Life can be rough sometimes, and most people, at one time or another, feel like shit. This can mean different things for different people. It might include feeling sad, angry, stressed out, or fed up. It might also be a sense of not feeling like yourself or feeling physically sick.
Why you might feel like shit
Sometimes it is difficult to work out why you are feeling shitty. Identifying the factors that are contributing to this feeling might help you to work out how to deal with it. Remember —it’s just a feeling and it’s likely to pass.
Some reasons you might feel shitty:
- You’ve experienced one or several tough or stressful events;
- People around you are experiencing tough times. It’s not uncommon for other people’s unhappiness to influence how you’re feeling. This could be because it is hard to see people you care about feeling sad, or because of the way they’re coping with their emotions, they are difficult to be around.
Not being able to identify the reason for how you are feeling is not uncommon. Factors that might contribute to feeling shitty include:
- Stress or anxiety—Stress can come from many different sources, like pressures at school, work or home from parents, teachers and sometimes your friends, or even your own expectations;
- Grief or loss—This can include the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship or friendship;
- Depression and other mental illnesses.
- Family problems, like parents going through a divorce or fighting, or transitioning to a step family;
- Problems at school or work, like bullying or violence;
- Relationship or friendship problems, like breaking up or fighting with a boyfriend or girlfriend;
- Moving into a new house;
- Starting at a new school or job;
- Living with someone with a mental or physical illness or disease;
- Feeling bored or uninspired, like over school or summer vacation.
Physical or biological factors might also influence your feelings and reactions as well as how you think about yourself and the world around you. Physical factors might include:
- Not eating well;
- Not getting enough exercise;
- Not getting enough sleep;
- Using drugs or alcohol;
- Being sick, or fighting off illness, which can make you feel run down and not well;
- Chronic illness or other medical conditions;
- Hormonal changes, especially for women during their menstrual cycles. This may happen a few days before you get your period and you may not make the connection immediately.
What to do if you’re feeling like shit
When you’re feeling shitty, you might have the urge to lash out at someone, even if they had nothing to do with your feelings. Here are some ideas that might stop you from blowing up and help you get to a happier place.
Get informed. Once you figure out what might be causing you to feel shitty, you can do something about it. On the ReachOut site, you’ll find tons of info on different issues, including depression, family and relationships. You’ll also find suggestions on how to manage your feelings and where you can get help.
Talk to someone. Talking to someone you feel comfortable with, like a friend, teacher, parent or counselor, can be a great way of expressing your feelings. These people might also be able to help you identify why you are feeling shitty and work out strategies for dealing with it.
Chill out. Sometimes getting some space away from what is making you feel this way or a change of scenery can be helpful. This might include going for a walk or listening to your favorite music, reading a book, going to the movies, or whatever works for you.
Express your feelings. Writing down your feelings or keeping a journal can be a great way of understanding your current emotions in a particular situation. It can also help you come up with alternative solutions to problems.
Express your feelings in a way that won’t cause bodily damage to yourself or another person. Try yelling or crying into a pillow, dancing round the room to loud music or punching a pillow.
Post in the forums. You can also share your struggle anonymously in the ReachOut forums here in a non-judgmental space and get support from others who have been where you are and gotten through it.
Get creative. Find things to do to distract yourself from feeling shitty and that get you thinking creatively. This can include drawing a picture, writing a poem, or playing a game. Even though you might not feel like it at first, even a little creativity might be enough to shift your mood.
Take care of yourself. Feeling shitty may be your body telling you it needs to take time out, and pushing yourself physically might just make things worse. Take time out to spoil yourself by doing something that you usually enjoy. Even though you might not feel like it, exercising and eating well can help. Getting plenty of sleep is important, too.
Exercise helps stimulate hormones like endorphins, which help you feel better about yourself. If you haven’t done a lot of exercise before, it might be a good idea to start doing something small a couple of times each week, such as a 15-minute walk or two or three laps in a pool. Visiting your doctor for a regular check up can be a way to make sure there you don’t have any physical health problems.
Avoid drugs and alcohol. Try not to use alcohol or other drugs (including lots of caffeine or other energy-boosting drinks) in the hopes of feeling better. The feeling is usually temporary and the side effects often make you feel worse.