When you’ve just gone through something heavy, like getting fired, a breakup, or losing something really valuable to you, it can feel like you’ve just been knocked off your feet. Some people describe it like having the rug pulled out from underneath.
Everyone has trouble figuring out how to get over it when these nasty surprises in life occur. But eventually, in order to regain your sense of balance and emotional and mental health, you will need to deal with it in a healthy way and then learn to move past it. So before you go off the deep end and become a recluse, read through these suggestions of ways to cope with setbacks and finally get on with your life.
Indulge yourself… but not too long
If you’ve had a loss – maybe your childhood friend just decided to take that job transfer to Europe – it’s perfectly natural to feel pretty low and spend some time grieving. In fact, grieving is an important part of the process of coping. You shouldn’t deny yourself the part where you spend all day in your bathrobe, eating ice cream and binge watching old Scandal episodes.
Just don’t go on for too long in this self-indulgent period. Otherwise you might find yourself ordering tea cozies from a catalog and wondering how your dryer has managed to shrink every single pair of your skinny jeans.
Don’t lash out
When you feel bad about what’s happened to you, it’s natural to go over things in your head. You might even have a reel playing, where you reenact the terrible thing over and over again. This can lead to feelings of anger and resentment. It’s easy at this stage to place blame on other people for what’s happened. You may then feel entitled to unburden yourself of all the things you feel are wrong with that person. However, when your friend takes you out to make you feel better, resist the urge to badmouth others. The more you talk negatively, the worse you’ll feel. Not to mention, badmouthing others doesn’t exactly make you look good. In order to really get over it, take the opportunity to realize how many things you have that you can be thankful for, like this friend who’s trying to cheer you up.
If you’re struggling because you lost something of value, like a pet, a relationship, or a cherished family heirloom, you may be wondering how on earth being forgiving could possibly help you get over it. But somewhere deep inside, it’s likely that you’re blaming yourself for what happened. Your inner voice might be saying that you should have brought your dog to the vet sooner, or not let him off the leash at the park. You should have kept grandmother’s ring in a safety deposit box like mom told you, instead of wearing it out. These are all things that your unconscious is saying that make you feel guilty. Even if any part of them is true, you have to find a way to forgive yourself. That’s the only way you’ll be able to let it go and learn and grow from the experience instead of letting it keep you from moving on.
Take a vacation
If you’ve just been dealt a serious blow such as getting fired, it helps to do something nice for yourself. A little mini-vacation might be just the thing to get you back on the saddle of life. If you can’t afford to sit on a beach for two weeks in the Bahamas, maybe you can fly somewhere for the weekend, or at least spend the afternoon with your best friend at a day spa. The point is to get away from the everyday, and give you a chance to feel better about yourself and evaluate where you want to go from here.
Getting over stuff isn’t easy. It’s a process. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to keep bad stuff from happening to you in life. But the sooner you become good at handling that process, the easier you’ll be able to cope with each subsequent setback.