Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Angela Vaz

I need you to understand that you are not alone.

This moment where you feel down or plain stuck is quite normal.

It happens to every single one of us.

It doesn’t matter how productive we are or how many good things are going for us; sometimes, we feel stuck.

We may feel we don’t know our life’s purpose or what to do next.

It can even feel like existential dread.

And I know because I’ve had this feeling happen without warning.

One day, I’m happy, motivated, and super focused, and the very next – I feel like life is just bleh.

In this post, I will cover how you can start to feel better and get some direction.

It’s okay to stumble, but it doesn’t mean we’ve lost our way.

1. Accept your negative feelings and thoughts

Nobody is happy 100% of the time.

Not even movie stars, singers, or famous influencers.

We are human; we are flawed.

And we have ups and downs like everybody else.

Our feelings and thoughts cannot be 100% happy, fluffy, and pure.

That’s just fantasy.

So, don’t try to run away from your negative feelings and thoughts – instead, face them head-on.

The more you deny it, the more you will sink.

This feeling of uncertainty and dread will pass.

I promise.

A few ways you can sit with your feelings are:

  • Meditate: It teaches you to observe without getting carried away by your thoughts.
  • Journal: Writing down what you feel and how lost you feel will help you see things more clearly.
  • Talk to someone: If you have someone you trust (or a therapist if you’re uncomfortable speaking to someone you know), talk to them.

I want you to know that you are not your feelings – you are not your thoughts.

It’s very transient, and it will pass.

2. Take a break

We are constantly running because society takes so much pride in hustle culture.

If you open social media, you will be flooded by people’s accomplishments (clear skin, excellent work routine, traveling in luxury, etc.) all within 5 minutes.

This not only makes us feel like we are accomplishing nothing – but it also makes us feel very overwhelmed.

And it pushes us to overwork ourselves because we believe more is more.

We get so caught up in our daily routines and obligations that we forget to breathe.

Taking a break doesn’t mean giving up.

It means pausing to recharge and gain perspective.

Go on a short trip, take a day off, or spend an afternoon doing something you love without worrying about your responsibilities.

Just for once.

This will give you space to breathe and help you gain much-needed clarity!

3. Take it one day at a time

It may seem like cringey advice, but this particular bit helps overthinkers like me.

I want you to forget the past and stop thinking about the future.

You only have today – you only have this moment.

So, focus on today.

Ask yourself what you can do right now to make yourself feel better. And then do it.

  • Make yourself something to eat.
  • Read something.
  • Draw/doodle/write a poem.
  • Water a few plants in your house.
  • Just hug your pet for a while.
  • Journal/mediate.
  • Talk to a loved one on the phone.

But at any cost, do not numb your pain with alcohol/drugs/shopping/binge eating.

These activities don’t do anything except cover up the wound. Right now, you need to heal.

And healing means being present.

Doing mundane physical tasks that involve your hands – helps boost pleasure and makes you more mindful.

You’ll notice your stress levels going down, too.

4. Practice gratitude

I know this feels like a kick to the shin, but go with me on this.

When I lost my mom to cancer and went through a breakup within a week, I felt like I’d lost everything.

I felt like someone had ripped out the carpet from under me.

But I remembered I still had my dad, my dogs, and myself. And that was important.

It is so easy to look at everything you’ve lost and focus on that.

But you have to remember that we haven’t lost everything.

There are still things to be thankful for.

It can be as simple as that cup of coffee you just had in the morning, watching nature and appreciating the greenery around you, or the ability to smell the bread from a nearby bakery.

It doesn’t matter what; write it down.

Start with 3 things every day and work your way to 5.

My partner started doing this years ago, and he still maintains a gratitude list—he says it helps him stay grounded and grateful.

5. Reflect on your values and goals

Spend some time thinking about what truly matters to you.

What are your core values?

What goals did you have that you may have lost sight of?

Reflecting on these questions can help you realign your life with your true desires and passions.

For instance, let’s say you started your career to help people.

But somewhere along the way, the direction changed.

Your company now doesn’t help people; this lack of alignment makes you feel lost.

Changing this could help you get back on track and make you feel like your work means something.

6. Read about how people got back up

Whenever I’m stuck, I look to advice from the greats.

