May 30, 2012

Pain is Temporary: 10 Things I Do When I Feel Like a Failure

The darkest days creep up on me when I least expect it, usually when I'm alone with my thoughts. I was fine the day before, but something always sets it off.  Maybe it was that parking ticket I got last week that highlighted the fact I am still not making enough money. Or the guilt I feel for not spending enough time with my grandma because she doesn't have too many years left. Or skipping out on a workout, not eating healthy enough, seeing everyone else progress in their life on Facebook, but everything I have worked so hard for never seem to meet my own expectations.

For a female, this thought process usually happens during that time of the month.

Today’s events went something like this: Saw my bank account and it was not looking good. I worked harder on my freelance jobs. I wanted to quit. I cried and stayed in bed with covers over me. I blacked out with negative thoughts of not being good enough. I’m twenty-five and spewed out things like I was five again. I wondered how these actions would affect me if I was a parent? I tore myself down with that voice repeating my work was never good enough and I am a failure, failure, failure.

This moment is really rare for me because I trained myself to give up on negative thinking, but when the hurricane of emotions hit, I said eff it, I’m going to embrace these stupid negative thoughts and let it consume me like a leech. Let the unnecessary baggage of negativity eat me alive.

So today, I made a list of 10 things that helped me get through the day of being overwhelmed by stress and just wanted to share them with you because everyone goes through this on their bad days. Don't let your bad days define who you are:

1. Let it consume you for 15 minutes, or an hour at most to sleep it off, but that’s it. Don’t let it ruin your entire day. Fight the bleak outlook that pushes your limitations of self-worth. Fight through the crying. Fight through the emptiness. Fight through the unwavering voice inside you that tell you are not good enough, your work is not good enough, your ability is not good enough. We all go through this and it's okay to breakdown.

2. Freshen up with a shower and dress your best. Don’t wear those super tight jeans that make you feel uncomfortable with your weight. Try something new with your outfit, wear a different hairstyle or dress your best with a bright color.

3. Go to a new place to do your work and get productive. The deadlines you have to get to, do them first. Then strategize and prioritize what you need to finish for the rest of the week. Reboot your mental checklist.

4. Treat yourself to something delicious and don’t feel bad about it. Don’t over-indulge, but promise yourself to eat something healthy in your next meal for the day.

5. Sometimes pushing yourself to do a workout will make you more exhausted. Take a break from today and plan on working out hard tomorrow.

6. Remember not to lash out on the people around you. Take a step back and realize you are having a bad day and if you have to, call them later. You don’t want to deal with negative repercussions of your actions when you are in a better mood. Always be conscious of your actions. 

6. Smile at strangers.

7. Find comfort that today is ending and tomorrow will be a new day to get where you want to be. Let go of the shit today that weighed you down.

8. Watch the motivational video attached and let it replay in your head.

9. Read this article and realize you are not alone in your emptiness of soul-searching (RIP Marina Keegan):

10. Pain is temporary. Focus on what matters in your life and move forward from today. 


  1. These are some great tips for dealing with stress. I definitely agree with #1 in terms of napping it off. I usually wake up feeling less tense and quicker to find a resolution.

    Hope the rest of the week turns that frown upside down! (: