Recently, it’s come to my attention that I’ve been in a place where I’ve let little failures get to me and I’ve become stuck in this negative mindset. Outwardly, I may be a cheery, positive person, but you have no idea what the thoughts that go through my head are. Instead of immediately recognizing this and trying to fix it, I wallow. I like pity parties. Mainly because they include the word party. But honestly it’s annoying even for me and I’m trying to bust out of this cycle.
To start off here’s what I’m stressed about plus the thoughts that run through my head (not that there really even is anything to be stressed about because all of these stressors have ended up working themselves out and I basically am anxious about nothing).
- Job/Internship Searching: “Holy [insert expletive here] I’m never going to get a job.” I started applying to jobs maybe three weeks ago and I’m not supposed to hear back from half of them until April. If you love to overreact clap your hands. *clap, clap*
- My senior project: “A music business conference without presenters or attendees will be okay right?” Wrong, because I’ve already secured two, almost three, out of four time slots and I have friends who will go out of both interest and obligation. Attendees + Presenters = Success
- Half Marathon Training: “I quit. I really can’t do this.” So this is a conversation I had with my mom and sister and as much as I hate to quit, I’m quitting. (Not entirely, I’m switching to the 5k and I’m planning on making it my fastest 5k ever.) A half marathon is like a relationship and I was not ready for the commitment. I knew that going in, but I’m stubborn and I thought who cares if I haven’t had a regular workout regimen for over two years and who cares if I’ve never enjoyed distance running, or running at all. None of that matters. I want to do it so I’m going to do it. WRONG! My body wasn’t ready. My mind definitely wasn’t ready. I am not good at being a disciplined athlete. I need a coach. And as much as it sucks to say, “Hi everyone who was so proud and excited for me. It’s ya girl. I’m not doing this anymore. Sorry to let you down.” that’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m more disappointed in myself than you are in me so let’s move on.
So I’ve been throwing myself one hell of a pity party. There was a lot of ice cream so you really missed out. I had a friend try to give me advice and drag me out of it, but that didn’t work until he got another friend, my roommate actually, to call me out as well. (I’m honestly too stubborn for my own good. I won’t take advice or ask for help until people gang up on me and make me stop and see what I’m doing.)
I reflected on what I did (throw the best pity party ever) and what I could have done instead (something that would have actually been useful and productive). Here’s what you should do when you’re being a negative Nancy.
- Get Out. Not the movie, although I’ve heard it’s really good and if anyone wants to hit that up with me let me know. I mean get out of your house, off your couch, or out of your bed. Wherever you may be. You probably don’t want to and rewatching Parks & Rec is definitely a valuable use of your time, but getting fresh air is better. That’s what Parks & Rec is about right? Make Leslie Knope proud.
- Talk to your friends. Or get away from them. However you re-energize, whether it’s around people or off on your own, make sure you do that. I get burned out when I’m off on my own. My impression of a hermit is killer don’t get me wrong, but I only do it by choice when I’m in a bad mood. I love people too much and I’m susceptible to whatever energy they are putting off so I choose who I let into my life carefully. I’ve cut like three people out of my life because they were toxic and I don’t have time for that negativity. I’m pretty good at generating it myself, hence the pity parties.
- Watch a sad movie, cry a little bit, and get over it. Growing up the movie was Titanic. Rose totally could have saved Jack by the way, but it would have destroyed the beautiful tragedy of the plot. Now the movie is P.S. I Love You, which I’ve seen over twenty times and still bawl like a baby at. It’s cathartic though. Movies like that make you realize life is beautiful and short and some people have it much worse than you do, so you should probably just eat the ice cream and shut up.
- When in doubt, dance. It may feel dumb, but it works every time.
If you have done all four of those things and nothing has worked, well that sucks. Definitely seek advice elsewhere. You probably shouldn’t be taking advice from someone who never takes any advice from anyone unless forced. But I’m always happy to at least try to help. Keep it messy and authentic everyone.