What To Do When You Have More Than You Can Handle

Life is a series of challenges to be managed. In between challenges, life can seem easy, but the next challenge is always on the way. When faced with too many challenges at once, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to believe that you have more going on in your life than you can handle.

Regardless of the size or the number of challenges you may face, the solution is the same: Ignore those things you can’t influence and spend your time and energy implementing solutions for those things you can influence.

A level head, a solid plan, persistence, and assistance can overcome any challenge life may bring.

Try these strategies to lighten your load:

1. Acknowledge that you’re feeling overwhelmed. There’s nothing to be gained by ignoring your situation. You’ll be in a better position to deal effectively with your life when you acknowledge the reality of the situation. When you recognize that something is wrong, you can begin to do something about it.

2. Take a time out. If you’re at work, slip away for a quick walk. If you have the freedom to do so, try taking a weekend trip. A change of scenery can make the challenges in your life seem more manageable.

3. Make a plan. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to spend too much time focusing on the challenges in your life. While this is a natural response, it leads to feeling even worse! Rather than focusing on your issues, try focusing on solutions.

* Imagine your friend was facing the same challenges, what advice would you give to them?

* Make a plan to move beyond your current situation. What solutions can you find? How will you implement them?

* A simple change of focus can alter your perspective and your mood. Do you think you’ll feel better focusing on your problems or the solutions?

4. Distract yourself for a few hours. Read a good book or take a friend to the movie theater. Now is the perfect time to do all the things you usually do to avoid working!

5. Talk to someone. You could speak to a coworker, a friend, family member, or a mental health professional. Who would you call on in your life to talk you down off a ledge? Pick up the phone and include someone else in your current situation.

6. List the good things in your life. Things might be rough at the moment, but there are plenty of things in your life that you can be grateful for. Make a list of them and reflect on the many blessings in your life.

7. Laugh. Few things feel better than laughing. What makes you laugh? Rent a funny movie or spend time with someone that always finds a way to make you giggle. Who is the funniest person in your life?

8. Get some help. More heads and pairs of hands can get a lot more accomplished than you can all by your lonesome. Most people are pretty bored and would jump at the chance to help you deal with your drama. Get some help.

You have plenty of options when you think you have more to deal with than you can handle.

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. When life becomes especially challenging, feeling overwhelmed can dampen your spirit and hide the best solutions from you.

Admit to yourself that you’re struggling and begin looking for solutions. Allow yourself a few distractions when you need them. Reach out to others and avoid trying to solve everything on your own. Soon, you’ll be back on a more enjoyable path.

What To Do When You Feel Lost

If you’ve ever felt lost, you’re shooting par for the course as a human being. Everyone faces this challenge sooner or later. Feeling lost is a sign that you believe your life is on the wrong track.

You feel like your life lacks meaning and that your future is uncompelling. This is a great time to take a long, hard look at yourself. You can learn a lot during this period.

Try these activities to find yourself and create a future that inspires you again:

1. Make a list of things you’d like to see in your lifetime. One of the reasons you feel lost is that you don’t have anything to look forward to. You can change that quickly by making a list of all the things you’d like to see in your lifetime. Here are a few ideas to stimulate your thinking.

* Watch the Packers and the Bears play at Soldier Field
* The Great Wall of China
* An opera in Italy
* The Grand Canyon
* The birth of a litter of puppies
* Old Faithful
* Mars through a high-quality telescope
* A Rolling Stones concert
* Make your own list and don’t be bashful. Now pick one thing you can do in the next six months. If your list is too extravagant, and six months is an impossible timeline, think harder and add more items to your list.

2. Make a list of things you’d like to do in your lifetime. What would you like to do or learn? Play bridge or chess? Speak Russian? Master the piano? Go waterskiing? Learn to paint? Take a zipline through the Costa Rican jungle?

* Think of something you can do in the next few months and start making plans.

3. Revisit your old goals. You had a lot of plans when you were a kid. You wanted to be a cowboy or an astronaut or raise llamas. You had more realistic plans as you aged, but you still had plans that interested you. Perhaps you can rekindle some of that enthusiasm by revisiting those plans from the past.

* Think about why you abandoned those plans. Maybe the reasons you changed your mind are no longer valid. Maybe they were never valid in the first place.

4. Realize that your feelings aren’t unusual. Your current mental state is quite common. How many people make the right choices consistently? Nearly every adult wishes they could go back and choose a different career. This includes doctors, lawyers, and successful business owners. Mistakes pile up over the years, and in your mind, the grass is always greener somewhere else.

