Cut Through That Empty Feeling

Avoid your triggers

A great way to help yourself if you’re feeling empty is to start paying attention to things that make the unpleasant feelings worse and avoid them as much as possible. There will definitely be times when you can’t escape the unpleasant feelings, but identifying your triggers is a great way to gain insight into why you feel like this in the first place. If you’re continually upset and feel empty every time you scroll through social media, it may be because you feel left out of social situations. If you’re grumpy every time your coworker brings their children into work, you may be longing for more family time more than you realize.

Avoiding triggers won’t solve your overarching problem, but it’s a way of giving yourself some grace. You won’t be able to avoid your problem forever, but you don’t need to see it every hour of every day.

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Speak to yourself the way you would speak to a dear friend

One of the hardest things about feeling empty is that society, through the pervasive lens of social media, has told us that it’s not OK to feel negative emotions. As a result, we are increasingly hard on ourselves as the problem progresses, and our feelings will only deepen and get stronger.

The next time you’re struck by that empty feeling, try talking to yourself like you would a trusted friend. You would never tell them to “snap out of it” or invalidate their feelings, so why do it to yourself?

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Change the expectations

If you’re feeling empty and it’s progressed to the point that everyday life feels like a struggle, it’s important to know that you don’t have to show up looking and feeling perfect every single day. It’s OK to compromise. If you’re feeling too sad to have a shower, brush your hair. If you need to eat but can’t be bothered to make a meal, stock up on finger foods like pre-sliced cheese, crudités, pickles, fruit, and other things that can be eaten separately that are filling and nutritious. Getting half of your daily tasks accomplished is better than not trying.

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