I am not a huge fan of parties, people doing small talk is a challenge for me, but I use to have quite a regular party, a pity party just for me so that I could moan about life being unfair and so on. Praise the Lord that I have moved on from those days where thanks to wallowing in self pity I could easily waste an entire day feeling bad for myself and moaning about how much my life sucked.
But as with most things in life I have learned a few things about dealing with that life robbing fed-up funk which I want to share with you.
1) Tell the Devil to Do One
That image is a pin I found on pinterest, I don’t know who originated it as it has been pinned, shared and tweeted enough times that it is hard to find the source. But it is an image out of a study bible and it tells you right there what the devil does; he wants you to feel self-pity, he wants you to feel like you deserve better, I could go on but to put it plainly the devil lies and it is those lies which are making you feel bad and indulging in self pity, believing the World owes you something and you deserve an easy ride.
If you think you have got it bad just remember the Apostle Paul was in prison for his faith and yet he didn’t wallow in self pity, instead he wrote letters to encourage those he had met and to the churches who needed guidance. And so that brings me to:
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
Paul had learned to be content with his situation because with God he knew he could endure what ever the situation was. It is no different for us; we can endure what ever situation we are in by relying on God, remembering that he is in control, he loves us and cares for us.
2) Get Cleaning & Gardening
Now I am self employed and work from home so this is easier for me than I imagine it is for others but doing something different, which this essentially is, helps no end. As such when ever I start getting negative and have those woe is me thoughts going on in my head I go down to the kitchen and start cleaning, from the oven to the counter tops and the cupboards. If the kitchen doesn’t need much cleaning I head to the bathroom, the living room, the garage… I simply get myself out of the room I am wallowing in and set about cleaning, heck I even do the garden and I am not a fan of gardening. Now maybe this is a distraction technique to take my mind off of myself but it also gives me a sense of accomplishment when I finish and it looks clean, especially when it comes to the oven.
3) Get Walking
Go for a walk, it may be just around the garden, it may be around the block, you may end up walking miles and miles. But removing yourself from where you are wallowing in self pity combined with fresh air helps no end to enhance your mood. Whilst I don’t regret for a minute quitting smoking what I do miss is that old habit forced me to go outside when ever I wanted to smoke and those regular breaks from where I was working or stewing in self pity helped no end even if the smoking didn’t.
As such write it in to your daily plan to go outside and get some fresh air, take a 20 minute walk in your lunch hour, walk to work if you can or to the train station if you commute that way. And use that time to meditate and pray as it when you have that foundation in your life it is much harder for self pity to even start getting hold on you.
4) Get Exercising
Now I admit that whilst I like to walk as often as I can I am not a huge fan of exercise any more, it may be a well known joke but the term fun run is an oxymoron to me. But scientists and health experts will tell you that when you exercise it releases these chemicals in you which help to improve your mood. And it is true, just doing 15 minutes on an exercise bike has a mood lifting benefit and when you start to get in to the habit of incorporating mood lifting exercise in to your routine the more you start to enjoy it and the more you want to do it. In fact I should say this tip comes with a warning as I know from my own experience from a long time ago that when you start enjoying exercise it can end up dominating your life in a controlling manner.
So for me my exercising consists of using some resistance bands for light strength work outs and the exercise bike for cardio. And to break the monotony of sitting on an exercise bike staring at the same thing I read the bible whilst exercising. Some will say that I am not getting the full health benefits of exercising by reading and should focus on cycling harder but for me the cycling is more about keeping my mind healthy than getting a fit body, if that ever happens it will be a miracle.
5) Eat Right
In the 21st century we live in a world of convenience, of immediate gratification and so it is so easy to grab a biscuit for breakfast or a cereal bar, we have something with crisps for lunch and when we get home we may order a take out, get a ready meal or even find the chips in the freezer. And it is so easy to do, I know that if I do not think about eating healthily and making time in my day to cook and prepare food I am more likely to grab a convenient, often unhealthy, option to eat. But I know the better balanced my diet is the healthier I feel and the better my mood will be and if my mood is good I won’t fall foul to self pity so easily and if I am not feeling self pity I won’t be in that why bother funk when it comes to eating right.
There are many more things that you could do when feeling self pity and maybe I will write a follow up to this some day with more tips. But it comes down to this; no one ever said life would be easy and things would go your way but with God we can endure what ever we are facing. And as you remember that God is for us get up and do something as doing something is a major way of improving both the situation and how you feel about things.