What to Do When Everything Sucks

Friday, June 6 2014 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

When everything sucks, it's easy to turn a bad day into thinking it's a bad life. There are skills that can help you when everything sucks. Here are some.
On a bad day, hearing someone say, “look on the bright side" makes me cringe. It’s difficult to shift your thinking when everything around you sucks, and a generic, optimistic phrase quickly invalidates a bad mood, and you feel worse. If the bright side were easy to get to, everyone would be there. However subtle shifts are obtainable, even when you’re having the worst day ever. They just don't come easily to most of us. There are ways to find positives in life, even when it feels like everything sucks.

Situations that throw you off, even the tiny ones, can turn a dramatic day into a week from hell or the year you wish you could forget. You may have had a tremendous crisis, lost a family member, a relationship, or a job, had money woes or marital problems. Even in the depths of the lowest moods there can be specks of light, you've just got be willing to look beyond the darkness.

It Feels Like Everything Sucks

This morning, as I was walking home from going a little overboard at the store, a massive rainstorm hit. Literally there was a dark cloud hovering over me, and it wasn't just a bad mood, it was a massive shower. As the brown paper bags completely fell apart, and more than $100.00 of food spilled all over the sidewalk, I thought "Sh%*! This sucks." What a way to start my day.

A bad day can turn into a bad life where everything sucks. Don't let a mood control your mind. Learn skills for joy even when it seems like everything sucks.Now, I am well aware that this is a minor setback, not necessarily a crisis, but, still, I wanted to yell, scream, and just go back to sleep; no way did I want to start my day out like this. Instead, I accepted the fact that this is a really annoying and frustrating situation and looked around for a solution. Validating that the situation you are going through is annoying, terrible or troubling is a great way to start moving forward and out of the sucky mood.

Staying stuck in this bad mood would have been a lot easier, but I had too much to risk. I had an important call and loads of clients to see, so a dark cloud over my day wouldn't just affect my mood but those around me would surely feel it too. A kind man saw me struggling and gave me a plastic bag, which helped me salvage most of the items. As walked home carrying my garbage bag of goods like Santa Claus, I said to myself "This sucks but I am so grateful for that guy."

Accept the Feeling That Everything Sucks

You have no control over the weather, which is a great metaphor for life. Radical acceptance, a skill used in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), implies that instead of trying to control or change things that you truly can’t change, acceptance is the answer. Accepting isn't agreeing or enjoying it, it just lessens the impact that these things have on your mood, your self-esteem and your life. You can’t force your ex to love you again, you can try but you may get a restraining order or push them even further away. You can't control the mean boss or the fact that something bad happened in the past. It happened, it sucks. The more energy you spend on it the worse you'll feel.

When everything sucks, it's easy to turn a bad day into thinking it's a bad life. There are skills that can help you when everything sucks. Read these.

When you begin to accept the things you can’t control, which are most things in life, it feels a little funky at first. In fact, you actually may want to try even harder to find a solution, fix the person or invent a rewind button to the past, but you can’t. So wallowing in the sadness really doesn't have a benefit. Your self-esteem suffers making it harder to find happiness in anything. But doing things you love or find interest in can assist getting a more positive mindset into play.

Everything doesn't suck, it's a mindset. 99.9% of your life can feel terrible, but there is something going right; I mean, you are breathing or able to read this. In my moment of misery this morning, I focused on the fact that there were still some positives in the situation. I could have focused on the past but let’s be honest, it was over.

So, what techniques help you see the silver lining on a day when everything sucks? Is it possible to shift your mood just a tiny bit even on the worst day? Comment with your ideas below.

Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

View all posts by Emily Roberts MA, LPC.

What to Do When Everything Sucks

Denise
says:
June, 12 2014 at 12:41 pm

I'm having one of those days, and even though I know all the things in this article, reading it still made me want to scream and punch holes in a wall.

June, 13 2014 at 11:48 am

Hey Denise! Sorry to hear you are having one of those days! Try to do something for yourself and enjoy it. Maybe watch a funny video, get a manicure or go eat lunch with a friend. Something small can totally help, even if its for a minute! Good luck!

Amy
says:
June, 18 2014 at 5:40 pm

After 7 years of loyalty and dedication. I was laid off, then found new job, but I got fired today. 2012 husband died. 2006 my daughter died.

After my husband died, my stepfather evicted me because he wanted more money for the suite. Since my husband died after 9 months of chemo and bone marrow transplant, my family has fallen apart and I have nothing. I have no idea what I am doing or why. Can I accept this? NO!! I don't accept this is my life. Oh and after my husband died, I was diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease- I am in constant chronic pain. My psychiatrist suggested DBT because I self harm but now that you said it's about acceptance, no thanks. I will never accept this. It's not ripped bags on a rainy day. This is life at its worst.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 19 2014 at 12:33 am

Hi Amy, I am so sorry. I am so glad that you took the time to post and are seeking outlets for your pain. This is a terrible situation and I think that finding the right fit for a DBT therapist would be something to think about but when you are ready. Keep me posted on how things are going and if I can help in any way. Many prayers to you and your family!

