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Why It’s Okay to Hit the Wall and How to Overcome It Fast

Why It’s Okay to Hit the Wall and How to Overcome It Fast

We have all been there… hitting the wall and thinking you just can’t go on. Stress and worry just overwhelm you. You think there is no way out.

But there is. There always is.

First things first. You need to change your way of thinking. The phrase, “change your thinking, change your life” is a very powerful truth. If you don’t think that your life will get better, then it won’t.

So, you need to start believing. Then things will start to turn around.

However, you can’t just stop there. While it’s essential to change your thinking first, you also have to change your actions. Because as the saying goes,

“the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

So now that we have that clear – thought and action – let’s move on to some more specifics about how you can improve several different areas of your life.

Hitting the Wall in Your Career

Let’s start with your career.

As sad as it is to say, it seems like most people don’t like their job or career. It’s simply not what they imagined they’d be doing when they were dreaming about the future as a child.

But let’s face it – nothing is permanent. If you have it the wall in your career, here are some things you can do.

1. Reflect on your talents and goals

A person’s job doesn’t always match their talents. So, sit down and try to analyze what you’re good at – and then try to find a career path to match the gifts that you have to offer the world.

After all, wouldn’t it be nice to actually enjoy what you do for a living and make a difference?

2. Set your sights on a promotion

If you don’t want to change your line of work, then you should think about a promotion. Sometimes people get a little too comfortable in their job. They know how to do it well, and so they just keep doing what they’re doing.

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But maybe it’s time to challenge yourself by going for a higher position. It will help you grow as a person, and it will probably put more money in your pocket too!

3. Start looking for another career path

Many times, people just simply drift into a job or career path accidentally. Unless you are one of the lucky ones who knew they wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, police officer, or something else that was definitive, most people just take the first job they can find.

So, if you’re unhappy with your current career path, start looking for another one.

Hitting the Wall When You’re Dating

These days, the dating world is very frustrating for most single people. Swiping left, swiping right. Getting ghosted. Failed short-term relationships. It can get depressing and cause you to hit a wall.

But don’t fret. There is hope if you try these things.

1. Try different ways of meeting people.

Dating apps

and websites are the most popular thing to do these days. So, if you haven’t tried them, try them. If you have, but with no success, try something else.

Join local groups or ask your friends to set you up. In other words, meet people the old-fashioned way.

2. Learn to read red flags

In order to avoid getting involved with the jerks, flakes, and losers of the world, you have to know how to read the red flags with the people you date. They may not always be obvious, but they’re always there.

From treating the waiter rudely to canceling dates, people’s behavior tells you everything you need to know about them. Check out these 6 Red Flags To Watch For When You’re Dating Someone.

3. Don’t give up hope

It’s easy to think that you’ll be single forever – especially if you haven’t had a lot of success in the dating world lately.

But don’t ever give up hope! It may take months, years, or even a couple of decades to get it right, but if you give up, then you never will.

Hitting the Wall in Your Marriage

For many people, marriage is difficult. It doesn’t have to be, but people often complicate it anyway.

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So, if you’ve hit the wall in your marriage, try these things:

1. Communicate!

No one is a mind reader, so you have to speak to each other about your problems.

Tell your spouse why you’re unhappy – but in a very non-critical way. Talk to each other.

But you have to work as a team, and not think of each other as “me vs. you.” That never works. After talking, take action required to make the marriage better.

2. Have empathy

If you get rid of your “competitive” spirit in your marriage, then you will have to have empathy for the other person’s point of view.

It takes two to tango… a marriage doesn’t go off into a ditch without two people participating, so listen to your spouse’s side of the story too.

3. Seek help if needed

If your marriage feels so far gone that you don’t think you can possibly fix it together, then see the help of a trained professional.This is when you should seek couples counselling.

They will help you communicate and make an action plan to cooperate and work on your problems together.

Hitting the Wall When Parenting

Kids… you love them, but sometimes you want to strangle them too or run away and never come back! Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But you know what I mean. If you’ve hit the wall with your kids, here are some things to try.