When I say “Greats,” I mean anyone who’s overcome the challenge I face.

For instance, when I lost my mom and couldn’t imagine life without her, I read books about people who lost their loved ones.

It made me feel less alone – knowing others have walked the same path and felt the same pain.

This taught me that it is possible to live with pain and eventually find happiness.

It is possible to turn that pain into something else and channel it into something productive like art.

Believe it or not, that pain I felt during my breakup/mom’s death has helped me connect with so many people.

I’ve made some good friends/connections because I was able to help them traverse that journey of loss.

I was able to talk about my pain and help people realize they weren’t alone.

Pain helps you grow.

It helps make you stronger.

Here are a few books you can read to find comfort if you’re healing.

And you can read these books if you’re going through a painful breakup.

7. Put yourself first

It’s not selfish to want to heal.

It’s not selfish to want to spend time by yourself till you feel better.

But at the same time, don’t isolate yourself completely – this will lead you to close up and bottle your feelings.

Hang out with people.

Remember that they might not understand what you’re going through, but they all felt pain at some point.

They’ve lost jobs, lost people close to them, have had to survive on their own, or just been through regular heartbreak.

Nobody’s heart is whole and untainted.

So, let people in.

Open up and talk about your feelings with people you trust.

When I didn’t have friends, I started going for meetups at cafes and parks to mingle with people and not be in silence all the time.

I even joined a book club, and it’s one of the best things I’ve done.

I talk about how you can make friends as an adult here.

So mingle, but also take time for yourself.

Focus on healing and take things slowly – one day at a time.

8. Set tiny goals

All my life, I wanted to be fit.

And somehow, I never achieved that goal.

But this year, after I broke down that goal into tiny goals like:

  • Walk uphill on the treadmill for 10 minutes before breakfast
  • Take the dogs out for a long morning walk (minimum 3K steps)
  • Eat a healthy lunch (more greens)
  • Drink 2.5 Liters of water
  • Evening workout (Dance + Tabata)
  • Complete at least 10K steps a day

I was able to see the difference within 6 weeks.

It also helped me be consistent because I now had a plan to focus on.

The key is to take good breaks and not overdo it.

I incorporated these tiny habits over weeks, and now I can do all of these every day (except weekends).

This works in any area of your life – try it and watch your motivation return!

9. Limit negative influences

Identify and reduce your time with people or in situations that drain your energy or contribute to negative feelings.

If people in your life drain your energy after spending only 5-10 minutes with them, you need to cut them out.

Snip snip.

These are energy vampires, and they will eventually ruin your well-being.

I cover how to say no without feeling crappy in this post.

Do the same thing with social media.

Surround yourself with positive people who support and uplift you.

This will help you so much.

You will feel a general uplift in your mood and emotions.

10. Be patient with yourself

Think about how kind and loving you are to those around you.

It’s time to turn that kindness and patience back to yourself.

You’ve been through hard times.

And you’ve survived every bad day there is.

So, it’s pretty standard to feel low once in a while.

Don’t force yourself to feel better in a few hours or days.

Sometimes, we need to work through our feelings, which takes time.

It’s okay.

Finding your way again takes time.

Be kind to yourself and understand that it’s a process.

Celebrate small victories, and don’t be too hard on yourself if progress seems slow. Patience and self-compassion are crucial to overcoming this dreadful feeling of being stuck.

11. Seek help

If your feelings of being lost are overwhelming or persistent, consider seeking help from a therapist or counselor.

They will give you the tools to work things out by yourself.

And they will do it from an unbiased point of view.

They can provide professional guidance and strategies to help you navigate feelings and find a path forward.

So, don’t be afraid to take a little help.


I wish you nothing but peace and happiness.

I wrote this post because I know how frustrating it is to feel lost.

I’ve been in that position several times in my life, and it’s kinda depressing because you have to put in so much effort even to brush your teeth or do something as simple as making a meal for yourself.

It’s not easy, and not many people talk about feeling this way.

But I need you to understand that this feeling is temporary.

And you will get through this.

If you liked this article, remember to join my newsletter by grabbing this eBook – I write them myself, and they’re quite personal and helpful. =)

Angela is a 31 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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