10 Things To Do Instead Of Giving Up

10 Things To Do Instead Of Giving Up

Simple reminders for when you feel like all else is lost.

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Are you feeling down? Maybe you failed a test, maybe you didn't get a job you really wanted, or maybe you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. When life gets hectic, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, alone, and like you have nothing left to lose. Don't throw in the towel. Try these instead.

1. Pray 

In the midst of a tough situation, we are often told, "All you can do is pray."

All you can do??

Hearing this makes me wonder if people realize how powerful prayer is. It shouldn't be the last resort; it's your first resource.

Prayer brings peace, comfort, and direction.

2. There's a food out there that you're probably craving. Go eat it. 

Seriously. Calories don't matter as much as increased serotonin levels.

3. Has someone you know given you a compliment today? Write it down. 

It's easy to take something like, "I like your shirt," for granted. Don't. Write it down. Start a list of even the smallest compliments, and look at it the next time you're feeling unnoticed or unimportant.

4. Listen to that "perfect song."

Put in your headphones, connect to your speaker, or go for a drive and turn up the radio to max volume. Melodies are medicine for the mind.

5. Take a shower.

I know you might be tired. I know the process sounds like a chore. However, I also know you're going to feel so much better after the hot water washes over your skin, you wrap yourself in a warm and fluffy towel, and you put on your favorite lotion. Don't make it a chore; make it a treat.

6. Set aside 15 minutes for complete and utter rest.

No screens. No sounds. Just you, your pillow, and 15 minutes. Don't let your mind be occupied with to-do lists or anxieties. Let yourself rest.

7. Reach out to someone to catch up.

Have you been missing someone's presence in your life? Are you wondering how someone is doing? Instead of waiting for people to reach out to you, reach out to them instead. Go grab coffee, smoothies, or just simply go for a walk. Don't take community for granted--you'll be surprised how many other people feel the same way you do once you allow yourself to be vulnerable.

8. Cross something off your to-do list.

Do you just seem to be adding things to your schedule? Find something, anything, to accomplish. Crossing it off that list will give you so much relief. Then, after that, maybe you can check another thing (or two) off.

9. Take a deep breath.

Relax your shoulders. Unclench your jaw. Remove your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Breathe. Sometimes we hold stress in ways we don't even realize. Let yourself find peace. Concentrate on full, deep breaths, and watch how quickly you start to feel better.

10. Remember you've made it this far.

Every other time you've felt overwhelmed, you made it through. Every other time you've been knocked down, you got back up. You are so strong; you can do this.

You are not defined by a bad day, or two, or three. You are not defined by a poor grade, or a rejection letter, or a mistake you made. Don't give up. You've got this.

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Why Getting Away From Where You Grew Up Is Important

College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.
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As you get older, life sometimes makes it hard for you to take control and go to the places you've only dreamed of. There's always a work meeting, ballet recital, or something to hold you back from taking that trip planned four summers ago. College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

It's important to get away from everything you know at one point in your life. There is a whole world full of risk, chance, and experience. The security you have in your hometown can be traded in for adventure and change. There's a time to try something new, learn something that blows your mind, or go somewhere that takes your breath away. That time is now, to feel like you are actually doing something worthwhile with your life.

It is important to get away from where you have grown up for some of your life. You need to grow on your own, without anyone there to tell you you're wrong or out of line being a certain way. The transition from high school to college is the gift of independence. You choose who you get to be without anyone holding your past against you. It's a do-over, a second chance after the mistakes and regrets you lived through in high school. Yet, being away from home has its drawbacks as you lose familiar faces, a steady schedule, and many creature comforts. But, all of these can be found in a new place with time. Leaving the place you grew up gives you another chance to grow again, without boundaries. Travel whenever you get an opportunity because it may not come again. Test your limits while living your actual dreams. Go out and explore the world—you're only here once and don't have time to take it for granted. Leaving everything you know sounds scary, but there are great memories to be made out there.

Whether this new place for you is two hours from home, or 20, it's different, it's exciting and it's change. It is important to get away from where you grew up and learn from the adventures you embark on. It is the best way to find yourself and who you want to be. It's what you'll remember when you look back on everything you've done.

Cover Image Credit: Madison Burns

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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