Nice Life Reminders Pip-Life

Ten Ways To Feel Better When Things Have Gone Wrong

I’ve been around the block a few times and I always think it’s good to share this kind of stuff. Sometimes, things go wrong. It’s pretty poxy, but it’s the way life often is. It’s not always peachy, you know?

We can’t always have the brightest day or get what we feel we deserve in life… It seems disappointing, but it’s just the way it can be. Darnit.

Still… know that if you are having a really crap time, that you are in good company because good people do have crap times and there are others out there hanging on by the skin of their teeth just like you.

Everyone is different and every situation is different, but here are a few ideas on how to respond if you are having some darker days. These things could help in small or big ways, I think.

I hope things brighten up soon, darling-face.

 

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1. FEEL THE FEELINGS

I know you might want to bury yourself in your work or wrap your feelings in a kind of emotional sushi roll and compartmentalize them away, but I am here to tell you that it does not work.

In the long run you will be MUCH healthier if you have a little chat with yourself each time the feelings wash over you. ‘Oh man. I feel so sad. Why did that happen. It makes me feel so lonely and dumb’ and have a sob as you go. Rolling them up like an avocado packed snack is not good. You will get the wasabi backdraft when you least expect it.

Feeling things out – even if it means tears – is much better. You are mindfully dealing with what has gone before you. If things just seem too, too awful it’s time to ask for support from a friend or head to your local GP and let them know you need to talk this through with a therapist. Don’t be shy about this. If you had a peaky knee you’d go to the doctor, so a peaky head and heart should be approached just the same.

 

2. GIVE IT TIME

Don’t get cross with me. This is a proven strategy from a person who has lived through adversity aka me. Time really does change the way you feel about things. It does not heal all wounds. Nope. But it really does move us on from the all-consuming intensity of things to something less all-of-the-time.

Time also lets different perspectives trickle in as we process what’s happened, research how others have felt and dealt with the stuff you are going through and slowly start to learn to live with whatever adversity has bumped into us.

 

3. SNOOZE

Possibly easier said that done, but this is the time to let the restorative powers of sleep do their thing.

If you can’t sleep, do not lie in bed and wonder about how things could have turned out a different way. Get up. Lie on the couch. Put a blanket over you. Watch something mindless on TV or read book until you drift off again.

Turning things over and over in the dead of night is not allowed. Distract yourself until the day dawns and then choose one of these strategies to move on with.

 

4. HAVE A PITY PARTY

Once you’ve done your best to feel the feels you can level up a bit. We ALL know that alcohol is a depressant. We know that. But sometimes having a few Pimms or pints or gin and tonics with your buddies and sobbing into a beer coaster is just the kind of companionship you need.

Note that it’s a good idea to have a co-pilot or a pal sleep over so that you can talk those post-pub babbling hours away until you feel asleep. The pity party is really a  one night only offering. Having a pity party every night or solo pity parties = not advisable or helpful.

(And if you’re going to be all tut-tutty and ‘alcohol is not the answer’ know that I am a PERSON not a PSYCHOLOGIST so let me give PERSON advice, dammit!)

 

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5. HAVE A HEART-TO-HEART

Social media has helped us to refine and roll out a glossy new form of communication, but it can NOT trump the old ’sitting on the floor with a cup of tea tearily looking into someone’s eyes admitting you don’t have all the answers’ type situation.

If you don’t have friends or family you can talk to frankly and awkwardly and vulnerable-y, then maybe it’s time to get a referral to a counsellor. Most of the time you can get a few sessions for free and chatting to a human in a non-curated, non-polished, actual human way is going to help you a lot.

Find a way to do that… and if you don’t have those people in your life, know that it’s a symptom of modern life, not a sign that you have issues. #StupidInternet

 

6. PAT AN ANIMAL

Comfort animals are an ACTUAL thing now aka therapy tool, telling us that what we alway knew – that hanging out with animals can help us to feel understood and more grounded – is totally proven.

If you have a pet, you are well on your way to some small doses of feeling better. If you don’t have a pet, getting out amongst nature might be a good alternative. Animals not only KNOW when things are awry, they do their best to communicate their solidarity AND they are a reminder that there are big, amazing, complex systems at play out there in the natural world.

Things that make us feel a bit less BIG and a bit more like we are part of something BIGGER.

 

7. WALK IT OUT

And while we’re talking about nature, it’s good to note that being out in the world amongst the trees and the chirpy birds and the snails and the ants is a calming tonic if you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s good to walk at a little bit of a pace to get your blood pumping and avoid maudlin meandering.

If you walk for long enough or at a decent pace your endorphins will reward you, but even a little bit of fresh air and fresh perspective can clear the head and help you find your feet.

 

8. WRITE IT OUT

This is my favourite thing to do. Open up your computer. Create a document. Start typing. This is just for you. It’s not a novel or fancy prose. It’s for your eyes only.

Write down all the things that are worrying you. Think about the feelings that are washing over you. Try to write those down too. How it feels. Why you feel that way. What happened. Who was there. Write, write, write. Then save your document. Come back later that day, or tomorrow. Do it again. Do this every day. Get it all out.

 

9. TREAT YOURSELF

Maybe it’s time to take yourself out for a little treat? I’m not talking about racking up totally bonkers charges on your credit card, I’m talking about treating yourself to the kind of things that make you feel sparklier (even if it’s just for a little while.)

For me that would be books (old or new), op shop ceramics, vintage dresses, kim chi, nice stationery, white chocolate, bunches of smelly flowers, colourful socks, nice perfume, new leggings (I KNOW!) Your things will be different from mine, but equally important. Don’t spend too much… but do treat yourself to a few little pick-me-ups.

