A relationship fails, we lose our job, a loved one falls ill. There are times when life seems quite frankly out of control. Completely and utterly overwhelming, unfair, and, well, kind of scary. It’s easy to feel hopeless, it’s easy to wonder how all of your best efforts to keep things together have just crumbled at the seams so suddenly. It’s easy to feel debilitated.
Which is why I’ve decided to come up with a bit of hope for you. A list of things that, no matter what your situation, are still in your control. Things that no one can take away from you. So if the road feels tough at the moment, be easy on yourself, remember what you do have, and turn to something that remains.
1. Music: There are songs out there to match every emotion. Find your personal ballad and listen to it on repeat. Remember that others have felt things like you are feeling before, and they have made it to the other side.
2. The chance to explore: This world is full of beauty and it hasn’t disappeared. Go walk down a new street, appreciate the trees, wander in a new shop, let the world consume you.
3. Exercise: It’s free to get out of bed and move your body. It also releases endorphins and will undoubtedly make you feel better. Do it.
4. Books: Get lost in an amazing story. Or find inspiration among someone else’s words. Or re-read your favorite childhood picture book for a bit of comfort.
5. Your ability to be grateful: Things are going wrong, but surprisingly, they are also going right. Be grateful for the people who have sat with you while you’ve cried, be thankful for your hearty dinner, by appreciative of the clear blue skies overhead.
6. Water: We forget to take care of ourselves when we are distraught, and then things only get worse. East good food, drink plenty of water, be good to your body.
7. The Internet: We live in a beautiful time of technology, so use it. It might be hard to get out of bed and face the world just yet, so open up your computer screen and chat with loved ones on the other side of the screen. We have so many ways to connect these days so reach out in whatever way works for you.
8. Cups of coffee: Who doesn’t love the feeling of holding a hot beverage? Grab a big steaming mug of coffee and relax.
9. Hot showers: Take two or three in one day. Let the hot water mix with your tears. Scrub your body clean. Or better yet, take a bubble bath.
10. The ability to write/paint/dance: Great moments of creativity often come from a heavy dose of emotions. Express what you are feeling, put it on paper, smear it in paints, or let your body do the talking.
11. The cinema: There is a misconception that you should go to the movies with friends. No, you should go alone, sit in the dark, get lost in a film, and for the moment, forget about all the chatter in your head.
12. Deep meditative breaths: </strongStop. Give yourself a moment. And breathe.
13. The power to be proud of what you are living through right now: At this moment, you are being challenged. This moment of despair is yours alone to claim, and guess what? You are making it. You are getting through this incredibly tough moment to the best of your ability. So be proud of yourself, look in the mirror, and commend yourself on your ability to be strong through a whole lot of scary emotions.
14. The ability to go to bed at a decent time: Yes, things are tough, but I promise you it will only be harder if you are sleep-deprived and cranky. Go to bed early, let yourself rest, wake up with a little bit more energy to tackle the day.
15. Other people’s good vibes: Look around you, look up and notice that the world is still turning. There are still people who are carrying on as normal, there are people who are happy. You might not be right now, but you can still take the time to listen, you can still smile at their successes, and appreciate where they are in their own lives.