My junior year of college, I cried myself to sleep on a regular basis.
I felt very lost, stuck, and scared of my future. I was 210 miles from my boyfriend who I knew was “the one” and was incredibly homesick for him. I knew that I still had three semesters of my undergrad left, and was sick of driving four hours home every other weekend. In addition, I was a business major at the time and failing Accounting 102. I spent 15 hour days on campus, in class, then to my professor’s office, and then to the library, and still wasn’t grasping the concepts. I had never failed at anything before, and was stressed beyond belief. Because of this, my self-confidence plummeted. I had no idea if I was making the wrong choice with my major and I hated that I had no idea what was become of my life.
I know that in retrospect, I am incredibly blessed. I have never had a life-altering event like my health failing me, or a close loved one pass away. My heart goes out to anyone who has ever experienced these unfortunate and tragic events.
However, I still felt depressed, lost, and stuck at a dead-end. All I knew was that I wanted to get the heck out of college as soon as I can, go home, and start a new life. But I knew that what I truly wanted would not come for another year and a half, and that I had to stick it out.
So, dear friends, how do you be happy when you feel so stuck? So lost? Perhaps you’re struggling with a heartache, a death in the family, or a sudden negative change in your life. Here’s how I believe you can make it through the bumpy road.
Focus On One Day at a Time
Not that you should wish your life away, but truly focusing on one day at a time really helped me get through some of my toughest moments and days. Life goes by way faster than you think, and before you know it, things will look up. It is harder to deal with a hard time when all you focus on is the big picture in front of you.
Stop the Negative Thoughts
I have seriously found that my overall mood is better if I shut out negative thoughts. I remember complaining on the phone that basically my life sucked. I found that being more positive actually improved the quality of my life.
Have That One Close Friend
I couldn’t have made it through this tough time in my life had it not been for my mom or my best friend at school. Having someone to confide into about your problems truly makes all of the difference in the world.
Sweat It Out
Not only does physical activity create endorphins, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. I find that even on my worst days, if I work out, I instantly feel better after. Don’t give up on your physical health and well-being just because you are going through a rough time.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
People often joke that they need alcohol to deal with their problems. But in reality, many people do choose alcohol as a way to escape. However, alcohol is a depressant. It alters your brain chemistry and disrupts your thoughts, feelings, and overall long-term health negatively. Not to mention that it drains the bank quickly!
Do What You Love
What do you find joy doing? For me, it was working out and keeping in shape. I also found that on days where I sent time aside to cook a good meal kept me in high spirits. Never stop doing what you love!
Remember Your Blessings
Put your life in perspective. Are you healthy? Do you have a supportive family? A supportive friend? Do you have a job? Sometimes we get selfish and forget how good we actually have it.
Using these above situations, I got through my rough spot. Two years later, I have now graduated college, figured out my life plan, am living with my boyfriend, have a wonderful job, and am the happiest I have ever been in my life. You have to get through the storm to see a rainbow! I have faith that with a positive attitude and a great support system, you can get through anything.
Remember: Happiness is a CHOICE. Nobody can make your own happiness; only you can!
Note: I am NOT a mental health professional. If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.