Get, That, Dirt Off Your Shoulder: 5 Lifestyle Strategies to Pick Yourself up When Feeling Down
You know those days, the days where it feels like everything you’re doing is wrong, when getting through the day feels impossible, and it seems like nothing will ever get better? We all have those days. When you do it can feel like you’ll never be able to pick yourself up and move on.
Sometimes these days come out of the blue. Other times these days are the result of events or circumstances, like a breakup or other loss.
Then there are those days when you made a mistake or didn’t achieve a goal and feel like a total failure. Maybe you set a goal to get something done and you spent the day watching Netflix instead. Or maybe you had a big presentation at work and it went poorly. When we feel like we’ve failed at something it can often feel like we’ll never do anything right again, so these can be the hardest days to recover from.
When it comes to dealing with failure, the best thing you can do is take concrete actions to lift yourself up. Thinking of what actions we can take to deal with failure can be really tough, so we’ve put together a list of things you can do to feel better.
1. View Failure as an Opportunity to Learn
I used to compete in martial arts, and one of the things my coach used to say all the time was, “There is no failure, only an opportunity to learn.” Whenever I felt like a failure after losing a match at a competition, I would remember these words. I’d review the match in my head and try to pinpoint where I could’ve done better. Then I focused on those techniques in my training sessions. I always used my failures as an opportunity to learn how I could be better.
If you can view your failure as an opportunity to learn, then you won’t feel so bad about the failure itself. In the immediate aftermath of the failure, review what went wrong, make some notes, and then make a plan for how you’ll handle the situation differently in the future.
Then let go of the failure. It’s in the past and all you can do now is use the information you learned to do better next time.
2. Make a Gratitude List
When we feel like we’ve failed at something it can be hard to see anything good in our lives. It can feel like everything is awful and it will always be awful. But that’s not the truth. Regardless of how badly we screw something up, there are always good things happening in our lives. Shifting the focus to the good things can help us deal with failure.
One great way to remind ourselves of the good is to make a gratitude list. There are lots of ways to do this. You can make a simple list of the things in your life that make you happy. You can try to come up with something you’re grateful for that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
Whatever practice you use, the important thing is to get on paper the things in your life that are awesome so you can shift the focus away from the failure. Making a daily gratitude list is also a great practice for cultivating a more positive perspective.
3. Move Your Body
After a failure it can feel like negative energy is trapped inside with nowhere to go. A great way to let go of that negative energy is to move your body. Some people love to go for a hard run or hit a punching bag when they’re feeling down to really release that negative energy. Other people opt for a gentler movement practice, like yoga or taking a long walk out in nature.
No matter what movement works best for you, it’s essential to get your body moving when you’re feeling like a failure or like you’ll never feel better. Movement releases endorphins, which gives our mood a boost, and the exertion helps us feel like we’ve accomplished something positive.
4. Get Some Help to Pick Yourself Up
Sometimes after a failure our head is spinning so out of control that we can’t take any action on our own. When this happens, the best thing we can do is to reach out and ask for some guidance. Sometimes this is as simple as reaching out to a friend who can listen and reassure us.
Other times, especially when the failure has been particularly monumental, we need to seek out an expert; someone who’s whole professional life is dedicated to giving advice and getting you motivated.
There are plenty of professionals out there who can motivate you, give you practical advice, and guide you to your next success. Here’s some more info about why you should definitely seek out one of these professionals when you feel like you’ll never be able to pick yourself up after a failure.
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and when it comes to recovering from a failure it’s so true. Finding something hilarious is guaranteed to distract us from our failure.
Watch a funny movie or your favorite comedy TV show (The Office is always my go to!). If you need some ideas, our site has some lists chock full of comedy movies. Or head to YouTube and watch some America’s Funniest Home Videos. Or check out our site’s “funny” section, guaranteed to cheer you up.
Another great way to get in come laughs is to call up your best friend. They can always come up with something to get the giggles going.
Coping with failure isn’t something that any of us are naturally good at. But each of us has the power to choose how we deal with failure. You can wallow in your mistakes and get stuck, or you can make some lifestyle changes that enable you to pick yourself up!
If you’re looking for more strategies for lifting yourself up when you’re feeling down, check out some of our other lists!