You know those moments when life is really difficult or when things aren’t going well? Those moments are hard! Let’s not dismiss that. But we don’t have to stay down forever! It is important that we remain positive, that we acknowledge what is happening and what we are feeling, and that we do what we need to do to move forward. If you’re in a difficult place, if you’re just really overwhelmed or if you’re really having a rough time, I’ve got you! Today I am sharing three simple ways that you can remain positive when life knocks you down. You’re going to get over this because you are a doer. You are an overcomer. You are going to push through this and I’m rooting for you!
In This Episode, Allie Discusses:
The difference between inconveniences and life crises.
How staying positive doesn’t have to be irritating or impossible – it’s a super beneficial way to live! But you’re also a person with feelings and it’s okay to have a tough time when life knocks you down.
Why you shouldn’t play the victim or throw yourself a pity party in those moments.
The benefit of paying attention to your feelings (Don’t ignore them, don’t discount them, don’t struggle against them).
Practical things you can do to stay positive when life knocks you down.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.
Hey friend! Today I want to talk to you about staying positive when life knocks you down. I really want to address when life is just not going well. When things are just really difficult.
Maybe you’re struggling with some depression. Maybe you’re not really there yet.
Maybe something really bad happened. Maybe something stressful or scary is going on and you don’t really know how things are going to turn out.
Or maybe you’re going through marriage problems and you’re not really sure exactly what the problem is but it’s got you down.
Maybe you’re just really overwhelmed. Maybe you’re in a time of crisis. Maybe there’s a lot of inconvenience going on.
I’m not going to get super specific in what the situation is, what the level of the situation is because I think it’s all relative. It depends on you as a person, your personality type, what your threshold for pain is in this life. We all define what a crisis is differently.
I think there are inconveniences and there are “life crises.”
An example of an inconvenience is last year Brian and I were scheduled to go to this Entrepreneur Retreat, across the country. We were really excited about it. We got the kids all packed up and sent them to my parents for three days. We headed to the airport and we were about to go on our way. We got to our first destination, which was a stopover flight at the airport in San Francisco. Our flight was delayed again and again and again, and all this stuff happened to where we ended up not even going on the trip and getting stuck at the airport for 48 hours. It was pretty frustrating. That’s an inconvenience. That’s not a life crisis.
An example of a life crisis would be your husband lost his job or you found out he is going to have to be let go in a month. You don’t know what you’re going to do. You’ve got a big house payment and kids and bills and you’re freaking out. That’s a life crisis. Or there’s a death.
See what I mean? People can define “crisis” differently depending on what they’ve already been through and their personality type.
I think either way, inconvenience or crisis, it’s important to know how to stay positive and how to deal when life is kicking you in the crotch, to put it bluntly.
I want to go over some things that I have picked up and learned. This is very surface. I’m not getting super deep into faith and all of that. Of course, if you know me or have been around here for more than two seconds, you know that I’m a Christian and my faith is a major part of my life, how I live and how I handle things. But I wanted to stay practical and sort of surface what can you actually do other than faith-based things.
I found this page in my journal and I had written these types of things down that I’ve learned over the course of my life going through multiple difficult things, in multiple difficulty levels of things. And it was really helpful. I liked seeing it and I wanted to share it with you.
First of all, I want to say that staying positive doesn’t have to be irritating, like Pollyanna Syndrome where everything is rainbows and butterflies, just smile and be happy and it’ll all be okay. It also doesn’t have to be impossible.
It’s easy to think to yourself, “Oh, I’m going to stay positive. When this happens or if this ever happens, I would just be really positive about it.” And then the event comes to your actual life and it feels really impossible to stay positive. I think it’s a super beneficial way to live, but you’re also a person who has feelings and it’s okay to have a tough time.
So, let’s talk about what to do, when to give yourself a break, how to set boundaries for your emotions, and when to “give in” and what not to do, if that makes sense.
Number One – It’s really important not to play the victim. Don’t throw yourself into this never-ending pity party when things aren’t going right – whether that’s something small like the entrepreneur retreat example. or something big like your husband lost his job or your mother just got diagnosed with cancer or you’re losing your house.
We’ve had a situation where we lost a house because the landlord who were renting from lost their house and didn’t tell us they weren’t paying the mortgage with the rent. That was really difficult because it felt out of our control. It was really unfair and we had to move out pretty much immediately. I had just had my eleven-pound baby so I was not in a great place. And this was also right at the time in my story where I was really overwhelmed and depressed and hadn’t really figured out how to simplify yet.
There are things like that that feel like a crisis, but don’t throw yourself a pity party, like a never-ending pity party. It’s okay to have a quick one.