* This is all a part of the human experience. The next part of your experience is working though it.

5. Realize that you have a lot of control over your situation. It’s easy to feel hopeless, but you have a lot of choices available to you. It’s a matter of being brave enough to choose the best one and run with it.

6. Find the limiting belief. There are plenty of things you want to do, you just don’t think you can do them. You might believe that you’re too old, need more education, lack the necessary finances, and the list goes on. Look at your limiting beliefs and work through them.

Feeling lost is synonymous with lacking direction. Finding a new direction for your life is the key to stop feeling lost.

Find a few things you’d like to do and see this year. Plan a future that you find interesting and exciting. Once your mood is lifted, you’ll see the world with new eyes and be able to find new opportunities that excite you.

The Secret to Making Your Job Search More Proactive

Is your job search passive or proactive? A change in strategy could shorten the time you spend hunting and help you land a more rewarding position.

You’re probably familiar with passive job search methods. You browse through job boards and classified ads, and respond to advertised openings. You go on interviews and wait to hear back from the human resources department.

However, you may be underutilizing more proactive measures. That’s where you discover or create positions that match your skills. You reach out to companies where you want to work.

Learn how to broaden your job hunt and take greater control of your career path. Incorporate these proactive strategies into your tool kit as you seek your next position.

How to Be Proactive about Finding Job Opportunities:

You’ve probably heard the conventional wisdom that about 80% of job openings don’t get advertised. Think about where you want to work and the kind of work you want to do. Then, target your top priorities.

Use these strategies:

1. Research companies. Explore organizations that interest you. Visit company websites to read about their products, services, and staff. Subscribe to industry publications and read the business section of major newspapers.

2. Seek referrals. Use your personal network and LinkedIn to discover who you know inside the organization or someone who can make introductions for you. Tapping an insider can help you find out more about current activities and the hiring process.

3. Conduct information interviews. Focus on gathering information instead of rushing to get a job offer. Many contacts will be more receptive to sharing knowledge rather than discussing an immediate position.

4. Multiply your options. Broaden your vision. Having multiple job leads will help you stay motivated and make sounder decisions.

5. Try contract work. Even if a full-time position is your ultimate objective, you can use temporary positions or contract work to gain valuable experience. You’ll also get a first-hand look at a potential workplace before making a longer commitment.

6. Volunteer your services. Community service is an excellent way to broaden your network and discover job leads. Contact charities that interest you and mingle with the staff, board, and other volunteers.

How to Be Proactive about Pursuing Job Opportunities:

You’ll stand out from the competition if you initiate contact with companies that interest you. Use the hiring process to demonstrate your enthusiasm and communication skills.

Try these techniques:

1. Be tactful. You can be polite and persistent about following up. Follow application instructions, and avoid leaving multiple messages so you come across as confident rather than overzealous.

2. Confirm details. Some employers will appreciate an effort to confirm an application or interview. Unless the company requests otherwise, make it a policy to follow up and ask about the next step.

3. Ask informed questions. Take full advantage of interviews or any continuing conversations. Have a written list of relevant questions that will help you to understand the position and showcase your worth.

4. Articulate your value. Play an active role in interviews. Guide the discussion towards your unique abilities and the specific contribution you can make. Highlight your past achievements and show how you can help your next employer reach their goals.

5. Express your appreciation. Remember to send thank you notes or make a follow up call after each contact. Let others know that you are grateful for their time and consideration.

6. Stay in touch. Work at developing and sustaining relationships. Even if an interview doesn’t end with a job offer, it may be worth reaching out once in awhile to monitor future needs or ask for other suggestions.

There’s nothing wrong with passive job search methods, but you can achieve more when you use a broader range of resources. Thinking proactively will help you find more opportunities and make a positive impression on potential employers.

The Pomodoro Technique and How it can Help You Accomplish More

Would you like to get more done each day? Would you like to get a lot done and still feel refreshed when it’s time to go home? Many time management techniques have been developed over the years. Some are more effective than others.

The Pomodoro Technique is among the most popular. This time management system has been around for over 30 years and utilizes alternating periods of work and short breaks to maximize how much you get done each day.

You’ll also feel surprisingly good at the end of the day!

