There’s no science here, to what to do once things have really fallen apart. This guide could seem like a waste of time to you, but this is what worked for me. Try what sounds like you, and leave the rest.
1. Admit that things suck right now.
I wasted so much energy trying to put on a happy face when things were bad. Once I finally admitted that I felt sad, lonely, worthless and confused about what I was doing with my life when it all fell apart, I felt like a weight was lifted. This doesn’t mean wallow in it—it means admit it and use it as a point to move forward from.
2. Remember who you are/were.
There’s that classic part of the movie Runaway Bride where she has to figure out how she likes her eggs and in the end, realizes she loves eggs benedict. One of the hardest parts of losing what I knew and loved was that I felt as if I’d forgotten who I was before.
I spent a lot of time reclaiming those things that were close to my heart: I read, wrote, started blogging, did crafty things, cooked, went to hot yoga and hung out in coffee shops. I did the things that made me tick and I started to feel a lot better.
3. Get on a schedule!
If you’re anything like me, when you’re down, you spend a lot of time alone, in front of the TV, eating, moping and doing nothing. I used to set a daily schedule of what I’d do after work. I tried to set small goals like, “Tonight, I will bake cookies and wash my sheets.” When I felt like I had something to achieve, my alone time seemed less alone, and more purposeful.
4. Reach out.
I kick myself over and over again for not reaching out sooner to the amazing family and friends I have for help during the struggles and end of my marriage. I know that there were many times I didn’t feel like talking but I wanted company. If you do feel like talking about it, find a few people you can trust and confide in. Be vulnerable and don’t bear it alone.
The truth is, everyone’s going to be in a bad spot some time, as awful as it sounds. If that’s overwhelming for you, find some people online to connect with. Go hang out in a coffee shop or bar just to be around others. Don’t hide.
5. If you’re overwhelmed and stressed, figure out what’s MOST stressful, and fix that first.
For me, this was financial. I’d been very naive when it came to paying bills because my ex did it. My job as a massage therapist was incredibly unsteady and I loved to spend money. I finally came to the conclusion that my expenses to live were more than what I was making, so I moved in with a roommate.
If you hate your job, work on changing that; if it’s a relationship, get out. Tackle this like you would any good to-do list: do the toughest, biggest one first.