How to feel better when everything is just the worst

So you’ve hit a rough patch. Maybe you lost your job, or your boyfriend decided you weren’t “the one.” Maybe your mom is being impossible (again) and your car broke down and your rent went up and you broke your favorite mug this morning. Maybe your Wi-Fi is on the fritz and your pants don’t fit and your hair won’t grow and your student loans are piling up so high you’re seriously considering declaring bankruptcy and moving to a deep dark cave where the banks can’t find you. Maybe it all happened on the same day and you’re currently lying on the bathroom floor in the fetal position. No matter what’s got you down, I promise it’s going to be ok. Eventually. Just take a deep breath and try these tips to turn that frown upside down, and your life right side up.

1. Make a list of all the important people in your life

This can be family, friends, neighbors, bosses, anyone who plays a dominant role in your existence. Now grab some highlighters and break that list into three parts: people you can confide in, people who can help you achieve success, and people who are dragging you down. Now call one person you can confide in, figure out how one of the success people can help you, and cut one crappy person from your life. Repeat.

2. Go through all of your clothes

Try them all on and get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel absolutely fabulous. Clothes are a huge component of confidence, and you don’t feel fierce, you can’t move past whatever is holding you back. If it doesn’t fit: toss it and never look back.

3. Get on Spotify and find one new artist to jam to

It’s amazing how the right music can change your mood, and there’s something invigorating about discovering a new sound. Put on your dance pants and get down.

4. Get out a calendar and set a realistic weekly goal

Something easily achievable that will make you feel productive without making you feel overwhelmed. Examples: I will update my resume. I will delete all of the Facebook friends whom I wouldn’t ever want to talk to in real life. I will do the laundry I have been avoiding for three weeks and stop pretending that swimsuits are the same as underwear.

5. Find an animal to pet

Look deep into its eyes. This animal believes in you. It knows you are a superstar. It is your biggest fan. You can’t let this animal down.

6. Find something to look forward to

Plan a trip or a night out with your girlfriends. Look up release dates for the newest Ryan Gosling movie. Just get something down in your planner that’ll make the day-to-day struggles seem unimportant in comparison to the joy you will soon experience.

7. Choose one unhealthy habit to give up

It can be a little one. This is about baby steps. Promise yourself that you’ll no longer bite your nails, or block your ex so you’re no longer able to stalk them. It’s going to hurt, but the payoff will be worth it.

8. Make a list of what you want

Write down your career goals, your romantic intentions, and all the little things you hope to accomplish. Tape your list to the wall in a visible part of your house. Look at it daily for fresh motivation.

9. Give yourself one flop day a week

Put on your sweatpants, turn on the Netflix, and grab the ice cream. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Stress tends to deprive us of our sleep and our sanity. You need a day to recharge. No worries, no problems, just you and your Mad Men.

10. Pick an inspirational quote (or five!) to live by

Make it your mantra. Say it when you’re sad, say it when you’re happy. Say it in the shower; say it in the car. Let it serve as a constant reminder that you are a kickass human being and you’re going to get through this.

Marti Schodt is currently a journalism student at the University of Washington. When she’s not busy pretending to be productive, she enjoys eating large burritos, dancing in her underwear, marathoning romantic comedies, and taking long, luxurious naps in her double bed she refuses to share with anyone. Her professional goals include publishing a novel(s), writing for a sassy sitcom, and convincing Tina Fey to adopt her. 

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