Sometimes, just for fun, I'll go over to the National Calendar Day website. You'd be surprised how many things get their own special day of observance—nail polish (June 1), making your bed (September 11), even bittersweet chocolate with almonds (November 7). But after the past 10 months or so that I've had, it was one day, in particular, that had me so hype that I've already decided that I'm going to celebrate it to the fullest! I'm pretty sure the title of this article is a dead giveaway. Saturday, March 9, is National Get Over It Day—all day long.
If you're anything like me, whenever you're going through something semi-traumatizing (or even just emotionally draining) and someone flippantly says to you, "Girl, you need to just get over it," it hits a tender spot that kinda makes you want to hit them for saying it. When someone devastates you, when a job doesn't come through, when you miss out on an opportunity that you've been hoping, praying, and preparing for, the last thing you want to be told is to get over it. But when I read more about where this particular day of observance came from, I got why this can be such an important thing to do.
Long story short, a man by the name of Jeff Goldblatt instituted the day after struggling with getting over an ex of his. He chose a time that was midway between Valentine's Day and April Fool's Day and even wrote a poem about it. It got me to thinking. If Jeff can put that much effort into getting over a broken heart, I can do my part to make getting over things easier for all of us as well.
If you've got something that you know you need to get over, hopefully, just in time for March 9, the following steps will help to point you into the right direction.
Accept the Reality of Your Situation
Let's start with the basics. Getting over something (or someone) comes in two stages. The first is to accept that something you didn't want to happen has indeed happened. The second is to then move on. I don't know about you, but some of the things that have been the most difficult for me to get over are the ones that I remained in denial about.
I can't believe my writing contract just ended with no warning.
I can't believe my so-called friend just treated me like that.
I can't believe ole' boy did me dirty that way.
When you're still in the "I can't believe" stage of things and someone brings up you needing to get over it, that can seem like a dagger to your heart because you're still in shock. Or denial. Or both. That's why, before you can effectively do anything else, you need to accept the reality of what's transpired. No matter how much you might not like it or you wish that it was different, it really is what it is. Let the reality of that sink in for a moment.
Decide How Long You’re Going to Stew in It
I don't have kids of my own, but I do have a godchild (and one on the way). She's almost 8 and when she's dealing with something in her world that she needs to get over, I tell her that she has an entire room to process her feelings in. She doesn't need to be in there three days straight, upset about a television show she couldn't watch or a cookie she couldn't have, but she does need a certain amount of time and space to…well, grieve.
Isn't it interesting—and by that, I mean semi-hypocritical—that we'll put children on a time limit to work out their disappointments, but we'll sometimes take weeks, months, or even years to get through our own?
I once read an article that said temptation only lasts for two minutes. Anything beyond that, we feed into with our thoughts and actions. There are plenty of articles by therapists that basically say the same thing about our feelings (check out "5 Ways to Get Your Unwanted Emotions Under Control"). My point? Once you've truly accepted what has happened to you, the next step is to feel it out. Just don't forget that you are a lot more in control of your feelings than you might think you are.
Give yourself an allotted amount of time to emotionally work through what you're going through. At the same time, discipline yourself to not roll around in those feelings. Times a tickin' and there's too much waiting for you on the other side of your disappointment to remain stuck in your emotions.
Moving on isn't just something to say; it's something to do. But when you've been used to doing something—loving someone, working somewhere, etc.—how do you actually go about letting something or one go?
Hold a funeral for the fantasy. That might sound crazy, but whatever—it works. Take out a piece of paper and write down all of what you hoped would come from the very person or situation that you need to let go of. Then burn it or bury it. Cry while you're doing it. Play Brian McKnight's "One Last Cry" if you need to. Just determine in your mind that you're gonna memorialize things and then move on from them.
Be compassionate with yourself. The definition of compassion is to see someone suffer and then do what you can to alleviate the pain. As you're grieving, extend compassion to yourself. A spa day. A day of binge-watching movies. A mani/pedi appointment—whatever it is, do something to not only love on yourself but also celebrate the strength and courage you had to move on in the first place.
Practice a little mindfulness. Mindfulness is a big self-help word these days. It all boils down to being self-aware and remaining in the moment. A part of the reason why a lot of us suck at getting over things is because we stay in the past more than we do in the present or preparing for our future. If you know this is something that you struggle with, apps like Headspace can get you centered and focused.
Get Yourself an Accountability Partner
I'll tell you something that has helped me to get over certain things much quicker—an accountability partner. Sometimes, when I feel myself slipping back into the valley of whys and what ifs, a friend of mine will be like, "Shellie, he was such a jerk" or "That publication didn't appreciate you". Just hearing those statements reminds me why it was time to move on in the first place.
So yeah, be intentional about getting some people in your life who can support you in letting certain people, places, things and ideas go. Chances are, if you try and tackle everything on your own, there's gonna be a voice on one shoulder telling you to get over it while another on the other will provide all of the reasons why you should hang on. That will keep you in the constant tug of war between pure logic and strong emotions. You don't need to go through that kind of turmoil or waste that kind of energy.
Set Out to Do Things Differently
It's hard to get over something (or one) if you keep going back to it (or them). Unfortunately, some of us take for-ev-er to get past things because we're not filling those voids with something new.
One of the best things about being at a place in your life where you need to get over something is it opens up space for exciting, wonderful, and totally different things to happen in your life; things that probably wouldn't have had you remained in the position you were just in.
March 9 is here. Turn all the way up with it! See it as the day when you can officially get over "it" and on with your life. No looking back. Ever again.
Featured images by Getty Images
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