“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that’s pretty good.”
So what do you do when you’re feeling like there is little or no hope for you or a loved one moving forward? This is a sensitive topic and there are no easy answers. As a coach and someone who works in motivation and hope – this is the driving force behind most of my clients’ success – I find it disheartening to meet others who don’t seem to have the hope, motivation or belief that they can make a difference.
There’s a thin line between being healthy and hitting a slump that requires extra effort in order to muster up the motivation and energy to get through the day versus hitting a slow decline and waking up one day finding yourself in despair, on the brink of depression.
The good news is that there is a way out. It may be slow going, but you can muster up some hope and motivation each and every day. Here are three ways that you can do this:
- Stop and think about anything that makes you smile. Maybe you spend most of your time thinking about what is coming up in the future or what transpired in the past and focusing on the present only reminds you of how stuck you feel. Try closing your eyes and picturing something that puts you at peace or makes you smile. This can be a child, your pet, cute little baby animals, your favorite TV show, sport or pastime. It really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you can conjure up a feeling of happiness, joy or peace in that moment – even if it is fleeting. Do this as often as you can through the day.
- Talk to someone. Talk to someone about them. Don’t bring up what’s going on with you, just sit and really listen to what they have to say about their life and what’s going on with them. When we can take the focus off of our mood and put it onto something else intently, we give ourselves a break from feeling so low. We can also feel better about the conversation because we’re not focusing on ourselves since that’s where are the pain is.
- Get out in nature. This is extremely important. Even if it’s really cold out, try to get out there and spend some time in the fresh air. Touch the things in nature if you can. There’s a healing and soothing element to nature that we can’t quite explain, but it exists. If you can touch the grass, a tree or even a rock and spend 5 minutes soaking it in, you will feel better. Do this every day.
After doing this for a few days, you should start to feel a bit better each day. Remember that it can be a process to train ourselves to approach life differently, but we can do it! We are always doing it, it’s just that we don’t always focus on it consciously. You are in control even when it feels like you’re not – but this doesn’t mean that you can do this alone. You need support and someone to help you see things differently, so make sure you have someone you can call on anytime.
Motivation and hope are the two things that keep us moving forward. If you have a dream or goal in mind, focus on completing that goal and what it will feel like to do that. This can also be very motivating! Then, “rewind” to the present day and picture all the steps you took along the way to reach that goal. This will make it easier for you be motivated to take a specific action today.
Finally, if you’re feeling like you can’t get out of bed or that you are feeling fatigued and unable to approach your everyday tasks, then talk to a trusted health care professional or counselor and work to get yourself healthy again.