Bouncing Back When There's No "Bounce" Left
We all have our ups and downs. We've all faced some pretty depressing odds and come out on top.
But sometimes, it feels like you just can't get ahead, no matter how hard you try. So what do you do?
Here's how to bounce back when the "bounce" is all gone.
- Breathe. When stress rears its ugly head, we tend to hold our breath, figuratively if not literally. We tense up, we dig in, and our body kicks into survival mode while our mind races in sheer panic. What will we do? How will we survive? When will we see the light at the end of the tunnel? But what you need to do, above all else, is breathe. Just breathe.
Breathing allows you to think, it allows you to focus and it helps combat anxiety, something that more and more of us are claiming as an affliction. So, when you feel that "holy #&@*%" starting to set in, stop. And then breathe.
- Count your blessings. A very old friend of mine used to say "so what... they can't take away my birthday." I've come to live by this motto. Before you try to analyze your situation, count your blessings, be it your good health, your loving family or your close network of friends. Do you still have a job? Do you have a roof over your head? If the entire world went to pot, could you go home again or join forces with a friend?
Seriously... what's the worst that could happen? Would you survive if it did? Its much easier to face your impending disaster when you've got all your "good stuff" backing you up.
- Get Real. We all know the serenity prayer - change what you can, accept what you cannot, and be able to know the difference between the two - and its good advice to live by. Life is what it is. Yes, that's one of those "easy to say" statements but make it your mantra and you'll find it much easier to face problems with a clear head and a calm heart.
Figure out what options are available and then focus on those that will actually "better" your situation. We can all rant and rave for example, but will that really bring us closer to a solution. Anger, fear and doubt will never serve you. Instead, keep your head and look for viable options to turn things around.
- Play Offense. If you watch football then you know that the offense's primary objective - besides actually scoring - is to dominate the ball and there's a reason for this strategy. One of course is that if we have the ball, the other team's offense doesn't but more importantly is that running around chasing offensive players makes a defense very, very tired.
Because the offense knows what play they're about to run - the defense on the other hand is simply "waiting to see what happens" and then reacting as the play unfolds. This can get exhausting very quickly and its equally tiring when its your approach to life.
Instead of reacting as events unfold around you, try taking the offensive approach. There is nothing more motivating than coming up with a new idea or plan that will make things better. If money is the issue - and isn't it always - then perhaps now is the time to start putting that new business idea of yours into action or take that second job that you've been tossing around. The point is, take control. Get the ball back and start driving down the field.
- Formulate a plan. There is nothing more supportive than having a plan of action that you believe in. Pool your resources. Get back to basics. Implement a new budget or start sending out resumes. Whatever it is that you need to do, write it down and start putting things into action. When you have a gameplan, then you have a much better idea of what to expect.
Yes, the collection calls may still come or the layoff might still happen but you'll be "expecting it" instead of cringing in that "wait and see what happens" mentality.
And last but not least, remember to hang in there and look on the bright side. This isn't after all the first time you've hit a roadblock and I'm willing to bet that it won't be the last. Did you know for example, that we've had around nine recessions (including our current one) plus the Great Depression and that's just in the last one hundred years? And what do you know... somehow, we managed to pull through. I'm not saying its always easy and I'm not saying we shouldn't be concerned, but the reality is that everything works in cycles... And if you're "down" now, then there's no where to go but up.
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