April 11, 2018

6 Things To Do When Life Gives You Lemons

Let’s be honest, life is really hard sometimes. It can be difficult to find things to be happy about or look forward to when the present feels like such a mess. Even the thought of a hundred things you could be doing, when filling your mind all at once, can just be easier to ignore by queueing up Netflix instead.

But what if you’ve had it and need to do something, even if it’s one tiny insignificant thing? If you’re not sure what to do or where to start (what do people do with all these lemons anyway?!), give any of these six things a try.

1 - Observe
Not motivated to stand up, let alone head outside? Take a minute to decipher the details around you. There may be memories on your shelf or the smell of a rainstorm outside. Are you away from home? Take a look at the people walking by or coming in and out of the room you occupy.

What are they trying to do? How do they treat you or the people around you? How do they carry themselves? People-watching can be enlightening and entertaining all at once. You may even find yourself giggling about the experience for years to come.

2 - Create
Making something can involve a million materials or none at all, and imagination is a great tool for both. There is no wrong way to imagine or create something. Maybe you’re not an artist, but you have a notebook and a pencil to doodle with. Dream up a new animal or an elegant building to design and name.

It can also be therapeutic to tell a story. Has some curious thought from your observations stuck out? Tell the story of how it came to be. You can write letters to family, friends, strangers, or no one at all and see what happens along the way. If you have a buddy nearby, come up with a story together where you take turns writing words, sentences, or paragraphs. You can make them as serious or silly as you like.

3 - Learn
There is always something to learn about or learn to do. You can find a book or website about practically anything, so pick something you find fascinating and get swept away for hours or just a few minutes.

Don’t have access to the wonders of technology, but tons of access to people? Ask them about their occupations, hobbies, or favorite memories. Perhaps you’ll learn a bit about radiation oncologists, but you’ll definitely learn a lot about that unique person. You may end up teaching them a thing or two in return.

4 - Thank
Sometimes we need to give ourselves a shove in the right direction to find a better outlook, if even for a moment. Think about the things you’ve observed, the people you’ve talked to, and the things you love about your life. If you can, give them a call or send a quick message to thank them for the things they do that might go unnoticed.

It might feel silly, but even inanimate objects will accept your thanks with open arms. So thank that cup of water for soothing your scratchy throat or every character of your favorite television show for existing. Everyone and everything likes to be appreciated, and you’ll be glad you could share the love.

5 - Sleep
If all else fails, a nap may do the trick. You’ll give your mind some time to wander on its own and your body some time to recover from whatever could be exhausting you. Plus, things tend to look easier and more conquerable once you’ve woken up from a nap.

6 - Acknowledge
Maybe you’ve read all of these and you’re just not feeling it. That’s okay! Life isn’t meant to be easy, and sometimes the best you can do is get through the unpleasant bits. Acknowledge those moments when you’re depressed. Let yourself retreat from the thing that makes you anxious. Express every thought you have about whatever it is that is making you angry.

Let these moments be what they need to be so that later moments, better moments, can be full of the good emotions you’re looking for. You’re not living a perfect life--no one is--but you are living a life full of quirky, strange things that play their own part in its nonsense, and it’s interesting enough just to see how it all decides to play out.