When You Need to Get Out of Your Own Head

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

Bad things happen. And unfortunately, sometimes they consume us more than we want them to.

It’s so easy to get lost in our own heads. To go into this downward spiral where whatever happened becomes all we can think about. Whether it’s just being broken up with, getting into an argument with a friend, not getting the work promotion you wanted… bad things will happen in our lives, and will continue to happen as we grow older.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to shrug it off like we used to be able to do. Things affect us differently as we grow older. The big things consume us. And sometimes, it feels like there’s no escape from them. Just when you start to think that you got it out of your head, whatever it is just comes right back.

It’s hard, it is. It’s hard to get things out of your head that are truly bothering you. But, it’s not healthy to focus on the bad and the hurt. It’s much easier said than done, I know, but let’s be proactive about getting these thoughts out of your head.

Submerge yourself in work 
Distraction is key, right? Of course, we all need time to wallow and get what’s bothering us out, but we cannot let it be our sole focus all day, every day. Using work as a distraction allows you to submerge yourself into something that will require your brain’s full attention. Plus, assuming you work outside of your home, being around other people won’t give you as many opportunities to have time to sit and go over everything that has happened.

Talk to someone
Of course, talking to the person who contributed to whatever’s going on in your head is a great help. But, it’s not always possible, and not always healthy. Reach out to a friend. Tell them what’s going on in your head. Having someone listen to you and your thoughts helps get things out, and shows you that you’re not going crazy, and you’re not alone. If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to a friend, or feel like you need to speak with someone with more of a professional background, go do that. Schedule an appointment with a therapist. Talking to someone about the situation, and what’s going on inside your head, is important.

Get outside
Be active — whether this is in the form of going outside for a run, taking a walk throughout your neighborhood, or planning dinners and happy hours with your friends. Staying home alone will allow your mind to just keep going back to said issue. However, if you’re out and about doing things and keeping busy, your mind will be too focused on whatever situation you’re in the midst of to think about anything else.

Write about it
Get it out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Don’t just leave your thoughts to rattle along in your head — they need an outlet to escape. And then, for ultimate cleansing, feel free to crumple the piece of paper and throw it away, or maybe toss it into a nice fire pit.

Read a book
A book is always a great way to forget about reality, especially when your mind is racing with thoughts you genuinely can’t focus on. Get lost in a book of your choice. Leave your own story for a bit and join this character’s story instead. Your brain will be too into what’s going to happen next in the book, there won’t be time for it to think about all of the “what ifs” and “how did I end up here” of your story.

Focus on the good
I can guarantee that even if it feels like there’s nothing good in your life right now, you can most definitely find something to make you smile for a few seconds. Even if it’s as small as having ice cream that day, that’s something to be grateful for, and something to switch your attention to. It’s so easy to get lost in whatever it is that’s hurting you; make a conscious effort to try and divert your mind.

Letting Go

When You Have to Walk Away

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

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One thing I’ve learned since entering into this world of adulthood is the importance of knowing when to walk away. This applies to stepping away from your desk at work, putting the phone down before sending that text message, and unfortunately even to friendships and relationships. But one thing’s in common: it’s always much easier said than done.

It’s quite easy when you’re not in a rough situation to think to yourself “psh, I’ll never do that. I’ll just walk away and leave. Not worth my time, not worth my effort.” But then you’re in the situation, and it’s all so different.

How could my boss just send me that email when I’ve worked my ass off for months? How could my boyfriend tell me he’s no longer happy with me and he doesn’t know what he wants after three years? How can the person I thought was my best friend lie to me and treat me like complete crap?

Have you nodded your head yet? Chances are you’ve been in one of the above situations…or one extremely close to it.

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And it’s hard, it really, really is –especially when it’s in terms of a relationship or a friendship. That person has been in your life for a while, and probably has left his or her mark. They were quite possibly a huge part of your life — the person you spoke to the most, thought you could trust with your life, the person who was there for you for everything…or so you thought. All it takes is one thing to happen, and all of that can be gone forever.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of trying to fix things. But, I’m also a realist. Things get to a point where there’s no fixing — or at least it seems like there’s no fixing, such as when the other person in this situation isn’t trying to work through things. There’s only so much hurt you can experience, and only so much you yourself can do, before you realize you need to just walk away.

Millennials, relationships of all kinds come and go. You see who your true friends are, and unfortunately you see who’s not. Boyfriends and girlfriends break up. You quit jobs. That’s life. But it’s important to know when to walk away — for your own health, for your own sanity, and for your own happiness.

I can only hope that the situation you’re currently in works out and that the other person in the situation with you, whomever that may be, is fighting for you like you’re fighting for him or her. But remember, you matter too. And if that person isn’t treating you right or fighting for you — whether that person be a friend, a significant other, or a boss — you need to do something about it. You need to walk away. You need to be happy.