1. Teach them empathy

Sometimes kids act out because they don’t see how their actions are affecting other people. So, you can teach them how to have empathy for other people – including yourself.

Start as early as possible. It’s easier to teach a toddler than it is a 17 year old. Here’re some effective ways to teach your children empathy.

2. Have and enforce rules

If there are no rules in the house, then the atmosphere turns chaotic. Children thrive on structure and routine.

So, if you don’t have rules, then make some. If you do and don’t enforce them, then change that too.

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This guide about how to discipline a child will help you.

3. Teach them consequences

Many people, including adults, don’t understand the consequences of their actions. So, if your kids think that they can do whatever they want, and they won’t get punished for it, then it’s your job to show them otherwise.

Hitting the Wall in Your Personal Finance

Most people have a love-hate relationship with money. They love it when they have it, and they hate it when they don’t. So, if you’ve hit the wall with your financial situation, here are some tips:

1. Re-evaluate your job or career

As mentioned above, sometimes people get in their comfort zone with their job or career and don’t think outside the box.

If you are not making enough money, then there are always ways to make more. Re-think what you are doing for a living.

2. Go back to school

This may sound counter-intuitive because of spending more money on school, but getting a degree (or a higher degree) might actually increase your earning potential.

As they say, you have to spend money to make money.

3. Figure out a budget

Many people have no idea where their money is going. They live in the moment, and then at the end of the month, they have no idea why they don’t have money in their bank account to pay the next rent. So, make a budget and stick to it.

These tips can help you keep your personal budget under control.

Hitting the Wall When Planning for the Future

Life is short – too short. So, you might as well have fun and enjoy it as much while you can! And you don’t have to win the lottery to have a good life.

Thinking about the future can be daunting. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. If you don’t know where your future is going to take you, then it’s time to try these:

1. Write down your 5, 10, and 20+ year goals

You can’t get somewhere without knowing where you’re going. It’s like sailing a boat on the ocean with no map hoping the wind will take you to China (highly unlikely).

So, sit down and think about where you want to be in 5, 10, or 20 years.

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2. Make an action plan

Now that you have your long-term goals written down, you need to make a plan of action.

Write down the things you will do every day, month, or year that will accomplish those goals.

3. Take action

While making an action plan sounds great, it means nothing if you don’t actually take the actions!

I know that sounds obvious, but so many people have good intentions and then abandon them later because of lack of follow-through. Don’t let that be you.

4. Make a bucket list

Many people talk about making a bucket list, but how many people actually do it? Or even if they make a list, do they actually check things off of it?

Why not be one of those people who actually makes their life better by accomplishing those things you want to do before you die.

5. Do things that you enjoy

Do you like walking in nature? Reading books? Taking a long bubble bath? Well, if so, why aren’t you doing more of it?

If your answer is “not enough time,” then try to make the time. Prioritize things that are important to you:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

6. Minimize stress

Stress is inevitable in life. However, some people create unneeded stress for themselves. Whether it’s relationship drama or overspending your paycheck, some of the stress is in your control. So, minimize stress when are where you can.

Final Thoughts

If you feel like you’ve hit a wall in any (or all) of these categories, don’t give up! You can change your life for the better. It does require a lot of effort, but it is worth it.

Everyone hits a wall or two now and again. So, you’re not alone. If you use some of these tips, your life will start to improve, and you will be happier in no time.

Featured photo credit: Ian Robinson via unsplash.com

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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Published on September 25, 2020

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain.[1] When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”[2]

Why is this important? While our fight-or-flight response is extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

On a mental and emotional scale, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

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1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,[3]

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“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

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Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

Here are more self-care ideas from a therapist: Self Care Tips During Difficult Times (A Therapist’s Advice).

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

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5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, Reiki session, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

More Self-Care Ideas

Featured photo credit: Alisa Anton via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mayo Clinic: Stress Management
[2] The American Institute of Stress: How the Fight or Flight Response Works
[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress

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