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3 Things To Do When Everything Sucks

A sign outside of one of my favorite restaurants in Hawaii. Love this!

I can’t tell you how excited I am for fall. It’s my favorite season! There is something about the feeling in the air and the changing of the colors in nature that is so unbelievably inspiring to me.

Fall is usually a time when things in my life seem to be going really well. But here’s the deal – many things haven’t been going my way lately. Actually, there has been a lot of really negative stuff coming at me that I’ve been navigating and working to bounce back from. Sometimes life doesn’t just throw you lemons, it throws you grenades. LOL

So – what to do when it seems like everything is crap? How do you stay happy and healthy when times are hard? There are a number of tools and ideas that I use to help me during challenging times, and they make a tremendous difference!

Here’s one thing I know for sure: When things don’t go your way, there will be another way… a better way. It just may not be clear immediately. The key is to trust, stay open, and love yourself through all of it.


1) Step in to big-time self care mode. I’m talking amp it up in major ways! We should always be in self-care and self-love mode as a practice, but when things get tough, extra self-care can make a huge difference for your health, happiness, and sanity.

So, don’t just schedule one yoga class, massage, or long walk in nature – schedule many! Indulge without guilt. Take a mental health day (trust me, the world will not end if you do this). Take hot baths with salts, call friends who make you laugh, watch a favorite movie with a ginormous bowl of your favorite comfort food. Focus your energy on treating yourself like the fabulous rock star that you are! This will not only help you release anxiety and bounce back faster, it will also help you stay strong, positive, and productive through the storm. Stay on this focused extreme self care mission until you feel things begin to shift, but even after that, continue the self care practices that are working for you as you need them or as new habits.

2) Go into super healthy eating mode. What you eat has a tremendous impact on how you feel. It affects your anxiety levels, happiness levels, and of course your physical and emotional energy.

I generally work to eat super healthy most all the time. I’m all about greens, smoothies, and other healthy goodies. I’m not always perfect in this area (and that’s ok!). I sometimes like to indulge in carbs or sweets (major cupcake weakness!), although it’s in a mindful way and very limited. But, when times get tough, I amp up the clean eating to compensate for the extra stress my mind and body is experiencing.

I hit the juice – green juice – big time. Celery or anything vegetable based with low sugar are my favorites. I make sure not to miss my supplements, cut out sugar, and double up on the healthy salads and water with lemon. This not only helps me stay healthier though the tough times, but it also gives me the great feeling of taking charge of something I CAN control, instead of focusing on the stuff I can’t.

3) Step outside of your regular zone. Do something different. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, dramatic, or requiring a ton of effort. One of my favorite tools when I feel blue or stressed is to just jump up and dance around the room for a minute or two. Blast some disco and just jump around! I smile the whole time and within a couple of minutes I feel like a new person! This also works great for busting afternoon fatigue.

And, if you’re inspired, feel free to make it epic if that’s what’s calling you! If you’ve got the energy and time, do something totally crazy! Last week, I booked a last minute trip and spent 4 days in Honolulu. I literally said “eff it!” — booked it with airline points, packed, and went. I brought my laptop so I could work on the trip, and had a blast doing it. Hawaii is one of my happy places, and I came back renewed, ready to face what was waiting.

A lower budget alternative to an impromptu trip is to create a mini retreat by booking yourself a night at an inexpensive local hotel with a decent pool and jacuzzi, and spend a whole day and night there. Bring books, your journal, essential oils, healthy snacks, and your own pillows. A short getaway can work wonders to change your energy and clear space in your heart and mind.

Create a list of additional steps you can take to take the best possible care of yourself. Not just when stress levels boil over, but all the time. Then, when things are tough, kick it up! Also, if you haven’t checked out my highly effective 3 S’s, read about this simple happiness tool here and add it to your routine.

Do you have tips on navigating and bouncing back from tough times? Share them below. Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you!

Love & bliss,


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Kristi Ling Spencer

Kristi Ling is a happiness strategist, internationally known life and business coach, bestselling author, and inspirational speaker who works with individuals and organizations on building a firm foundation for lasting happiness and success. She has been featured in numerous media outlets such as Oprah Daily, Woman’s Day, Oxygen, Entrepreneur, Mashable, Reader’s Digest, and Women’s Health. Her popular TEDx Talk on The Power of Re-Thinking Happiness has been shared across social media, and she has appeared as a keynote speaker for major companies and events. Her bestselling book, Operation Happiness – The 3-Step Plan to Creating a Life of Lasting Joy, Abundant Energy, and Radical Bliss was chosen by Success Magazine as one of the best books to make you successful. It’s available now wherever books and audiobooks are sold.

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