Taking regular breaks gives your brain a chance to relax and reset. Knowing that you only have to work for a short period of time makes it much easier to stay engaged and motivated. The technique works well with intellectual, manual, and creative tasks.

The traditional Pomodoro pattern is 25 minutes of work and five minutes of break time. After four cycles, you would take a longer break of 30 minutes.

What could be simpler?

Use the Pomodoro Technique and accomplish more each day:

1. Utilize a timer. It’s a mistake to keep one eye on the clock while you’re trying to get your work done. Use a timer and position it so you can’t see it. You can use your cell phone, computer, or a physical timer.

* There are specialized programs and apps for your computer or cell phone available online. They incorporate your work time, break time, and longer breaks.

* The use of a timer is critical. It provides a sense of urgency and the knowledge that you’ll get a break soon. See how much you can get done in 25 minutes. You’ll be surprised.

2. Experiment with different intervals. Many people thrive with the traditional schedule of 25 minutes of work alternated with five minute rest breaks. Others do well with 50 minutes of work and 10-minute breaks. See which works best for you. Consider trying other options, too.

* You may find that certain tasks work better with longer or shorter intervals. It’s important to experiment and be flexible in your approach.

3. Ensure that you take a longer break every two hours. This can be 15-30 minutes in length. It’s a good idea to move around. Get a drink of water or take a short walk. Avoid skipping this longer break. It will really pay off later in the day! You’ll have more energy and maintain your ability to focus.

4. Avoid distractions. Part of the effectiveness of the technique is from focusing intently on the task at hand. You’ll have a quick break in just a few minutes, so keep your mind on track.

* Let others know you don’t want to be disturbed. Remember, you’re not doing anything but your work for the next 25 minutes.

That’s all there is to it. Give it a try for a few days and compare how much you get done, and how good you feel, to your normal workday. The Pomodoro Technique will also enhance your ability to focus and concentrate.

Most people find this time management technique highly effective and reach the end the day feeling much more refreshed than usual.

It can also work wonders at home. Set your timer and see how much housework you can get done in 25 minutes. Your children can use the technique for homework and studying. You’ll find that you can accomplish much more in 25 minutes than you ever thought.

Take the Pomodoro Technique for a test-run and see just how much you can get done each day.

The Biggest Obstacles to Your Creativity

Do you feel like you lack imagination? Do you struggle to create or to find solutions to the challenges in your life? It’s possible you’re suffering from a few creativity-blocking obstacles. By identifying the obstacles in your path, you can find ways to work around them.

Eliminate the creativity blockers from your life:

1. A cluttered mind makes creativity a challenge. Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come when you’re alone? You’re either being quiet or doing something very routine, like driving on a low-traffic road or taking a walk. It’s hard to get the creative juices flowing when you have too much going on.

2. You don’t prime your creative mechanism. Try doing a different creative activity for a few minutes. If you’re trying to write a book, try creating and humming a new song for a few minutes. Legos, Lincoln Logs, tinker toys, modeling clay, crayons and brain teasers are other options.

3. Stress. You might have time to yourself, but still be too distracted to be creative. When your adrenaline is flowing, and you’re dealing with the stresses of life, creativity can be hard to find.

4. A narrow focus can limit your ability to find new solutions. Keep an open mind and consider all the possibilities. Avoid assuming you know where the general location of the answer to your challenge is. The best solution might be something you’ve never considered.

5. You don’t believe you are a creative person. You’ve used your creativity countless times in the past. From dealing with an unpleasant boss to keeping a moody child occupied. Believe you’re a creative person and you’ll prove yourself correct.

6. You never get started. Creative endeavors can be intimidating. Procrastination is one of the primary enemies to creativity. Set aside time each day to be creative, even if you’re convinced you’re wasting your time. You never know when your creative genius will strike.

7. Fear of failure. The possibility of failure can stop anyone in their tracks. Think of all the times you failed in the past and came through unscathed. Creativity feels risky, but it’s all in your head.

8. You’re stuck in a rut. It’s not easy to come up with ideas in the same old space. Get outdoors or at least move yourself into a space you don’t normally use, like a spare bedroom or a conference room.

9. You insist on doing it alone. Fresh minds bring fresh ideas. Ask others for their input. You’re likely to find that the ideas of others trigger your own new ideas. Get some help! Who is the most creative person you know? They should be your first call.

10. You don’t have enough experience. You may have been a very creative child, but if you’re not flexing your creative muscles on a regular basis, you might be out of practice. Spend a few minutes being creative each day and you’ll enhance your creative skills.

