Derailed: Ten things You Can Do to Get Back on Track

Life brings you lemons sometimes, and you can’t always be prepared to deal with the consequences: an accident, an extended visit from extended family, illness, etc. When our schedules and routines get disrupted by life events, we may take longer to get back in the swing of things than is necessary—we just don’t always know how to regain control. Here are ten suggestions you can try to help you feel productive again.

  1. Take a few days: After any stressful event, you should give yourself a few days. Either take time away from your regular schedule, or if you can’t, give yourself a break from trying to do or be the best. Focus on what you need to recover, not what you think you should be doing.
  2. Write down your feelings: It helps to outline exactly what you’re feeling when you’re in crisis mode. However you decide to do this, be sure to acknowledge your emotions—even if they’re negative—so you can work past them.
  3. Call a friend: You don’t even have to discuss what’s bothering you. Catching up with friends can work miracles on your outlook and mood.
  4. Get good sleep: I can’t stress this enough. If you can’t recover physically, that contributes to any emotional strain. Recover faster by prioritizing sleep. You may have to give up a few activities, but it will be worth it.
  5. Clean up: Remember how discouraging and energy-zapping clutter is! Clean up your house (or office) and create a space free from stress-inducing clutter.
  6. Back to Basics: After you’ve given yourself some time, get back to your daily routine. Keeping a regular routine allows you to recover faster. If there are tasks you have to do each day, it helps to be able to do them without thinking, so stick to a schedule.
  7. Exercise: If it isn’t already included, add exercising to your regular routine. It can do more for you than just keep you fit—exercise has multiple effects on your brain (including helping you deal with stress and improving your mood).
  8. Catch up: Now that you’ve gotten back into your routine, go over any tasks you let fall by the wayside. Return phone calls and emails. Get your inbox back to empty.
  9. Treat yourself: Go out to dinner. Buy a new sweater. Eat something deliciously unhealthy. Do something to remind yourself you are worth something. Do something to reward yourself for making it through the tough situation!
  10. Look forward: Review your goals and your to-do lists. Refocus on the projects ahead of you to give you a strong sense of purpose as you move forward.

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