Monday, April 21, 2008

When life feels hard

It's a new week and I'm feeling great -- well, a little tired, but great nonetheless. But I have a friend who is really struggling and that makes me sad. Anyone have any tips for someone who can't seem to find their motivation or any hope in their life? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Here are mine:

1. Treat yourself with great care. I like to this of this as extreme self care, which is the last thing I want to do when I'm feeling low. But doing simple stuff like drinking lots of water, taking vitamins, showering -- you know, the basics -- can help to put you back on track.

2. Make a list. Years ago during some of my most difficult times, I made a checklist titled "Elements of a Good Day." On it were the activities I deemed as mandatory in a good day. Stuff like this:

Morning prayer
Plan dinner
Call 1 friend
5 fruits and veggies

I printed the checklist on nice paper in a cool font, and had places to mark each activity as completed. This helped when I was feeling confused and didn't know what to do next.

3. Take it a day at a time. If a day at a time is too long, take it an hour at a time. And do something -- anything -- that moves you towards what you want. Here's an excellent quote:

The reason most people
do not succeed
is because they sacrifice
what they want most for
what they want right now.

Don't sacrifice what you want most for what you want in the moment.

4. When (not if, but WHEN) you don't do what you wanted to do, move on. Learn from it. Extra calories give you fuel for a better workout. Not showering proves that it feels lousy to feel dirty all day.

Hoping for a wonderful day for my struggling friend and for everyone!


Eileen said...

I would suggest that your friend try to envision her perfect life.

Then I would suggest that she write down 20 things she is grateful for. If she can't think of 20, she can start smaller. But usually more things will come to mind once the process gets started.

Then go back to that vision of the perfect life. I bet she will find that she ALREADY has many of the elements of that perfect life in place. The rest are things to work towards.

Rinse, repeat and do this as often as needed until feeling much, much better.

Eileen said...

Oh and I left out the Biggie:

Be in this moment. Stop thinking about past failures (they've already happened) or imagined failures (they have not happened and probably will not even happen). What's happening right this moment? Your choices are to:

1. Accept it: This does not mean you can't change it, but you can say, "OK, this is what's going on."

2. Enjoy it: Have fun with it if you can. And if you cannot, go to #3.

3. Change it: Do what you have to to make it better.

Jen said...

Your idea of writing a list is an important tool in a life coaching course I took online. It's in important exercise to do what will make your day more enjoyable and productive. And it builds a good habit and consistency.

GREAT stuff! Thanks!

KatieFeldmom said...

Good luck to your friend. These are some great ideas and I hope she does them.

Laurie said...

I love the list as I'm struggling with some life changes myself right now and it's hard to be motivated. I read today, Just Who Will You Be by Maria Shriver which was really insightful and then got home to find out that I will in fact be laid off. I would recommend that as a good book to read. I will be stealing your list idea - I have a todo list everyday, but I think I need to add some things like shower on there, cause it does make a big difference in how you feel about yourself.

Irene said...

Everyone has their own life journey. The only things you can do is be there for your friend when needed and lend an ear, a hug or a shoulder to cry on.