Creativity is a powerful skill and ability to possess. The most creative people in the world have a huge advantage over the rest of us.

If you’re struggling to be creative, it’s likely that an obstacle or two is standing in your way. Overcome your obstacles and use your creativity to your advantage.

How to Use Procrastination as Practice for Success

You might believe that success is about coming up with great ideas or doing the impossible, but most success is the result of doing the mundane. It’s doing the things that no one wants to do. Whether it’s losing weight, getting a better job, doing well in school, or saving a million dollars, the process is largely unenjoyable.

In most cases, you know what needs to be done. The challenge is getting yourself to do it.

Dealing effectively with procrastination is getting yourself to do things you don’t want to do. It’s great practice for learning how to become successful! If you can defeat your procrastination, you can accomplish just about anything.

Consider the normal process of procrastination:

1. You think about doing something. Isn’t that how you start a task? You think about doing it.

2. You notice how it feels. Every thought generates a feeling or emotion. When it feels good, we do the task. That’s why it’s so easy to get off the couch to get a bag of chips. It’s not as easy to leave the couch to go outside and paint the gutters.

3. If it feels bad, you avoid it. You have your own, consistent ways of deflecting the task. Do you know what you do when you’re procrastinating? Make a list of the things you do to avoid a task.

4. When the feeling of putting it off feels worse than the feeling of doing it, you finally take action. You will eventually pay your taxes, take out the trash, apply for a job, or work on your term paper.

This is a very common process. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well if you’re trying to get ahead or to prevent your life from descending into chaos.

Try an alternative method for dealing with unpleasant tasks:

1. When you feel bad about a task, get excited that you’re being given an opportunity to learn success skills. This is the moment that separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. The least successful people are the worst procrastinators. Successful people do the hard things.

2. Take a minute. Just sit with your feelings and notice them. Sit with your discomfort. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Notice where you feel the disturbance. Is it in your head? Your chest? Stomach? Try to relax that area of your body and release the tension.

3. Spend five minutes doing the task you want to avoid. Anyone can handle just five minutes. Getting started is the hardest part, so become an expert on getting started! You’ll often find that you’ll continue beyond your five minute goal. Congratulate yourself for lasting at least five minutes.

4. Forgive yourself for failing. Somedays you win, others you lose. Working through discomfort and defeating procrastination is a challenging skill to learn. Just get back on the horse and vow to keep trying.

Procrastination is a very human habit. There’s little doubt that its origins were helpful. Poor decisions could be disastrous 100,000 years ago. Our brains had to be thoroughly convinced that an idea was worthy of execution before it would allow us to act.

Doing something today that’s unenjoyable doesn’t make a lot of logical sense if it can be put off until another time.

Decide for yourself that right now is that time. Use your urge to procrastinate as fuel for learning to be successful.

How to Present an Authentic Image That Works for You

Do you walk your talk? Is the image you portray to the world in line with the real you? Does your image work for you? People make assumptions about you based on your appearance, attitude, and the words you choose.

Do you talk about homeless children or your drinking exploits? Do you look like a stockbroker, a plumber, or a rap star?

Present yourself in a way that depicts your values. It’s disconcerting to people when they can’t quite figure you out.

* “This guy wants me invest my money with him, but he looks like he works in a factory.”

* “She says she’s all about helping the poor and the homeless, but she drives a $100,000 car and constantly talks about her extravagant spending habits.”

Maybe you have a friend that claims he’s an adventurous risk-taker, but has been stuck in the same low-paying job that he can’t stand for the last 10 years.

When the image you present to the world clearly isn’t accurate, it raises a lot of red flags, and others won’t trust you. When your image doesn’t fit the situation, it also causes concern.

What does the image you present say about you?

1. Be realistic regarding the situation. If you’re going to a job interview, it’s not really the right time to wear your ripped jeans or to curse like a sailor. That might be the image that makes you the most comfortable, but it’s creating challenges for you in certain situations.

* The right clothing, vocabulary, and attitude will vary with the situation. You don’t want to be viewed as a constantly changing chameleon, but there are things that just won’t work in certain situations.

* Consider the image that will work for you in a given situation and make the necessary adjustments. A certain image may be accurate, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate 24/7.

2. Know what matters to you. Your values are an important part of developing the image you present to the world. Are freedom and rejecting social norms part of your value system? Adventure? Money? Helping others?