 

10. LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY

Things can go to rack and ruin when you’re feeling like it’s all too much, but it really does help to TRY and look after yourself each day. Non-negotiable are things like hot showers or bubble baths, exercise is a good one too (even if it’s just some stretches in the lounge room, that’s exercising too, ya know?!) Drink plenty of water, don’t drink too much wine, eat some green things every day, try not to gobble the whole block of chocolate in one evening.

Try to look out for your bits and pieces because it will make you feel better in the long run and being physically ill as well as heartsick is not anyone’s cup of tea.

 

If you are feeling like everything has gone wrong, you have my deepest sympathies. Life is full of crappy hurdles, but know that each time you get over one your resilience is a little bit more super-powered and your wisdom grows three-fold. Hang in there, chicken. One day this will be distant memory and you will laugh in the face of its dumbness.

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Other good stuff on my blog:

10 Ways To Help A Friend When They Are Sad Or Struggling
Pip’s School For Slumpy Creatives : Lesson One
How To Make Choc Chip Brioche Buns
24 Non-Crap Things To Say To The Sad Person In Your Life
Make My Very Best Chicken Soup

 

13 Comments

  • Reply
    Lucy
    September 9, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Thank you so much for this advice Pip, I’m going through the shittest of times at the moment and feeling very alone. It’s hard when someone tells you they no longer love you. I know that this advice is going to go along way. Thank you

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      September 12, 2016 at 4:56 PM

      Life is so blinking difficult sometimes. So sorry you are going through some shitty stuff. Love to you. xx

  • Reply
    Siobhan
    September 9, 2016 at 12:36 AM

    I love you…thank you for being wonderful and writing such a lovely pal-type advice piece. A happy day to you xxx

  • Reply
    kyle Cogan
    September 3, 2016 at 7:11 AM

    a very interesting post Pip! I’ve just been a little old school when it comes to emotions men were once told to just deal with things and not show emotions well for the past 14 years I’ve just gone with that but things are certainly changing from those days there’s a time and a place for everything but things happen if I feel my emotions playing up I just find something I enjoy doing such as doing laundry or just doing tasks I favour even making myself a coffee as that liquid gold is something that tends to work for me every time lol

  • Reply
    Annette
    August 28, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    Pip this is such rad “person” advice!
    You are wise and delightful.
    That is (not) all.

  • Reply
    Nanette
    August 25, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    Geez, I know why I love your blog and it’s always on my reading list. I love these suggestions, especially a pity party, it really is good for the soul. Having someone to talk to can be challenging to some. A lovely much younger than me colleague gave me a beautiful compliment this week, she referred to me as her “work mum” and said that my listening ear allowed her to talk things out and more often than not during our chats she came up with her own solutions and I love that you are a “blog mum” to many. Keeping it real, thoughtful and offering practical solutions. Thanks for yet another inspiring post.

  • Reply
    Delphine
    August 25, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    If I have the blues,one of the things I do is go to your blog!
    I have it in my Feedly under “FeelGood/Mandatory reads”…I was there a lot those past few days, someone sold some of my cute bunny illos to a company who published them as stamps unknowingly. What a depressing mess, enough to mop! And then I thought about you some more, because I have a strong support group on the internet, and the problem solved in quite a happy way…In a very happy Pip way! Thanks for your happy posts, they really help ( and your happy books, too)

  • Reply
    Rajalekshmy
    August 25, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Hi Pip,
    Thank you so much for this post! It came at the right time!

  • Reply
    Denyse
    August 24, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Tick to all!! You are a bloody awesome woman you know that? I’m going through STUFF that I cannot share except with poor hub (who is also affected but he handles stuff differently to moi!) and my GP & now a wonderful psychologist. SO everything on your list is being applied by me via Instinct and. Learning from others including Tara Brach, Andy Puddicombe (headspace meditation) . Haven’t got a pet to cuddle but everything else is on my list too! Today was wet & cold but my mood was meh so on went the gum boots and jacket & walk up the street to the park was just the thing! You are the one who got me on that kind of walking through your book! I have always before of course but it always had purpose – photos, fitness now my walks are about noticing and engaging all of my senses. Thanks again Pip. Your wisdom is a winner! Denyse xx

  • Reply
    Frances
    August 24, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    Pip, you’re awesome. Your blog posts are always so perfectly timed. I recently ended a five year relationship (my first ever) and even though I feel it was the right decision for me, I still feel like my world is turned on its head. It’s been a great tonic for my soul tonight, to read your list. It reminds me that things will get better in time, but right now I have to feel all my feels, whatever shape those feels take. Thankyou x

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 24, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    Hi Pip
    It’s like you can see through my windows sometimes, I have been a blubbering mess for what seems like the last 6 months, I got some shitty news about my physicality which was already not so hot and have just felt so sad. Thanks for your posts, they do give me a little smile, you seem to always know when I’m having a particularly poopie day. Love ya Nic

  • Reply
    Edie
    August 24, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    Nawwwww you are a peachy face Pip! Yup.
    I’m soooo tired this week.. I’m doing like 60 hours in 6 days or something so I was like all Gahhh about it but I am halfway through. Then today was a lovely day and everyone was so funny and nice. And then one of my receptionists who is Greek brought me a spinach and feta pie her mum had made and a big fluffy thing of sugared almonds. How nice is she?!!!! Omg. So nice. I beamed. And I felt less gahhhhhhh. Yup. xxx

  • Reply
    Anne
    August 24, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    what a lovely post Pip, thank you!

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