I'm not going to pretend like there aren't times when I'm bopping along to the music at the pity party for one. I'm that person. I pity myself from time to time. I wallow in misery of my own making. I feel like at one point or another, even the most together person throws themselves a little pity party. Sometimes it's essential, just to get the "woe is me" out of your system and move on with life. But if the pity party is your number one destination, you might want to rethink your attitude. No one likes someone who constantly feels sorry for themselves — not even the person who feels sorry for themselves. Considering you have to spend 100 percent of your time with you, why be someone that you don't like? Be sad from time to time, sure, but also put effort into being happy and positive too.
Pity parties are an easy default. It's much easier to go about thinking "Only bad things happen to me" than it is to actively try to make good things happen to you. After all, if your regular state is one of preemptive disappointment, you can't actually be disappointed by anything. That's a really sad way to be, so snap yourself out of it. Here are some tips for ending the pity party.
1. Give Yourself A Time Limit
Emoting is important. You don't have to hide your sadness, but outside of clinical problems (which, if you know of or suspect, you should consult a health care professional about immediately), you should have a plan for shaking it off. Give yourself a time limit. Tell yourself "Yes, I'm feeling blue and sorry for myself today. So I'm going to lay here crying for the next twenty minutes, then I'm going to get up, and work on getting over it." Let your feelings play out, but give them an expiry date, so that you can work on getting over it, rather than wallowing.
2. Play Your Favorite Song
Treat leaving the pity party like it's a montage from a John Hughes film. This will make it at least 11 times more fun. All good montages have an inspiring song, so play yours, and dance around a bit to get your heart rate up and some bodily aggression out. I like "Dancing In The Dark" by Bruce Springsteen, especially for the lyric "You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart."
3. WORK OUT
I know you hear this all time time. Work out to improve your mood! Work out to sleep better! Work out to be happier! It's all true. The endorphins you get from exercise will help you leave your pity party. Meanwhile, meditative practices like yoga can also help you get centered mentally by concentrating your attention.
4. Do Something Just For You
Do a thing that you like doing, whether it's going down to your local coffee shop and treating yourself to baked goods or getting a massage. Do something that you love to remind yourself that life is good.
5. Read The News
Spend some time getting some perspective. No matter how sorry for yourself you feel, remember that everyone is suffering in some way, and pain isn't unique to you. Sadness and struggle are universal conditions. As difficult as it might be to hear, tell yourself that you're not special, and that your mood isn't special. That's not to delegitimize your feelings, but to give yourself the perspective you need to quit languishing in them, and move on to being a happier, more productive person in spite of them.
6. Talk It Out
Talking can help you rationalize your feelings versus how long you spend feeling sorry for yourself because of them. If you have a friend or family member who is helpful in these situations, call them. Otherwise it could even be helpful to you to seek therapy, and vent to a professional.
7. Do Something That Gives You A Sense Of Achievement
Nothing ends feeling sorry for yourself quite like feeling great about yourself. Bake something. Paint something. Write something. Run somewhere. Volunteer. Do something that makes you feel productive, like you've achieve. It's an almost instant shut down for the pity party you've been at. Like calling the cops to end a noisy party, achieving is a sure fire way to end a pity party.
8. Focus On The Good Things
Look around you. I promise you, if you're a healthy human person who is sitting at a computer reading this, in a warm office or home, there are good things. Like being alive. Having your eyesight. Your computer. Your heating. Your job and your apartment. The simple things you take for granted are really things you should be celebrating, and once you start seeing that, the pity party will start seeming distant.