What to Do When Life Knocks You Down

Life can be really, really hard. Each of us has days when we’re on top of the world. Other days, negativity, tiredness, or hard experiences can bring us down. But what happens when you’re stuck in a week or a month or a year of those “down” times? What do you do when you can’t seem to get back on your feet?

This post is purely full of ideas I’ve used personally. There have been plenty of times in my life when I’ve been knocked down by grief or negative experiences. And sometimes, the best thing (it’s even #4 on this list!) is time. However, time takes it’s time (pun intended), and there are so many things you can do to make yourself feel more powerful and positive while you’re waiting for time to get itself together.

Let’s begin.

1. Lock Yourself In Your Bedroom

This sounds terrifying and the exact opposite of what everyone around you is probably telling you if they’ve noticed you’re sad or angry. But it works.

Turn off the lights, put on your favorite music, get comfy, and sit there. Why? Because when you’re finally alone and in silence (or in the company of your favorite music), the feelings will come. Allow yourself to feel the pain, grief, anger, rejection, loneliness–whatever it is. Chances are you’ve had to brush it off to get through daily life, or you’ve even chosen to ignore it. Don’t. Ignore. It. Now. This space and time is for you. Cry, scream, and let it out. Think about the things that are making you so upset and just allow yourself to feel what you feel. It’s so therapeutic and cathartic.

And if you’ve already experienced the crying and grieving stage? Keep scrolling.

2. Call Your Best Friend In the Whole World

Tell them what you’re experiencing. Ask for advice. Ask how they’re doing. Having a conversation with who loves you always helps.

3. Travel (or just get off the couch)

If you have a chance to take a trip or visit a different place, even if it’s just a park near your neighborhood, do it. The fresh air of the outdoors and the view of a new place can energize you and remind you how beautiful life really is and how it goes on even when you feel like your whole world is shaken up. Get out of that world for a few hours, even if it’s by taking a walk to a pretty place. Sometimes just physically moving can help you get out of your head, too.

4. Put Your Trust in Time

Time really does heal. It can give us perspective about how our lives are going. Try to be gentle with yourself as you let time do its thing. Even if it doesn’t seem like anything is changing, trust that it is.

5. Do Something You Love

Whether it’s taking a hike on Saturdays, baking a new recipe, reading a favorite book, or participating in sports or activities, do what you love. And don’t be afraid to try something new!

6. Make a Gratitude List

Sometimes being reflective on the good things of the day can help remind you that all is not sad or lost. Make a list of the top three things or people from your day for which you are most grateful. 

7. Take It One Day at a Time

Most likely, you will have more times when you feel sad. And that’s okay. Just pull yourself back into the moment and remind yourself to take it one day, one hour, and even one minute at a time.

8. If All Else Fails, Dance

Turn on your favorite upbeat song and dance like an idiot. And if you don’t feel better after that, dance to a new song or dance with a friend. Music is always a wonderful resource.

I hope the ideas from this post helped! And always remember,

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.” -A.A. Milne, Author of Winnie The Pooh


Mary Claire is a 17 year old student and writer who loves politics, campfire smores, traveling, classic movies, and new music.

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