No matter how hard you try, sometimes it seems like nothing is going right. Life just feels bad, so bad that you might want to stay in bed for the rest of time. But it’s much better to look for ways to change your life, start over, and maybe even try something new.
This is easier to say than to do, especially when things are really bad. For example, getting out of a small creative slump is a lot easier than getting back on your feet after a bad breakup. Still, it is possible. It’s pretty much the same place to start if you want to feel inspired or if you want to completely change your life.
But how can you tell when something needs to be different? Well, if you’re not getting dumped or fired, you might just have a vague feeling that something is wrong. “A general feeling of unhappiness or restlessness in many parts of your life,” says psychologist Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle. “An urge to change things, even if nothing is really wrong, in the hopes that it will make you feel better.”
No matter what your reason or problem is, some of the tips below might help. I hope you’ll be able to figure things out and start making your life better.
1. Do something different
If things aren’t going well the way they are, the next step would be to try something different. It can not only help you find other things to do in life, but it can also make you feel great. Martinez says, “When we try something new, we activate new parts of the brain we do not normally use,” “These can trigger dopamine and serotonin reactions, which can help improve mood and motivate you to move forward and try new things.”
2. Write down your goals every morning
Many of us have a morning routine: the alarm goes off, we feel bad right away, and then we drag ourselves to work. (I don’t think it’s the best act.) Trying something new and starting the day in a different way can really help. Kim Chronister, PsyD, Clinical Director of Summit Malibu, told Bustle in an email, “Every morning, set intentions, go over what you are grateful for, meditate, workout and set goals for the day,” It might help change the way your day goes.
3. Start cleaning up!
The dishes are sometimes the best place to start. Scrub away, and then clean the rest of your apartment straight up. Not only will a clean and organized home make you feel better, but it can also help you move toward change. “Cleaning your physical environment isn’t a cure-all,” said life coach Diane Passage on HuffingtonPost.com. “But doing some housework is a good way to learn how to take on tasks and get a productive energy going.”
4. Do what makes you nervous
Now is a great time to scare yourself and do things that are out of your comfort zone. Where should we start? By doing that scary thing you’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m talking about scary things that could change your life that you never thought you’d do, like stand-up comedy, dance lessons, or sending in your novel. It might be exactly what you need to wake up.
5. Make small changes that add up
If the above tip seems like too much, start by making small changes every day. Think about going somewhere new for lunch or listening to a different kind of music. Martinez says, “Start small, and add them in a little at a time,” “You will feel like you have a new and rewarding life in no time.”
6. Make an effort to have fun.
Even if you don’t feel like it, it can help to go out and do things that used to make you happy. “You will find that after a brief amount of time of doing them again, you will actually start to enjoy yourself,” says Martinez. Hey, why not give it a shot?
7. Hang out with interesting people
Like I said, you may want to stay in bed all day, but staying home by yourself isn’t the best way to feel better. Chronister says that being alone is one of the clearest signs that your life is not moving forward. “Socializing has a powerfully positive affect on our physical and physiological health.” So hang out with some cool people, and maybe you’ll get some ideas from them.
8. Fake A Better Attitude
Yes, things might be bad right now. But being sad and just sitting around won’t fix anything or make you feel better. So start acting like things are better. “Attitude is contagious,” said Passage. “Thinking positively will make you more ambitious and help you see things in a more positive way.”
9. Take Some Time To Assess
Don’t be afraid to quit that bad job or spend the weekend away from your SO. No matter what the problem is, getting some space can help you figure things out.
10. Crying is good for you
It can be tempting to keep all your feelings inside and keep going. Still, there’s something so soothing about a good cry. Therese J. Borchard wrote on PsychCentral.com that when you cry, your body gets rid of toxins. “It’s as if all your emotions are bubbling to the surface, and when you cry, you release them, which is why it is so cathartic.”
11. Make a lot of lists
Get a pen and paper and start writing down the things that make you happy. Barrie Davenport, a certified coach, wrote on her blog LiveBoldandBloom.com, “Think about all of the things you did as a child, a teenager, and a young adult … that brought you happiness,” “Now think about some things you’ve done in recent years … where you have felt really happy or content.” If you write them all down, you’ll have a list of things to work for.
12. Make a plan to get where you want to go.
You can make as many inspiring lists as you want, but they won’t help you unless you do something about them. So think about how you can reach your goals. Should you return to school? Revamp your resume? Spend time with a variety of people? You can do all of these things if you are willing to try.
13. Remember You Aren’t Alone
When things don’t go as planned, it’s normal to feel like you’re the only one with bad luck. But remember that this is the furthest thing from the truth. “The average person has eight career changes (not job changes, career changes) in their lifetime,” says Martinez. “They have countless relationships before they find [the right partner], and they had to be trained for every job they ever had.” Everyone else has made it through, and you will too.