. It just is. Other times, there is a reason. Too much work. Too many annoying people. Too much heartbreak or anxiety or criticism.
We’re all human. We make mistakes. At times, life feels unfair. Other times, it feels just right. It’s all okay because it is part of who we are.
When life gets tough and you need to take a step back, consciously breathe and rediscover happiness and hope, here are 43 ways to do that:
1. Put a freeze on your brain. Stop thinking. Allow yourself time to recharge mentally.
2. Check in with self-talk. Drop the things you’re telling yourself that are either not true or no longer benefitting you.
3. Head to the movies. They are a pleasant escape and a welcome distraction from all you’re going through.
4. Pray. Talk to God and let him overwhelm you with peace that everything will be okay and hope that you can face tomorrow.
5. Pull out your walking shoes. Taking a stroll anywhere gives you a needed opportunity to air out your brain.
6. Get grateful. Write down 10 things you are thankful for and post the list where you can see it regularly.
7. Talk to a friend. Sometimes all you need is a different perspective or someone who will listen to you vent.
8. Clear the clutter. De-cluttering your surroundings can work wonders when life’s not going to well.
9. Go get ice cream, chocolate, or whatever you like. A little break from the regular never killed anybody.
10. De-Facebook, De-Twitter. If it all feels like just way too much coming at you all at once, take a break from social media.
11. Embrace silence. Sometimes you need to lock yourself away from the rest of the world (or kick out the rest of the world) and be alone with yourself.
12. Read fiction books. Real life can be brutal and a not so real life can make it all better at least for a while.
13. Read nonfiction books. If you’re needing some advice or looking for a way out, grab a self-help book that you think can assist you.
14. Don’t stop the music. Listen to songs that are upbeat, positive, and give off good vibes.
15. Find someone like you. Most problems are not unique. Find someone who has overcome what you’re going through.
16. Serve. When your life isn’t going so well, go and try to make someone else’s life better.
17. Check in with a doctor. If it is a dire situation, go and see your doctor, counselor, or psychologist.
18. Create a routine. Life gets hectic when everything’s confused. Getting into a routine can help provide the support you need.
19. Exercise. I mean go for a run, do some cardio, go swimming, spend time at the gym — this will increase your energy levels and overall feel for tackling the day.
20. Meditate. Yes, sit still for a moment and consciously move your mind off of the tasks of the day. Calm yourself and allow your strength to be renewed.
21. Let your hair down. I know we’re adults and taught to not act like a kid, but it’s okay to go out for dinner, go shopping, or spend a night out on the town.
22. Get help. Maybe you don’t need to see a therapist or a doctor, just someone to talk to. Help is always a phone call away.
23. Go to sleep. A lack of sleep results in increased mood swings, reduce creativity and a host of other problems. Go figure.
24. Set priorities. Do what is a priority not everything that beckons for your attention.
25. Engage in a hobby. Painting. Gardening. Word searching. Wooden crafting. It doesn’t matter. Do something different.
26. Cry. I know, I know, we’re taught that adults don’t cry about broken glass, but crying is a releasing emotion that just might make you feel better.
27. Look for the good. There are countless inspiring stories in books, magazines, and online. Stop listening to the trash and read these.
28. Arm yourself with knowledge. Choose to do the research about what you’re experiencing and use what you learn to deal with the problem.
29. Be kind. When we do something for someone else, even a total stranger, it makes us feel warm and connected.
30. Visit Starbucks. Almost everyone does, right?
31. Get around people. You don’t have to talk to them but sometimes getting out of your familiar surroundings can give you a new perspective.
32. On second thought. If you don’t like being around people, go and make yourself feel at home in your house. Breathe. Relax.
33. Be brave. It’s our fears that often overwhelm us. Look for new experiences and do things that you have never done before.
34. Go for a drive. Just leave your house, get in your car, and drive somewhere you’ve never been before.
35. Embrace spontaneity. We can get so caught up with planning and calendars and dates and times that we forget about spark and excitement.
36. Love. Give love to others. Receive the love that comes to you.
37. Treat yourself. Buy yourself a gift because you are more than enough and worth it.
38. Drop limiting beliefs. You can. You always can. If you can’t, it’s only in your head.
39. Do the laundry. We spend as less time as possible doing the things we think are run of the mill. But who can argue with clean clothes?
40. Find your true calling. Work is just work until it becomes a friend that grabs your hand and wants to be with you all the time.
41. Get social. Find a cause that is worth fighting for and dedicate your time, money, talent, and resources to it.
42. Keep making progress. Every little step you take is a step toward your goal. Don’t stop.
43. Roll with the punches. This comes from my grandmother. No matter how tough it might be, it is all temporary. You will get through it. And at the end, it will be beautiful.