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How to Pick Yourself Up When You’re in the Depths of Despair

As fall quickly passes us by, I am reminded of how many seasons of life we go through.  There are the great times when the stars seem to align in our life.  The road we are heading on is clear.  There is a clarity and excitement to each and every day.


There are also times of sadness, despair, uncertainty.  When sunny days are somehow cloudy.  You feel restless, unsure of yourself, and even desperate at times.  How to you get through those times and still keep “life” moving along.  Sometimes the clutter in our lives isn’t in the physical form.  Sometimes it’s what is in our hearts. I have many seasons of life… some beyond wonderful almost magical, some that have left wounds on my soul, and others that seem to pass without a second thought.  Today though I want to share with you some ways I have gotten through those tough times.  How I have picked myself up and kept going when it seemed like there was no way I could take another step…..

Believe That You Are Strong…..

I always remind myself that sometimes I need to “put my big girl panties on.”  Life isn’t easy, we all know that.  It may be tough but you are strong enough to face whatever it is ahead.  You may need to “walk through the fire” to get to better stuff ahead.  Recognize the beauty in the struggle and know that these days are not forever.

Connect with a Higher Power…..

I am Christian and find that connection to God through prayer is helpful during trying times.  It brings about a valuable feeling we all need… peace.  When you are struggling seek out a higher power for assurance and a sense of purpose.  Doing so reminds us that we are in control of so little in our lives.  His plan for us is far greater than we could ever imagine and we must have faith that everything we endure is for a greater good.

Reach out to others…..

I find this one the hardest.  When I feel down the last thing I want to do is talk to other people.  To make plans.  To “put on a happy face.”  But relying on the support and comfort of others is crucial to getting out of the black hole we are in.  A friend or family member can offer encouragement, helpful advice or simply a listening ear.  They can also be a distraction from the troubles we are facing.  Don’t shut others out.  Instead be humble enough to know that you need them in your life now more than ever.

Fake it until you make it…..

One of the most powerful tools we have against despair is our attitude.  How we choose to act can be a huge factor in how we feel.  Wearing a smile when we feel sad, going for a walk when all we want to do is lay on the couch and singing a joyful song when we fall silent can be huge shifters in our mental health. I often choose to express gratitude when I am feeling like there is no silver lining.  Making a list of all those things that I am thankful for can help me shift my focus from the negative to the positive.

Don’t be ashamed to seek professional help…..

I am still amazed by the stigma our society places on seeking professional help for our mental health.  Psychiatrists, psychologists and medical doctors are specially-trained to assist with these exact issues.  Why not use these resources available to you?  And there is nothing wrong with relying on prescriptions when recommended by a medical physician.  We need to stop looking at people that take “pills” as weak.  Rather we should be supporting them as they find the best “fit” for them and their mental and physical wellness.

Know that you are not alone…..

So many of us face these seasons of life by ourselves.  We want to hide our “weaknesses” from others.  DON’T!  Please know that you are not the only one experiencing feelings of doubt, hopelessness or sadness.  We have all been there.  Sharing what you are going through with others is one of the best ways to cope.  Social media sites like Facebook makes it seem like everyone has it all together…. everyone except you, of course.  What these posts and pictures don’t show though is the hurt many of us have behind the smiling faces.  The struggles we face when we aren’t sharing our best moments online.  The struggle is real for all of us.

Be strong. Be brave. Be hopeful that better days are ahead.

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