Giving Up 1

I’ve found myself in a bit of a funk lately – and not the good kind.  There’s a lot going on with the end of the school year coming, my student teacher graduating (yay!), and just keeping up with life in general, including this blog.  I was feeling a bit blue because my page views are pretty stagnant, which is especially disappointing after last month’s viral post burst.

Basically, I was having a pity party and I was focusing on my perceived failures instead of my blessings.

Tough times are part of life.  There are peaks and valleys and we have to make it through both, and everything in between.  And really, we have no choice but to suck it up and deal.

I started thinking about how I get through these moments.  There are a few things I do to get myself out of a funk and back to life.

Take a break.  Often times my roadblocks go up because I’ve taken on too much.  Sometimes taking a break, getting away from the stresses, and coming back fresh can help me clear the path.  Take a walk, do some gardening, or just have an impromptu dance party in your living room.  I find that breaks that get me up and moving are the most helpful.  Just don’t get sucked into binge-watching Weeds on Netflix, because then you’ll never get anything done!

Get real.  Are you stuck because your expectations aren’t realistic?  Are you expecting to lose 40 pounds in a week, grow a tomato plant overnight, or magically become a gourmet chef?  Are you trying to do more than your time allows?  Don’t do that.  Be realistic, and if you’ve already taken on too much, ask for help.

Prioritize.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Set your priorities and get things done one at a time.  If you have a big presentation to do tomorrow, get that done first.  If you know you’re going to get charged a fee for not paying your bills on time, do that first.  Once you realistically look at how much time you have, you can start filling that time with your to-do list.  Just remember to leave time to eat, sleep, and use the bathroom.

Try a different perspective.  Are you stuck turning over the same problem in your head and can’t get past it?  Sometimes looking at it from a different perspective can help.  Put yourself in someone else’s shoes – your customers, your guests, or your family – try to see the problem from their point of view.  Or literally change your perspective.  Lay down in the grass to see how much sun the veggies would get if you put the garden there.  Get up on a ladder to examine your furniture layout.  You get the idea.

Break down big tasks.  My sister- and brother-in-law are very generously giving us their kids’ old swingset.  It has to be taken down, transported to our house, painted and repaired, and put back up.  It’s a HUGE job, and while we originally wanted it all done at once, that’s just not going to happen.  We did the breakdown and transport in one day, we’ll power wash it another day, paint it another day, and the handyman will repair and assemble it another day.  (See how I’m being realistic about my abilities?  Ikea furniture, I can do.  This… umm, no.)

Give up.  Obviously this doesn’t work for everything, but there are some things that you can simply say, “This is too much for me,” and gleefully hand the job over to someone else.  Last year I decided that direct sales were not my thing and stepped back from a side-business that was taking up time and money.  Is there something on your to-do list that doesn’t need to be there?

Of course, none of these are guaranteed.  If all else fails, sometimes you just have to remind yourself that you’re a grown up and you’ve got stuff to do.  Honestly just the simple act of getting started can be enough to give you some momentum.  If not… there’s always chocolate.

What do you do when you feel like throwing in the towel?  Share in the comments.

Giving Up 3