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That's a tough one.

Personally I just try to be strong. That means that I try to think that people need me to be strong and be able to fulfill my commitments.

There's always someone/something that can pull us up. Rap musics usually makes me feel challenged, they kind of teach me how difficult life can be and show me: if you can't handle you won't last, GET USED, STAY FOCUSED, fail is not an option!

You might find this kind of motivation on books, thinking in people you love, or just getting a new perspective of how life works by listen to music, being more reflective. EVERYTHING PASSES;

Keep moving

 

I read "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" by Mark Manson a few months ago, it really helped me separate critical issues (the ones I should care about) from noise.

I was tormented by a false sentiment of intellectual and professional insecurity. I found out that I was surrounded by toxic people that only cared about themselves, but I although discovered that some were eager to help me overcome that nasty feeling.

It take courage to talk about that stuff to friends, colleagues and/or strangers, but when you are in a dark place, you need the help of others to shed some light on your actual state of mind.

Shit happen in life, more often than we wish for. Everyone is experiencing that never ending shit parade at different scales. To survive this crap, you should choose your battles wisely and stop caring that much about things that don't really matter.

It's although a good thing to take a break from that perpetual necessity of self improvement. Binge-watch that TV series you never had the opportunity to see, have a walk in a park, stare at the ceiling/horizon for hours without thinking that much. After a while, you will find yourself craving for intellectual stimulations, doing absolutely nothing of worth once in a while is an absolute necessity to recharge your batteries.

One last thing: We learn things from our mistakes, fearing failure unconsciously sabotage your chances of success.

 

I stopped following news. If it is not actionable then it is not helpful. Modern news tries to create an addictive dependency mostly because that's how they get viewers.

The world is not falling apart but it's not as good as it could be and that has always been the case regardless of what's on the news.

If you want to feel better then get involved in local community activities and try to help those around. Several people I know teach computer science at local high schools. They are usually the happiest people in my circle of friends.

 

I go to a therapist regularly which is helpful.

Depending on the situation(s) I might try and find people who have experienced the same thing, so I have a supportive outlet to cope.

If you can muster up the energy, exercise usually has positive benefits. Ans if you can muster up the motivation, I find personal development books to be generally inspiring.

 

Learn about the Compassionate Mind. It's a brilliant way of thinking that basically changes the way you think. Instead of "Urgh I only did 2/3s of my work", you force yourself to re-think it as "Actually, considering how busy I've been I got 2/3rds of my work done, go me!".

Slowly every small thing becomes a little victory and your mood and motivation improves.

 

Re: grief. I try to remember that there are people who love me and that tomorrow it probably won't hurt as much as today. I try to avoid painful triggers and distract myself (coding, hobby, sleep, whatever works at the time), even if just mechanically going through the motions. Pray if that suits you -- I do. When I feel ready, I might talk to someone. Nothing too deep, maybe a memory connected to the loss. Along the path of grief, I think I am finally in a good place one day, but the next day all the hurt comes flooding back. Grief is fluid like that, but on average it gets slowly better each day. One day, I may even be able to think about it without hurting.

One time when I was going through a loss, I read the short book "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis. It was very cathartic. It is also ironic because prior to that, one of C.S. Lewis's books (and speeches) was reconciling why pain and loss is a necessary part of the human condition. But when he lost his wife... well the book goes to show that pain cannot hear reasoned arguments.

 

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

― Dalai Lama XIV

Of course that will not help if you cannot convince that thing between your ears.

This might be considered really negative, or pessimistic, or maybe nihilistic. But nothing really matters. Society as we know it will, just like you, and every piece of software you create, die and be replaced my something else. But at least have fun living, and creating software. If it makes at least one person happier (which can be just you) it will be worthwhile.

This is fine
And it is a fine cup of coffee.

Note, the "This is fine" source presents actually the opposite of what I am trying to say.

 

When the news is really really bad, you can't. But there are a couple of things you can try:
-Relax: Breathing excercises, sports/walking, indulge from time to time.
-Music: There are some really good compilations in youtube (try searching something like "concentration"/"programming"/"relaxing" music) that will help you stay on focus for a while.
-Breaks: Use pomodoro or any other schema that forces you to alternate high productivity lapses with regular and compulsory breaks.

Good luck ace! :)

 

I don't. I'm still doing what needs to be done but my work slows down and becomes more error prone. But taking a break and thinking about something that doesn't suck usually helps, even if only temporarily

 

One thing that helps me a lot, either in my daily life or when things go wrong, is music.
I have playlists for everything, from "I need to focus and get things done" to "I really NEED some happiness right now".
Take some time to make yours, in the end of the day it's totally worth it!

 
  • Play sad music
  • Lay down on my couch
  • Wallow in misery for a while, probably cry. Allow myself to feel sad
  • Allowing myself to feel sad helps me accept it, and this acceptance helps me start to move past it. Bad feelings are often like weather - you just need to wait for them to pass
  • Eventually I get up and start doing something small. Nothing important, just enough to get some mental energy going again
  • Keep doing this until, eventually, I start to feel better
 

I tend to focus on the things under my control. I read the bad news, I process it, I ask myself what I can do, and if there isn't something I can do I move on. If there is something reasonable I can do I try to act on it. Sometimes it is easier said than done, but I would rather spend my time on something productive than dwelling on the horrible things that happen in life.

 

Patience. Do the right thing. Think of the good things in life and learn how to appreciate them.

 

I noticed how important fresh air, the sun and sleep is for feeling well. No matter how bad the situation is.

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Luke Westby profile image
Engineer at NoRedInk. Sunrise Movement website team. Elm core team. elm-conf organizing team.