Think about it. Have you ever known someone who just couldn’t get over something? You give them advice, you’re supportive, you’re positive, and they just don’t stop. And it’s been way too much time, in your opinion, and they’re still not letting it go. They just can’t get over it. Eventually you do and everyone else does. And the person is left alone because they’ve alienated everyone in their own little private pity party.
Everyone’s dealing with their own stuff. Everyone’s got struggles. I’m not saying don’t call your friends and family and vent. I’m saying vent, share feelings. Get the advice you need. Take a minute and then keep it moving in a positive way. Start to take action.
That leads me to number two – take action on the problem. Now. Pay attention to what you’re feeling. Don’t ignore your feelings, don’t discount them. Don’t shame yourself or feeling them. Don’t struggle against them. Just acknowledge what they are.
I have really learned a lot from the practice of meditation. Simply being still. Being quiet. Thinking nothing. I’m not thinking. I’m not praying. I’m not even thinking about or repeating a thought over and over and over again to myself like a lot of people say they do when they’re meditating,
I’m just simply sitting and being. If I have a thought, I acknowledge that it’s there and I let it go. Have you ever done that? Have you ever really sat there and just let yourself be and notice how you feel? It’s so powerful and so simple to acknowledge your feelings. I would encourage you to do that if you’re going through a hard time. That is taking action – paying attention to your feelings, not ignoring them, not shaming yourself for having them, not discounting them or acting like they’re not as big of a deal as they are, or fighting against them, but just acknowledging them.
Feeling your feelings. It’s super powerful.
Have you ever had a million things to do and you keep fighting to make it work or figure it out? You how they say we’re like computers with too many windows open at once and we’re going to crash? Pay attention to your feelings and do what you need to do that best for you. Acknowledge your feelings.
Have you been “in a crisis” and you were really feeling like, “oh my gosh, I’m so overwhelmed?” I got like this again in the time of my life when we were really trying to make ends meet and we had realized at Brian’s job that if he only worked the minimum required hours each day we weren’t really going to make ends meet. That we could not only make ends meet, but have a little bit of extra money to do a couple of fun things here and there, if he was working a ton of overtime. So, he was always volunteering to take extra overtime. The company did forced overtime for a while and that was good and terrible; good for the money, terrible from the time together.
During those really, really long years of a season of my life, I got like this. I got to the point where I had all these feelings. I had way too many windows open and I was crashing hard. There was no way out because the kids were there. Everything had to keep moving. I was doing everything from dawn till after bedtime by myself. I had all of that on my plate and it was really terrible. It was so hard.
I should have just stopped and paid attention to my feelings, paused, known what I know now, and given myself that space to just feel for a second and asked myself, “What is it that I’m feeling here? I’m feeling completely overwhelmed and feeling like I just can’t. Period. I just can’t. I don’t even know what. I just can’t. I’m feeling like I miss my husband and this is not what I thought it was going to be like when we got married. I miss him. I’m feeling really lonely and feeling a little resentful too.”
If I would have let myself feel and acknowledge those feelings, I may have been able to think a little bit clearly about, “Okay, well, what do you want to do? Well, I don’t know if this is worth it. I think I want to start to look for a different job. Try to intentionally find a way out. Start praying for a way out of this.” But honestly those thoughts didn’t really come to us for years because we were hustling so hard to just get by and get through the next day.
Then the nighttime would come. The kids would go to bed. The silence would hit and I would want to avoid my feelings. I was a “feelings suppressor” to the extreme and I would binge eat junk food, turn on Netflix, ignore my feelings until I was so exhausted I fell asleep. The next day started to my kids tapping me, waking me up, and the chaos began all over again. This was my existence.
No wonder I got depressed, right?
I think giving yourself the space to feel your feelings. Once you feel those feelings, what do you need? Are you tired? Take a nap? Are you stressed? Take a break, take a step back. Take a day, take some time for yourself. Are you overwhelmed? Cut things off or let them go. Disappoint somebody. It’s okay. Let it go. Are you worried?
Do you need help? Ask for it. Call someone that you know can relate. Call somebody that you trust, even if they don’t live near you and can’t really physically do anything. Just call someone. Get it off your chest. Maybe somebody who will give you good advice for your situation. Just do something.
Take some sort of action. It doesn’t have to be action that’s going to solve your problem, right then and there, but doing something is going to make you feel so much better. Acknowledging your feelings gives them space to make you aware of them, and then you can do something about it. Even if it’s just taking a nap. Not an avoidance nap, but an I’m exhausted, I need rest, nap.
