What do you do?

I had a conversation with a good friend today. Well, really it was a texversation (text conversation) but that's just how I am most days.

We were talking about feeling stuck, lost, drowning. We've all felt it. When the walls start to close in. When the world seems to be bringing you down. When all the marshmallows are gone from the Lucky Charms and all you have are those heinous cereal bites that taste like cardboard.

Now more than ever it seems more and more people are feeling this way. Times are tough right now for almost everyone. The TV says the economy is getting better but from what I can tell no "real" person is actually feeling that. It's all just political mumbo jumbo to help us pretend it's ok.
Reality is, money is hard to come by and jobs are hard to find.

Yet, with all of that, we continue to try to keep up with the Jones'. We are constantly hearing "do this" "feed you kid that" "more classes" "better things" "more stuff".

It seems to me that I'm seeing a lot of pretending. Random people at Target with the vacant look in their eyes with the perma smile plastered on their face. Friends that say everything is "ok". When you know they aren't.
Heaven knows I've done my fair share. I am queen of the "fake it until you make it" phrase. I believe in the philosophy actually. It won't solve all your problems but some days, it's the only way to get by.

So I started thinking after my textverstion. Thinking of ideas to help my friend. What do I do when I get stuck? How do I cope when I feel like I've been swallowed whole by the blood sucking monster that is life?

I've actually shared about some of the ways I cope on here. I run to my happy place. I take photos. I spend some time alone or with people that feed my soul.
I've talked about how music can affect my mood. How drugs (when properly regulated by a doctor) are sometimes an important part of the solution.

A very dear friend has a phrase "the dogs problems to him are the same as yours are to you." Meaning, we all have issues. The worst day in a dogs life, is just that, his worst day. It's pushing the dog to his limits, to the brink, further and harder than the poor puppy has ever had to go before.
We've all been there, haven't we? Pushed to our personal brink. Unsure of how to navigate. How to calm down. How to find balance again.

Which brings me to my idea. I would love for every person that reads this to leave at least one tip on how they cope when they've been pushed too far.
Talking with a friend, listening to music, video games, duck hunting... What do you do when the world has been too harsh? How do you find your inner voice, that voice that tells you where to go next?

You're not just sharing with me, you're sharing with everyone. My comments section allows anonymous posts if you don't feel like being recognized. But please, share something. Maybe your idea will give someone else hope on an otherwise dark day.

A fun photo post planned for tomorrow. It's all about balance people.


Colleen  – (February 1, 2011 at 9:01 AM)  

This is so very true! My life is pretty busy with working full-time, commuting 2 hours plus a day 4 days a week and having 2 little ones. I don't take much "me" time but when I need a breather I'll get a coffee, grab a book or magazine and go for a pedicure. It's an hour or so that I can just sit, relax and not think about anything but the color I am having on my toes. Sounds basic but I am an easy gal : )

Kim  – (February 1, 2011 at 9:18 AM)  

Great post! The past two years have been tough for us, layoffs, having a child right before said layoffs, adjusting to a new family life, and PPD. What helped me through was talking to friends and somenights a long hot bath could do just the trick. I am also a firm beliver there is nothing that a glass of wine (or two ;)) cant fix.

Anonymous –   – (February 1, 2011 at 3:29 PM)  

i go for a drive too. there's something relaxing about getting behind the wheel and just letting your mind work through things. i also have a friend who's kept me sane since the day i met her. when one of us is having a bad day, we just call the other and sit down to get coffee some place where we can just vent. both are definitely stress relievers. ~E

Anonymous –   – (February 1, 2011 at 4:42 PM)  

Smut books and soaker baths. I've gone through my fair share of books the past couple of years! Family always helps too!

Amy F.W.  – (February 1, 2011 at 7:31 PM)  

That dog comment is very interesting, and true. But how do I cope? Wine. Lots and lots of wine. Okay, I'm only half joking. Talking to friends is a big relief for me. Okay, yes. Wine. A good glass of wine, and often escapism in a good movie or silly TV really helps. My own mind is my worst enemy, if I can do anything to kind of dull the thoughts down, it helps me cope.

Anonymous –   – (February 1, 2011 at 9:31 PM)  

Calling mom and dad, listening to music...both sad and upbeat, watching movies and tv, going for a run, writing lists of things to be happy about, prayer, and, of course, reading were witty :)

Anonymous –   – (February 1, 2011 at 9:58 PM)  

When my daughters are driving me insane, the about to do the really freaky head spin from The Exorcist level of insane - I'll turn to them saying"what are you, 5?" (or 2 as the case may be). Their super over the top "yeah" always makes me laugh. It changes the tone in the room entirely & they live to see another day. I'll call my best friend & she'll have me laughing in under 3 mins 99.9% of the time. Or I'll go wander around Target at night. My Target is usually full of other moms doing the same solo escape. The novelty of actually being able to look at things without interruption is really nice.

Anonymous –   – (February 2, 2011 at 9:45 PM)  

During bad times, I call on God and friends. Both are always there, always listen, love you no matter what and always have the right answer!

Nicole  – (February 3, 2011 at 9:53 AM)  

Prayer. Lots and lots of prayer from lots of people. Music. Random and silly music that you can grab your little one and just be goofy to. Hazel always makes me smile. Hugs. I'm a hugger. Always have been, always will be.

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