Sometimes everything bad seems to happen at once. Your career, your private life, your health, everything seems on a downward spiral and you don’t know how to stop it. We’ve all experienced it at least once: Sometimes life sucks. Like, really sucks!
While I hope that you won’t have to experience this any time soon, chances are you are reading this, because you kinda hate your life right now. So to help you deal with whatever situation is making your life hard, I wrote this list of 15 things to help you deal when life sucks.
1. Accept that you feel this way right now
The first thing to help you deal with this feeling is to accept it.
That might sound weird, but think about it this way: You already have to handle all that trouble in your life. Why would you additionally fight how you feel about it? It’s just one more drain on your precious energy.
It is okay to be frustrated. It is just a sign that something needs to change. Which brings me to my second point.
2. Know that this is temporary
When you are desperate, low or depressed, it can be hard to imagine things going okay again. But this is temporary. In fact, everything is temporary. Remind yourself that no matter how awful things seem right now, nothing goes on forever.
And every day you have the chance to take little steps towards a better future. Towards a life you don’t hate.
3. Focus on the little steps
Instead of asking yourself “Why does life have to be so hard?” ask yourself “Which little steps can I take towards a life that doesn’t suck?”
Put your focus on helping yourself instead of bringing yourself down.
Sometimes you are dealing with circumstances you cannot change. In that case, think about how you could deal better with it. Could you change your attitude towards it somehow? Can you learn mental techniques to deal better with it?
4. Imagine your perfect life
The more you say “I hate my life”, the more you focus on the things you don’t want. When you start taking little steps toward a better life, this focus already changes. Now take it a step further.
Imagine your perfect life. Take a few minutes every day to really think about what you want. Daydream. This will help you immediately, as daydreaming of nice things automatically lifts our mood. And it can help you long term.
If you decide how to figure out how to get there. Step by step.
5. When life sucks: Just breathe
When your life sucks, depression and anxiety can build up and paralyze you. All you can think of is how much you hate your life and how awful everything is.
For situations like that, drop out of your mind and into your body. Take a few deep breaths and focus on that alone. Notice how your belly expands and contracts. Feel the air flowing in and out of your nostrils. Keep doing this for a few moments and notice how you relax a little.
Related: How to meditate for beginners
6. Be mindful
To focus on your breathing is only one form of being mindful. Learn other forms of mindfulness and find out how much this can help you in dealing with frustration and hardships.
7. Train your gratitude
Sometimes we feel that life sucks because we simply don’t notice the small moments of joy every day has. And no, I am not telling you to be grateful for your hardships. (If you can – teach me! I am in the process of learning this!)
I am telling you to train your gratitude muscle. Find small things that you might take for granted, but that you would be really sad to let go.
My favorite example for this is breathing through your nose. Do you know that feeling when you get a bad cold, and you realize how much you normally take breathing through your nose for granted? And now that it’s stuffed, you miss it so badly!
There are so many more things in our lives like that. Look for them, write them down and look at this list whenever you need it.
8. Pamper yourself
You can also make a difficult situation easier for yourself by taking some time for self-care. Actively create more moments of joy for yourself.
This can be something really small, like taking a minute to smell some chocolate cookies. Or it can be a little more, like treating yourself to a spa day at home. Just find ways to make your own life a little better.
9. Talk to someone
Sometimes all we need is someone to listen and understand. See if you can find a place where you can just let it all out. Call a friend or write in an online forum. Tell someone why your life sucks.
In some cases, just talking about it will already take an incredible amount of pressure off. Just make sure to not dwell on it.
10. Write it down
If you either don’t know who to talk to or don’t feel comfortable sharing your issues with the internet, consider a journal. Or some other form to allow you to get these thoughts out of your head.
Paper, also the digital kind, is patient. It won’t tell, it doesn’t judge and best of all, it always has time.
11. What can you learn from this?
An additional way to change your perspective in moments when your life sucks is to ask yourself “What can I learn from this?”
Are you building resilience? Are you learning how to face adversity and keep going? Every difficult situation makes you stronger in some way. You just need to know how to look for it.
Even if all you learn is to NOT do this thing again – that’s a valuable lesson, isn’t it?
12. Blow off some steam
When you hate everything and feel like you can’t take the frustration anymore, find some physical activity to blow off some steam.
Go for a brisk walk or even a run. Jump on your bike or turn up the music and dance it out. Your body feels all your stress. And it can also help you get rid of some.
13. Let go of resentment
When things don’t go our way it is natural to look for others to blame. And your feelings might even be completely justified. Someone might have done you terribly wrong.
But this is not about others. This is about how you can feel better. And letting go of resentment, anger, and those other bad feelings will help you.
It might take some time, but you can practice it.
14. Hack your brain
Even if you really, really don’t feel like it: try a couple of these brain hacks. You might feel silly while doing them, but science knows better. These work.
Using brain hacks like that will not suddenly turn your whole life around. But they can help you deal with difficult situations by improving your mood temporarily.
15. Inspire yourself in any way possible
Last but not least: get inspiration from the outside. Listen to inspirational podcasts, read helpful blogs (like this one, I hope), look at motivational quotes and listen to uplifting music.
Put as much good stuff as you can in your head and your heart. Remind yourself that you are incredibly resilient and precious and that you deserve the best!
Now go and get your life back!