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Number three is set boundaries for your breaks. Maybe you think, “Okay, I just want to eat whatever I want and let the house go. Stay in bed and not do anything. Skip the kids’ homeschooling for a day and just watch Netflix all day.” But then you’re like, “Okay, I really shouldn’t do that.” Every once in a while (and I’m giving you permission here, girl, because I’ve done it myself), do it anyway.
If you can feel like this is what I need, I need a break. I need to rest. I need a day away from the routines and the stress and the go, go, go. I want a day of canceling all these appointments, canceling all this stuff, staying home from work, snuggling in bed with my babies, eating cereal and just watching The Office on Netflix and letting the kids have a tech day. I need it.
Decide that you’re going to do that and then give yourself boundaries around that so that you don’t end up doing that same thing every day, three months later. Do what you have to do. Let yourself have a day if you need it. Take a break.
For example, you know saying, “I’m going to do whatever I want for a day. I just want to stay in bed. I’m going to stay on the couch. I’m not going to go to the gym. I’m going to eat whatever I want, and then tomorrow I’m going to get back to my routine. Then do that. That’s your boundary. Give yourself a day or two days, probably no more than that. And you’re not going to stay there. Set boundaries for yourself.
I’m speaking from experience. What I said is what I used to do. I used to get so overwhelmed that I would fall into a pit.
This is where those of you who have never struggled with depression are probably judging me pretty harshly right now, and that’s okay. Those of you who have gone through depression are probably about to cry because you’re hearing that I understand exactly how you feel. I’m being really raw and honest with you and that’s what I’m here to do.
You are who I’m here to serve with this episode and I just want you to know as you’re listening right now that I could just cry for you. You are in such a difficult place and I am so sorry that you are there and I want you to know that it is okay. It’s okay to be there. It’s okay.
Whether you’re in a depressive place or not, it’s okay to take a break. But take the break and then get up. Even if it’s hard. The only way to get over it is to get through it, so push through it. You can’t skip it. You can’t fast forward. I know you wish you could. I used to wish that I could fast forward, like that movie “Click.” If I could just fast forward to this one part because I know I won’t regret it. The thing is, you will regret it, you would regret it, and you can’t do it anyway. You’ve got to get through it, if you want to get over this hump. So, take a day. Take a break. Let yourself have a no-bra-Netflix-whatever day.
Then stand up the next morning. Set your alarm. Get up and start with one step. Get out of bed.
Next step, brew your favorite brew of coffee and enjoy that cup. Enjoy it hot. Let the kids get their own breakfast. Let them wait a second so you can have a couple of sips of coffee in peace.
Get the kids their breakfast, push play on the audio book you’d been wanting to listen to and have a relaxing day while you do the laundry.
Rinse the dishes after breakfast. Keep the TV off for one day. Listen to an audio book instead.
Step-by-step, step out of this difficult time, this rut that you found yourself in.
I know that this episode is called “Staying Positive When Life Knocks You Down” and maybe none of this really sounds positive, but I know what it is like to be beyond an inconvenient time, beyond stuck at the airport on your way to an entrepreneur retreat. When you’re in a time of crisis, when you are in a rut and it’s so dark down there, you really don’t see how you’re going to get out this time. This is staying positive.
Deciding that you’re going to take a day, you’re going to give yourself a break. That you’re going to just have a “whatever day” and setting boundaries around that one day so it doesn’t turn into six months. Deciding that you’re tired and you need a nap, and that is the action you’re taking today. Staying positive in a time like this. Paying attention to your feelings. Acknowledging that they’re there. Being still in feeling those feelings instead of suppressing them. That is staying positive.
That’s positive movement forward in a situation like this. Deciding that you’re not going to play the victim and you’re not going to continue to throw yourself a pity party. That’s staying positive. That’s overcoming.
I hope these three steps have been a light to somebody who’s really been in a dark time. I have totally been there and I understand.
I’m going to keep this episode brief. I’m going to cut it off here because when you’re in a place like that, when you’re just really overwhelmed and you’re really having a rough time, that’s really all you can take – three things. And even that might be too much.
I love you guys. If you’re listening to this and maybe you’re emotional, maybe you broke down a little bit, maybe you’re just like in awe that this episode found its way to you at the perfect time. I feel you. I know. Even though I don’t personally know you, I know you and know where you’re at. I’ve been there. You will get over this sweet, sweet friend. You will get over this because you’re going to work through it. You’re not going to let it hold you down one more second longer.
You’re going to get over this because you are a doer. You are an overcomer. You are going to push through this and I’m rooting for you. I’m always rooting for you.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend!
See ya next time!