3. Understand what it means when your true-self and your image are incongruent. It means that you’re trying to present yourself as something you’re not. You’re not happy with your reality, so you’re pretending to be something else.

4. Think about the image you want to present at work. Are you the creative guy with unique solutions? Or are you the dead-serious woman that meets every deadline, even if she has to work 12 hours on Saturday? What image will work in your work environment? Can you still look at yourself in the mirror each morning with that image?

5. Think about the image you want to present outside of work. Can people figure out who you are within 10 minutes of meeting you? Do you like the way the world views you? Does it work for you? Is it an accurate depiction of you?

Find the middle ground. You might be a casual person, but that doesn’t mean you can wear gym shorts and sneakers everywhere. There are other ways to present yourself as someone that isn’t stuffy and overly formal. Be honest about who you are, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot in the process.

When your true-self and your image match, it puts people at ease. You’re more likeable when you’re congruent. Think about the most likeable people you know. You know exactly who they are within a short time.

Think about how you present yourself to the world. Are you making your life easier or more challenging?

How to Make the Most of Your Bedtime

There’s more to a productive bedtime than brushing your teeth and putting on your pajamas. Most people waste the time between dinner and retiring for the evening. Learning to make the most of this time can be the difference between having a great day and a poor one.

It can also determine whether or not your achieve your goals.

You might be tired from work and just feel like lying on the couch and watching televisions. But that is the perfect recipe to ensure that you continue living this same day over and over.

Using the time before you retire for the evening can make a huge difference in your life.

Consider these tips to make the most of your evenings and get more from your life:

1. Avoid eating after dinner. There’s a ton of evidence that snacking after dinner increases the odds of being overweight and having health issues. You’ll sleep better and feel better in the morning if you avoid eating between dinner and breakfast.

2. Review your goals. You can even do this in bed before you fall asleep. Spend a few minutes reviewing your goals to keep them fresh in your mind. Ever notice how you forget your New Year’s Eve resolutions after a couple of weeks? That can’t happen if you review your goals each evening.

3. Read something that enhances your life. We’re not talking about Harry Potter 17. This is something that will help with your career, relationships, hobbies, or an intellectual pursuit. Avoid going to sleep before you’ve learned something new that day. What have you learned today?

4. Avoid drinking before bed. Try to avoid any liquids within two hours of your bedtime. You’ll just increase the likelihood of needing to get up in the middle of the night. A full night of interrupted sleep has no substitutes.

5. Plan for the following day. Plan what you’re going to do the next day. Jot down a quick list of your most important tasks. You won’t spend the first hour of the workday wondering what you should do first.

6. Practice a skill. It’s amazing what you can accomplish over time with just a few minutes each evening. You might take 15 minutes to master a few guitar chords, work on your pull-ups, train your dog to stay, learn three new words in French, or master drawing with pastels.

7. Meditate. Meditation can be a great way to wind down for the evening. It quiets the mind and provides a healthier perspective on life. Grab a book at the library and learn how to meditate effectively.

8. Take a walk. Non-strenuous exercise can improve your sleep. Getting a little exercise doesn’t hurt either. Enjoy the solitude of walking alone or take someone along. It can be a great family activity right after dinner. Chat with a few neighbors along the way.

These are just a few possible suggestions for making the most of your evening. Try brainstorming a few more. Use the evening to tie up loose ends and to prepare for the following day.

You can accomplish a lot at night as long as you are consistent and patient.

Avoid falling into a routine that does little to enhance your life. Get started tonight with an intentional routine that will move your life in a positive and fulfilling direction.

How to Enjoy Retirement Even if You Have a Type A Personality

Preparing for retirement is a major transition for anyone, and it can be especially challenging if you have a Type A personality. You may find that your competitive drive and outgoing nature can work against you unless you channel those qualities in a positive direction.

After all, when you’re used to managing others and having your identity tied up in your career, it can be disconcerting to discover that you’re no longer in charge.

Try these tips for how to adjust your expectations and enjoy your new freedom.

Adjusting Your Pace:

1. Delay new commitments. It can be tempting to rush into new ventures now that you have so much free time. On the other hand, you’ll probably make sounder decisions if you give yourself time to shift your priorities and weigh your options.

2. Practice relaxing. Lying in a hammock can be stressful for some individuals. Find relaxation practices that work for you, whether that means daily meditation or a demanding hobby.

