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On the Struggle Bus? Here's how to Cope

A phrase I’ve used for what seems like forever is “I’m driving the struggle bus.” It’s a fun way to me to acknowledge whatever struggle I’m in, but doing so with a sense of humor. However, it definitely feels like I’ve been on that struggle bus more often than not lately. As a result, I’ve had to figure out how to get off of it, and reground myself. So, in this week’s blog post, I wanted to share my thoughts on where we’re at in September 2020, and what I do when I find myself on that struggle bus.

In my mind, this “struggle bus” has three different stops; “self deprecation station,” “education station,” and “celebration station.” For me, my first stop is usually “self deprecation station.” I’m always hard on myself, and hold myself to sometimes, unnecessarily high standards. (Raise your hand if you can relate). Sometimes, it can be really hard to get out of that mindset, and get back on the bus. However, once you do it, you can then get off at “education station.” Here, you can look at whatever the situation is, and understand what it could be trying to teach you. Once you understand that, you can finally arrive at “celebration station,” and feel good about where you’re at. Now, this is my no means an easy process. However, these are a few tips that I use to make those drives from station to station.

1). Allow yourself 5 minutes to feel that self-deprecation

I think we all know that the longer we try to ignore negative emotions, the worse they get. We suddenly find ourselves being consumed by all of these thoughts about ourselves that just aren’t true. These are the ones that sound like, “I’m not good enough,” “I know I’ll fail,” “I can’t do anything right.” Do any of those sound familiar? If so, I get it! So, through yourself a little pity party, and then get ready to change your mindset.

2). Physically take a step back and look at the situation

I’ve found that when you physically take a step back from whatever you’re doing, it helps you look at things from a different perspective. This is the key to reframing what we say to ourselves. For example, if my thought is, “I messed up again” I could examine the situation and say, “Maybe this is trying to teach me to slow down.” But, the big shift comes when you literally move your body away from whatever the situation is.

3). Be proud of yourself for reframing your mindset

You just did an awesome thing! You allowed yourself to see the situation from another perspective. That’s cause for celebration! (Enter “celebration station.”) Now, you can accept the situation for what it actually is, and move on with your day. And, the next time you do this task correctly, you’ll be so proud of yourself!

What do you think of this “struggle bus” analogy? Do you relate to it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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