If It's Been a Tough Year

Tips for navigating a rocky start

Posted Mar 17, 2018

So, this year hasn’t been so good to you thus far. You have more issues than you can shake a stick at. Life isn’t horrible. It’s just not what you want it to be. Feeling a little down goes with the territory.

This is not an uncommon feeling. It really is a part of the human condition, especially when you are not getting what you need. I envy people who are easily pleased, and I do my best to take in the beauty that surrounds me, but it never lasts long. I have to keep reminding myself that things are better than “just okay” and that I can always work to make them better.

So if you’re feeling a little low in the new year, it may be time to change the way you do or approach things. Not that you have been doing everything wrong, but some of your old behaviors may no longer be working for you. You also need to look at what areas of your life need changing. You can remember feeling good about life, so first ask yourself, what happened that made those feelings turn sour?

Finance and romance are the two most emotional areas in most of our lives, and when one area is out of sync, it makes it very hard to appreciate the rest of your life. That’s right, you have to let yourself enjoy your existence. Sometimes I have to remind myself to take in more of the good because it will all be over at some point. I don’t like having to think that way, but I need a kick in the pants every now and then. What about you?

We all get wrapped up in our own little mini-dramas, and it’s very easy to forget about the bigger picture. One way to keep things in perspective is to get the difficult stuff out of the way. For example, tax preparation creates stress for most of us. If the prep process is a long one, I suggest, one, that you get some help (even moral support can be good) and, two, that you work on it a little bit every day, five days a week, until it is done and you’re ready to file.

Other people who fight daily with the stress monster say that they like to exercise first thing, and that’s great. Personally, I prefer to write a little in the morning and then deal with other things. It is wise to learn how to organize your personal and work life in a way that allows you more time to enjoy this life you have created.

Thinking that you have to get it all done, all at once, will only stress you out more. Try doing tasks in bite-sized chunks. Your workload is much easier to organize this way, and after accomplishing something small, you’ll feel better than you would if you just let all the practical stuff mount up on you.

So even if it feels that the year is already ganging up on you, remember that you have the ability to look at it and fashion the way you deal with the unpleasantries of daily living in a manner that suits you.