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How to Get Up When You Want to Give Up

This has been One of Those Days. The kind of day where I feel disempowered, helpless, suffering. Life is hard, I’m paralyzed by overwhelm, and I just want to hide. There are reasons. Good ones. Like the fact that here are places in this country that have been recently destroyed by fire or hurricanes. Massacre has happened in the form of murder via automatic weapons and a fellow human. Friends are depressed and anxious. Oh, and my dog just threw up on the curtains, again (true story- I’m looking right at it).

What the hell are we supposed to do when we feel like giving up?

We sort ourselves out. We get supported, preferably more than we think we need. We practice being extremely gentle and kind with ourselves, and every single person we see. We grieve, we take some time to hide out and find our breath, and eventually… we get to work.

First things first. Clean up the dog puke (actual as well as metaphorical). Leaving it there and hoping it will go away does not help; I tried that already. Then:

  • Pour yourself a glass of water, and sit comfortably for a moment to sip slowly.
  • Turn on some music, soft + soothing, or fast + fiery. Whatever feels most like medicine.
  • Check in with your body to see what it needs. Do you need to lie down and breathe? To run down the street and back? A five minute dance party?
  • Get yourself supported. Phone a friend. Commiserate (briefly) if you need to, then ask your friend to remind you what they love about you. Sometimes we just need reminding.
  • Go to be earlier than you think you need to, several nights in a row. Even if… especially if… you think you don’t have time.
  • Eat nourishing meals. Seriously. Sometimes in the midst of crisis we forget. Your body needs sustenance to support your efforts in the world.
  • Finally, empower whatever change you wish to see in the world. Social justice? Environmental protection? Education? Gun control? You have a voice, and no matter how much it shakes, your voice matters. You are worthy of being heard.

As Anne Lamott says:

“Our lives are made up of grace and limbo and struggle and grace.”

Take care of yourself. Remind us to do the same, over and over again.




How to Get Up When You Want to Give Up

  1. Sheri says:

    From puke to nourishment to empowerment. I love the wisdom of that progression.

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