Sandra
says:
June, 18 2014 at 5:34 pm

I have had a rotten few days, my dearest friend come to have a cuppa with me and I was having a good old pity party when I realized just a few months ago her dearest husband had been killed in an accident. How stupid of me to dwell on my woes when my friend is in a much worse position than I was. It soon woke me up to the fact that my sadness is only short lived hers was forever.

Tammy. kieferr
says:
June, 18 2014 at 5:31 pm

Thank you. I lost my brother this week and your words really helped. I've been focusing on the wrong things.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 19 2014 at 12:29 am

Tammy I so sorry for your loss. You are strong and I am glad you are looking for help. Please keep in touch!

teri
says:
June, 18 2014 at 6:00 pm

I had one of those weeks, everything was breaking down in my life and I just found out that my health insurance company is going out of insurance. Then there was something that happened at home that really upset me. I am fighting the battle to stop sinking into a deep depression. I read this blog and it made sense. I'm still depressed, but it's not like it wa before this.

wasd
says:
April, 24 2015 at 3:17 pm

no. this article doesnt help at all. listen to some music as loud as your ipod will allow and lay down. keep saying to yourself "it will be better tommorow" even though in my case, it really wasnt.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 24 2015 at 3:24 pm

sorry to hear you didn't find it helpful. The truth is these are distractions to help lessen the intensity of a bad day. Many of these ideas have helped thousands of people and are DBT skills. The idea is that if you sit with the bad feelings for too long they will take over, if you decide you want to distract it lessens the intensity and can help to change your mood. Hopefully you will find another article that will help. Thanks for writing in.

Take Good Care,

Emily

Maria Credali
says:
April, 30 2015 at 4:36 am

I think the wisest thing that anyone ever said to me was along the lines of 'this, too, shall pass'. It helped me to realise that nothing ever stays the same, good, or bad. So batten down the hatches, and remember that things will change. Oh, and make the best of the good times, never take it for granted. Your article struck a chord because I too just feel like going back to bed this morning. Nothing particularly terrible, just enough to tip into a sad day. I am going to try to bannish it via housework. I hate housework, but I like it when my house looks tidy and clean (not often), and I find that doing anything at all helps. It's hardest when I dont have impending deadlines to work towards, so I have to set artificial ones, write lists of small things to achieve etc. I will stick some music on and try to work through it. I may even end up with a clean kitchen...thankyou for taking the time to write the article - sometimes just knowing that other people struggle too makes us feel less of a loser. X

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 30 2015 at 11:38 am

LOVE this Maria! I do a 5 minute timer on my phone and compete with myself to see how much I can do in 5 minutes. I always feel a bit better. Also getting out of my head and into an activity where I am around others (even a trip to the store) and try to spread kindness to others, it usually makes me feel uplifted and focused on positive feelings. Keep up the good work and thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate them and I know others do too!
xo Emily

goofy mcdork
says:
October, 29 2015 at 1:57 pm

I did DBT and it changed my life. Acceptance isn't about saying something is ok it just about not putting my energy into fighting what is. It's hard to do at times but worth the effort. I also try and go out of my way to do something nice for someone else. Just smiling at them and saying a cheery Hi or complimenting someone having a bad day. It's proven by science that giving is more effective in raising your mood than getting. Odd buy true.

Lesley
says:
October, 29 2015 at 6:09 pm

I feel this sometimes. Especially in the last week where I told my mother that I think it wise to stop contact for a little while and instead of asking why and showing concern and support, she went on how its not fair for her not to see my kids after I said she can't see my kids without seeing me and went on a furious rampage telling me to loose her number because she never wants to speak to me again. I hung up on her thinking this is why I told her me and my psychologist thought it best that we not have contact for a while, it doesnt have to be a forever thing, but until I feel better and shes able to get better herself so she isnt as toxic then as she is now. And ive been having onefof those off weeks where everyday is a bad one. Even writing this is getting me a little sensative. I try and distract myself, but its never been a strong point in my life as ive gone through Anxiety and depression throughout my life. Ive never been good at concentration to get through it at times and close family and friends pay the price for my lack of concentration.

Leira
says:
March, 20 2016 at 4:03 pm

Thank you.
Everything right now is just feeling so hopeless for me. My mom has feelings for another guy, her first love from her childhood who has come back to town, and I am almost positive my parents will get divorced. They are having a 3-month separation right now, and at the end of this month, my mom will make her decision. My dad wants none of this, and he is clearly really upset. I am too, and none of my friends know about the situation. At school, I am unpopular and there is constant drama in my friend group. Plus, a lot of people in my class are calling me mean and my BFF wants our friends to herself and is very competitive. It may not be as terrible as others' situations, but it is really stressing me out right now.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 20 2016 at 4:52 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that you're having a hard time. I know it must suck and it will get better. All you can do is focus on things to make you feel in control. Clean your room, start a project, get out and do something you enjoy. The more you focus on taking care of you the better you'll be able to help others.
good luck!!

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