10 Reasons Not To Give Up When Everything Feels Hopeless

Thankfully, we’re having more conversations about mental health and depression these days, which is a welcome change. What we don’t often talk about, though, is that it’s possible to not have depression but to be stuck in a life rut. You know the type and you’ve probably experienced it at least once. You don’t enjoy the things you used to, everything seems to be going wrong at once, and you wonder when things are ever going to get better. But they will, I promise. Here are 10 reasons not to give up when everything feels completely hopeless:

  1. You are always in control. I know that it doesn’t always feel that way. When you get dumped, when you don’t get the second date you hoped for, when you’re turned down for your dream job – it’s easy to feel these things are happening to you and that the universe is against you. Here’s why that’s not true: you always have a choice. You can feel crappy and eat an entire pizza, or you can smile and do something that makes you feel better (even if it’s just listening to T-Swift for the millionth time). Guess which one is the smarter decision?
  2. Focus on making small changes. When you’re in a rut, it can be easy to focus on all the things that are going wrong instead of appreciating everything that’s right in your life. That can keep you from living life to the fullest and keep you stuck in the same place. Take things step by step by making one small change at a time, and you just might develop a new outlook and a better mood.
  3. Feeling hopeless is a good thing. You may not think so, but it is. It means you’re ambitious and want your life to be good. You want your days to be filled with hard work and romantic dates and chats with your close friends. You want inspiring pop music and good coffee and plans for the future. If you didn’t want these things, you would basically be a loser, and you’re super far from that.
  4. You never know what can happen. You think you’ll be solo for years and years and then tomorrow you’ll meet the most amazing person. Of course you feel hopeless when you’re struggling to find love, but that’s not a good enough reason to stop hoping altogether.
  5. We need hope to survive. There’s a reason this was Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan. Without hope, there’s literally no point getting out of bed in the morning. Of course life is hard sometimes and you’re totally justified for feeling like crap, but please don’t give up. You deserve to live the life you want and it’s honestly waiting around the corner for you if you just hang in there.
  6. Life is always surprising us. How many times have you laughed because your big city is actually a super tiny town and you keep running into the same people? If you can believe that good surprises come along with the bad, you’ll feel much better.
  7. It gets worse before it improves. This is true of every single person who has ever struggled (so, literally everyone). It rains before it pours, as they say. After you’ve recognized how terrible you feel, do something radical: start looking forward to the future. If you can change your outlook, your life will change, too.
  8. You deserve to live an amazing life. You really do. But the first step is believing that, and you absolutely need to believe in yourself and your abilities to go after what you want. Moping and eating too much mint chocolate chip ice cream is an easy fix but not a legitimately smart solution. So put the spoon down and do something productive – even something super small, like sending out one job app a day in your chosen industry. You’ll realize you’re just one step away to having some hope again.
  9. At least you’re listening to your feelings. We all have the right to actually feel our feelings, but it’s amazing how people try to brush their dark and heavy emotions aside when things feel too tricky to navigate. Be proud that you at least understand how you feel.
  10. One day this will be a learning experience. It may not feel that way right now, and that’s completely fine. Sometime in the near or even the far future, you’ll look back and be glad that you went through a rough period, if only because it brought you gifts you couldn’t even imagine yet.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor. She shares gluten-free, dairy-free recipes and personal stories on her food blog, ahealthystory.com. She loves coffee, barre classes and pop culture.