Little Things You Can Do When Life Feels Too Big

You know when you have to finish a small homework assignment, do the laundry, or take out the trash, but you feel like you just can’t do it? We’ve all been there. Whether it’s because you feel unmotivated, incapable, sad, or just stuck, sometimes everything seems impossible and overwhelming and just not at all doable. People with mental health issues can probably relate well to this feeling, but really anyone can feel the weight on their shoulders that doesn’t allow them to go about their daily life as they normally would. This feeling is unfortunately inevitable from time to time. That’s why I want to write about the things that I like to do to help me move past the days where everything else just seems like too much. Of course, these are just some of the things that work for me, and they may not work for everyone, but it is important to be able to find something that you can do, and maybe even want to do, to help yourself move forward from the days that are far from ideal. 

1. Watch that one TV show or movie that never fails to make you laugh. I’m sure we’ve all heard that cheesy quote, “laughter is the best medicine.” As cheesy as it is, it’s also true. I highly recommend that everyone try to find a TV series that they can watch over and over again. For me, those shows are Friends (which they took off Netflix and I’m extremely upset about … but I won’t get into that now) and That 70’s Show. I basically rely on these shows to make me feel better, and they always do. Being entertained by the characters I know and love always lifts my spirits. 

2. Call someone you love and trust to talk. Talking about how I’m feeling is a life saver. I’m sure my mom and best friend are fed up with how often I call them to talk about the most random things, but hopefully they know how much they are helping me out by listening. Even if I’m crying or laughing more than talking, I personally find that I feel a lot better after the fact. Regardless, phone calls, facetimes, and even text messages can be exactly what is needed.

3. Take a break from staring at a screen and go outdoors. If you’re having a really bad day where even getting outside seems too hard, then skip this one for now. But if you find that you have the energy, I would highly recommend this one. You don’t have to run or walk up and down hills in workout clothes and tennis shoes, just step outside in whatever clothes and shoes you are comfortable in. People-watch, walk around your neighborhood, stare at the sky, whatever you want to do. The goal of this is just to be outside for a little bit to clear your head with some fresh air, because simply getting outside is an immediate mood booster. 

4. If you’re feeling emotional and like you need to rant and ramble but don’t feel like talking to someone, try writing it down. I have found that writing about how I feel is just as beneficial as talking about it. Don’t pay attention to whether or not what you’re writing makes sense or sounds good, because that doesn’t matter right now. If you start to overthink it, you might end up causing stress rather than relieving it. The point is to get your thoughts out, no matter how jumbled and inexplicable they may be. You can always look back at it and wonder what the heck you were trying to say later. 

5. This one may sound weird, dumb even, but hear me out  — shower. When I shower it’s like a break from anything that I was worried or stressed about before. I find showering to be relaxing and for some reason washing my body and hair automatically makes me feel better. I do know, though, that sometimes it can be the opposite and being in a shower with no distractions gives me ample time to focus on that one thing, or those multiple things, that had me freaking out in the first place. So, I find that playing music or listening to a podcast while showering allows me to concentrate on something else, which actually really works!

6. Oftentimes when having a day where nothing is going our way, our minds can get so caught up in the stress and anxiety of it all that some pretty important things can be forgotten, like eating. So, if you realize you haven’t had a substantial meal all day, do yourself a favor and make one. Don't go for a small snack, something more filling and nourishing would be better. Nothing fancy or complicated is necessary, anything microwavable will be perfectly fine as long as it gives you some energy and satisfaction.

7. Clean. I’m sure you’re like, “are you kidding? I feel like crying and you want me to clean?” Yes I do. In all seriousness, though, I have found cleaning to be oddly helpful because for me, a messy room equals a messy mind. So when I clean up a little, I feel a small sense of accomplishment. Don't worry, though, I'm not saying to go clean and reorganize your entire room; trust me I’d rather continue to lay in bed. But, choose one area, focus on that, then be done. Pick up a few things off of the floor, make your bed, or tidy up your desk. That’s it. No need to vacuum or pull out Lysol, but a little goes a long way, and I guarantee you will feel relieved afterward.

8. Last but not least, the most doable of them all: take a nap. There are times when those bad days feel so bad and never-ending that doing any of the other things on this list seems impossible, and that’s that. So instead of moving, close your eyes, try to think of anything but the things that have caused you to feel the way you do, and sleep. I know this can be tough because you know that sleeping won’t solve your problems, no matter how much you wish it would. However, you can at least take your mind off of them for a short period of time, and hopefully wake up feeling less drained and more refreshed. 

The number one thing that I would like to remind you of after reading this is that those ever-lasting, awful days or hours or minutes will, or better yet, have to come to an end. And once more with the cheesy quotes, tomorrow will be better! So if you’re feeling like your life is a movie in which absolutely everything around you is crumbling, that is completely okay and also completely normal. The best thing to do when you’re feeling like this is to try and push those feelings aside and put your mind in a better place, at least for the time being. So do what works best for you, whether that’s getting up to shower or step outside, or staying where you are and simply opening your computer to laugh at your favorite TV characters. Whatever you choose is the correct answer as long as you are moving forward and feeling the slightest bit happier in the end.

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