3. Exit gradually. See if your employer is interested in phased retirement. Some professionals prefer to cut back on their hours and responsibilities before leaving the workplace permanently.

Redirecting Your Energies:

1. Volunteer your services. Use your time to support worthy causes. You may want to take on a leadership position that enables you to keep using your skills or experiment with new roles like tutoring children or growing vegetables.

2. Take classes. Increase your knowledge by taking courses online or auditing classes at your local university. Lifelong learning can help you to stay mentally sharp, and may even reduce your risk of dementia.

3. Create an encore career. Maybe you’ll decide that you want to continue working after all. Embarking on a second career can be an opportunity to explore new interests while adding to your income.

4. Reconnect with family. Retirement can also give you a chance to catch up with loved ones if you used to spend a lot of hours at the office. Plan a family reunion or one-on-one time with your adult children.

5. Start downsizing. It may take longer than you think to sort through the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years. Weeding through your garage and closets now may spare your children the necessity of doing it for you someday. Plus, you could uncover items that can be sold or donated.

6. Travel. Now’s the time to visit the places you’ve been dreaming about. Shop around for good deals so you can see the countries where your ancestors came from or go skiing in the Alps. If you’re unsure where to start, browse online for ideas or ask friends and family for their recommendations.

7. Exercise regularly. Physical activity is invigorating. Buy a gym membership or take up a sport that will encourage you to spend more time outdoors.

Other Tips:

1. Consider your spouse. If you’re married, retirement will be a big adjustment for your spouse too. Beware of the tendency to start bossing them around now that you no longer have employees reporting to you at work. Give each other some solitude on a regular basis so you can enjoy the extra hours you spend together.

2. Extend your network. Social interactions may be what you’ll miss the most when you retire. Make new contacts by volunteering, joining groups, and throwing parties.

3. Try counseling. Talk with a professional if retirement seems overwhelming. A little support could change how you think about the later stages of your life.

Your retirement years can be happy and fulfilling if you devote your considerable energies to rethinking your purpose and staying engaged. As a Type A personality, you may find happiness learning to relax more or creating new challenges for yourself.

How to Embrace the Single Life

You were in a relationship, perhaps one that you thought would last the rest of your life, but now you’re not. You might be sad, angry, or even relieved that it’s over. Now, you have the rest of your life to look forward to.

There are plenty of things you can do when you’re single that are harder, or even impossible, to do when you’re in a relationship.

Take advantage of your new, single status:

1. This is a great time to spend some time with yourself. You can’t know yourself until you spend a fair amount of time alone with yourself. Relationships require a lot time and take up a lot of mental space.

2. Appreciate the new-found freedom. Relationships restrict your freedom in many ways, and not just socially. You don’t always get to choose what you’re going to watch on TV or what you’re having for dinner. Weekend and holiday plans also have to include the wishes of your partner.

* You can have everything your way for a change. Take advantage of your single status by making all of the decisions without having to consult with anyone else.

* Make a list of everything you want to do now that you’re single. Create a list that will get you excited, then vow to start doing a few of them. See if you can do everything on your list.

3. Pick up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. You have more free time now. Find an enjoyable way to spend it. Now is the perfect time to try something you’ve been thinking about for years. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to prune bonsai trees or to play the violin. Now is your time.

4. Reconnect with your friends. We often lose track of friends and family while we’re in a relationship. Pick up the phone and let everyone know you’re available to socialize. Take the initiative by inviting a friend out to lunch and catch up. They’ll be glad to hear from you, and you’ll enjoy the company.

5. Let go of the past. It takes time to get over a failed relationship, but there’s no reason to drag it out longer than necessary. Look forward to the future and leave the past in the past.

6. Take your time before dating again. There’s no rush. Enjoy the benefits of being single before jumping into another relationship. You’re the only one that will know when the time is right.

7. Spend time doing things your partner hated. This might mean going to the local high school football game or watching a foreign film at the little theater on the other side of town. You can do all of the things you avoided doing because your partner couldn’t stand them.

8. Volunteer. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself after a breakup. One way to help yourself move on is to work with those less fortunate than you. Look around for a cause that stirs your heart and get involved.

Remember that you’re a complete person, even if you don’t have a partner at the moment. Being single doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There’s so much you can do now that you couldn’t before. You can spend more time with your friends and family without feeling guilty. You have more free time and more control over how you spend it.

Take advantage of being single. Have fun and find yourself again. Another relationship will come along when you’re ready.