Photo by Davide Pietralunga
Everyone has days when it seems that literally everything is wrong. Sometimes it’s weeks or even months; you just run into problem after problem and never seem to see a solution or a way out.
I haven’t blogged in ages, obviously. I’ve been away for a few months just because I had so much stuff going on with work and extra graduate study which I’ve taken on. I spent these last few months really working incredibly hard to produce new music, study for the master’s, and work towards getting my dream job.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I did well in the final master’s exams, but that’s a no brainer, I’m good with studying. Everything else? Disaster. My music career isn’t going anywhere right now, as much as it hurts to admit it. I didn’t pass a very important exam unrelated to music and I didn’t get my dream job.
This hit me really really hard and for a few days I was just a crying mess. I couldn’t see how to move forward and just kept seeing problem after problem after problem. I also felt like everything was my fault, and felt ashamed that I couldn’t turn the situation around. In short, I felt like a total failure.
Understand You Can’t Control Everything
We tend to think that everything is within our control, that if we just try harder everything will work out and our dreams will be fulfilled. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), that’s not the case.
I didn’t get my dream job not because of something I did wrong; they were just looking for a completely different profile, which doesn’t match mine. If that had been clear from the beginning, perhaps I wouldn’t have been so surprised when they rejected me. In fact, I probably would have realised from the beginning that I wasn’t what they were looking for, instead of blaming it on myself for not being good enough.
This Too Shall Pass
It may seem like everything is a complete disaster and you’re never going to get over it, but just remind yourself that you will! Everything is temporary, even though it doesn’t seem like it.
In any case, whining, complaining or worrying about everything is not going to change the situation, and it’s probably going to make you feel worse. You can choose how to react and what approach to take to negative situations. This is good advice, but a few days ago I definitely wouldn’t have taken it. I needed time to just wallow and process my emotions before moving on, and that’s fine. Give yourself time to heal but try to realise that you need to get up and stop focusing on what should have been.
To really get over the feelings of anger, try writing an anger list! It’s a stream of consciousness of every single situation you can think of which has made you angry,
Focus on the Wonderful Things In Your Life
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to answer something like “nothing is wonderful at the moment”, but that’s usually not true. There are always little things that are going right, and that you can be thankful for.
I have a wonderful relationship and an amazing boyfriend who stood by me during these difficult months and not once tried to force me to snap out of it. Yesterday I bought the first watermelon of the season; it’s may seem like a stupid little thing, but I love watermelon and it just made me really happy.
Treat yourself to something nice, or do something that you’ve always wanted to do; I’ve decided to get a tattoo on my wrist that I’ve been wanting for ages but it never seemed like the right time.
Things To Do When Everything Goes Wrong
Enough with the rambling! Here’s a list of things you can do to pull yourself out of a rut. Some of these definitely helped me and I hope they can help you too!
- Accept that you cannot change the situation. Just accept it.
- Take baby steps towards tiny goals, even if it’s just taking a shower and dragging yourself out of the house.
- Do something nice for yourself!
- Practice mindfulness or meditation.
- Start thinking of possible future possibilities, instead of dwelling on worst case scenarios.
- Try to find happiness in the little things.
- Give yourself time to get over things. Ask yourself if this situation will mean so much in five years time.
- Rant as much as you need to! Find someone who will listen to you without judging or rushing you, or, if you prefer, write everything down and then destroy the paper.
- Exercise! Exercise boosts mood and confidence; take a walk outside, go swimming, hiking, or do something you enjoy.
- Watch a funny movie or read a funny book. Laughter is an instant pick me up!
- Channel all this negative energy into a creative outlet, like music, songwriting, painting or writing.
For most situations, there will come a time when you won’t even remember why you were so sad or angry. Think back to what you thought were trying experiences in the past and ask yourself how many do you really remember. Chances are, close to none. This obviously does’y apply to life-changing devastating experiences, but the things that make us unhappy on a daily basis are usually not that relevant. One step at a time, get back on your feet and start moving towards new, more important goals.