How to Keep Yourself from Spiraling

In a semi-recent post I talked about how my life has been spiraling out of control a bit. It’s gotten a little worse, but this also spiked some inspiration. Eight hours of work, eight hours of play, and eight hours of sleep is a perfect example of an idea that sounded better than it actually turned out. I’ve been able to more accurately pin-point what it is that triggered all this and I am taking steps to fix it… but in the mean time this is what I’ve been doing to keep myself from freaking the fuck out.

Focus

It’s a lot easier to see things as an overwhelming intimidating mess when you look at it as a whole. I’ve found it calms me down immensely when I just pick one thing, and focus on it, and then move onto the next one thing. Before you know it, that bottomless list has a bottom and you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Take it a day at a time

With the idea of focusing on one item at a time, focusing on the 24 hours you have in front of you can also reduce stress. When you come to terms that things don’t change over night and that working through small daily goals will move you forward – things become more manageable.

Know that this is temporary

Knowing that whatever you’re going through won’t last forever doesn’t fix whats going on, but it helps to know that you won’t always feel this way. Whether it’s a shitty job, a break up, or financial instability – what you’re feeling is temporary, and if you’re doing something each day to move forward, that someday becomes a lot closer to reality.

Exercise

Or find any way to make some time for yourself. Exercise is good because it releases endorphins that help you put things in perspective and allow you to relax. No matter how high strung and high stress my days get – going on a short run will always put me back to a place of normalcy. Doing yoga and meditating are also pretty fool proof in forcing yourself to relax. The key is to make this something you want to do – that you’ve actually made time in your day for, rather than another thing on your list that you need to tick off in order to feel like you’ve accomplished something. Taking time for yourself shouldn’t be a chore – if you don’t have time to work out, don’t sweat it, but be sure to do something for yourself everyday. Otherwise, what’s the point?

And if all else fails, Stop.

There is nothing in the world more important than your happiness and sanity. And when you ignore this, things begin to spiral and all of a sudden that single problem has spawned off into a monster all it’s own that looks like something it isn’t.

Stop. Breathe. And try to put what you’re doing in perspective. Go for a walk, listen to music, or just close your eyes for a few minutes. There’s only so much we as humans can take, and it’s import to remember that we are, just humans.

“Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get closer to where you want to be.”

How I got everything I ever wanted and lost complete control of my life.

I am sitting at my own desk, at the ground floor of a rapidly growing start up, getting paid far too much to do easy daily tasks…and I am losing my mind.

A year ago, this is all I ever wanted. I was working my ass off everday to try and have this life that seemed so unatainable, I was taking on extra classes so I could graduate early, I was taking on multiple internships at a time, I was spending every free minute researching and trying to find out the secret to what it takes to get ahead… and then I got it.

Everyone warned me that I would miss college if I graduated early, and I didn’t doubt them, but this constant undying need to succeed and surpass my peers overcame any skepticism I had about thrusting myself into the post-grad corporate world.

Now just to be clear – this was not the life I had in mind a few years ago. I never wanted an office job. The idea of sitting at a desk and staring at a computer for eight hours a day was far what I considered desirable or glamourous. But as I pursued my degree and became more familiar with what a job looked like in my field, that became the only option.

I shot for what was realistic rather than what I really wanted to do… and now I am stuck.

Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly lucky to have this job and I know how awesome it is for someone who just graduated from college, but I, like many other new grads, seriously fucked up. And I am freaking out.

Working 9 – 5 sucks. And maybe it’s just because this is my only experience doing it, but that is a shit ton of your day, which turns into a shit ton of your week, which turns into a shit ton of your life. Some days are better than others, but for the most part I feel like I am being completely absorbed by my job.

The worst part of this whole thing is when you take a second to step back and you realize that this is your life, and for the forseeable future, this is your whole life. And if I dont do something to change it, it is never changing.

So I guess what I’m really pissed about is, why didn’t everything I ever wanted turn into what I thought it would? And what exactly did I think I wanted? How did the life I had pictured differ so differently from this one?

And how the hell do I fix it.