4 Ways I Keep My Mind OFF My Problems

Self Development
Dealing with some big problems lately? If you've been stuck bashing your head against the wall (not literally, please!) due to all the heavy stuff weighing your heart down, I thought I would give you 4 of my tips on how to keep your mind off the situation you're struggling with! Sometimes, we just need a little mental break! You don't have to do these exact things, but hopefully they jog your memory and help you come up with some of your own ideas. Click through to read!

The subject for this post is probably going to go against everything you have ever learned about dealing with problems that show up in your life. It definitely does for me.


I’ve always heard that you should deal with problems head on, do tons of personal development, read your bible & pray as soon as you get stressed, and basically do everything under the sun that involves dealing with the problem head on. In my life, there has been a ton that seems overwhelming lately, and to be honest, none of those things I just listed seem to help. I’m definitely working on reading my bible, praying, and staying with God through it all…but I would be lying if I said even doing that doesn’t seem a bit hard right now.


All of these things have had me in a bit of a funk when it came time to write a blog post (that’s why it’s been so long since we have talked), and I actually got the suggestion for this post from my friend, Amica! She suggested that I try to write about the things that are helping me keep my mind off my problems during this difficult time. (I love you, girl, and this suggestion was SO needed!) That really got me to thinking…getting your mind off the issue for a bit is actually a way of problem solving in itself!


Related:  An Open Letter to Myself About My Mistakes


If you’ve been stuck bashing your head against the wall (not literally, please!) due to all the heavy stuff weighing your heart down, I thought I would give you 4 of my tips on how to keep your mind off the situation you’re struggling with! Sometimes, we just need a little mental break! You don’t have to do these exact things, but hopefully they jog your memory and help you come up with some of your own ideas. 🙂





If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Snapchat lately, you’ll know that the biggest change that I have made recently is the decision to start running! I feel as if running is a really emotional thing for me, and I’ve been able to use that time to really dig deep & focus on something other than all the problems I may be facing.


If running isn’t your thing, not to worry! The main point to take away here is GET ACTIVE! Fitness is one of the best, free medicines around, and it’s something that I’m really passionate about. Focus less on losing weight or reaching a certain level of fitness, and put the focus more on doing an activity that makes you happy. Often, if the motivation to exercise is fat loss or weight loss related, it can become very stressful. Take the stress out of it by placing the focus on finding a type of activity that is truly fun for you. For me that is running, but for you it might be dancing, biking, hiking, walking your dog, riding a horse, lifting weights, etc. Remember that the plan is to get your mind off your stress…not to add more by placing difficult expectations on the activity.


Find a new focus

Since getting married, I have spent countless hours watching videos, reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts, etc on how to be a better wife. At times, it can be really fun, and it’s become somewhat of a hobby for me! I’ve surrounded myself with as much information as possible in order to do the best job that I can…but to be honest, that has a tendency to get a little overwhelming when things aren’t going so well in my marriage.


That’s where the next tip comes in. Whether you’re struggling in your marriage or some other area of your life, find a new hobby/focus that doesn’t involve the problem area at all. For example, if you have an online business that is starting to become stressful for you, you aren’t going to want to make a new hobby of reading business development books or learning more about social media. Those things are probably too closely related to your problem area, and they aren’t going to do much for taking your mind off things.


Do some digging, and start to think about what things truly make you happy. Things that you just unapologetically love to do or something that you have always wanted to try. You might need to veto the first couple of ideas that come to mind because, chances are, they are still related to that thing stressing you out. It’s normal to still be in “fix it mode” unless you consciously take yourself out of that mindset and into the mindset of letting go for a while. The key here is to figure out what makes you smile, and do more of that.


Related:  3 Tips to Help Prevent Anxiety


talk to someone

Now, this can be about the situation that you’re going through, but since this blog post is all about how to keep your mind off the problem for a while, this tip is mainly about talking to someone about something else. With all the things that have been overwhelming me in my marriage, I have been reaching out to my dad a lot more. Being able to talk to him about some of the things going on in his life and the big move that I have coming up has helped me take my mind off the problems normally fogging up my brain and stressing me out.


Chances are, if you’re going through a rough time you’ve either been isolating yourself a bit OR you’re talking to the same people over and over again about the thing you’re going through. My suggestions here are to reach out to some new people involved in the hobby you may have discovered from the second tip in this post, or simply open up the lines of communication in some of the relationships in your life that may need a bit of dusting off. Take interest in what that particular person has going on in his/her life, talk about something new that the two of you are doing together, or open up about ALL the good going on in your life. Because…read this…there really is so much good out there to cultivate joy with. We just have to be diligent about finding it.


Related:  How to Get Out of Your Rut


Bring in instead of taking out

This last tip is really just an overall good practice to have, and it’s something that I’ve been able to take with me and apply to a lot of areas of my life. I agree that it’s amazing to be proactive about issues that come up in our lives, to take life by the horns, and to be expressive and aggressive about the things we are dealing with. However, since truly starting to struggle in my marriage, I have come to the conclusion that it can be helpful to drown out the bad with good.


Meaning – focus more on bringing good into your life than actively taking the bad from it.


This does not mean that you’re never going to deal with what’s going on or that you need to be okay with things being wrong, but it’s seriously okay if you need to take a second (or a day or a week) to shelf the bad stuff for another time. This is about cultivating as much happiness as you can in your life. If you and your spouse are going through a rough time, and you feel as if you’ve just been through the ringer trying to work through every possible solution with no end in sight…try shifting the focus to bringing more good into your cup instead of trying to remove all the bad. Soon enough, you may find that you have diluted the bad stuff to a more manageable level to deal with. Go for a walk, check out the spot that you went for your first date, watch a funny movie, sing Disney songs together, spend a weekend committed to not talking about the “thing”, etc. Whatever it is that you’re struggling with, focus on adding a little more good into the mix. This goes for a marriage that is struggling, a sick family member, problems at work, a speed bump on your journey with your passion project, a failed attempt at a goal you set, ANYTHING!



There you have it! I want to make sure that I say, I do think that we should all be as proactive as possible when it comes to dealing with things that come up in our lives and finding long-term solutions to keeping overwhelm at bay. However, it’s normal to need a break from those things. Not all problems can be handled right away, and some of them take up more space in our mind than others. It’s all about finding balance. This post is really for the girl who is knee deep in the struggle and desperately needs a break. I hope that you found some ideas in this post to take with you to help you create a little more joy through whatever it is that you’re currently going through. Stay strong, girlfriend.


Let’s chat! Are you on the struggle bus right now? What are you doing to deal with the problem?



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  • HeavenOnEarth
    December 13, 2016 at 2:54 am

    Great post Carisa! I love tip no. 2 and 4 especially – it is so easy to become consumed with your problem when you’re in the midst of it, that sometimes it becomes bigger than it is to begin with. I hope these tips have been helping you lately too 🙂

    • Carisa Alford
      December 31, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      They definitely have! Thank you for your support as always, my dear friend!

    • Brittany VanNostrand
      November 2, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      This is wonderful! It spoke beautifully to me. ❤

  • Jess
    December 9, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! I think these are really helpful tips, especially when you’re dealing with problems that are long-term and don’t have an immediate solution. I haven’t thought about bringing in more good instead of working on getting rid of the bad before. But, looking back, I can see the happiest moments of my marriage have been when we focused on what was good and getting more of that, rather than working through our (many) problem spots! Hope things start looking up for you soon!


    • Carisa Alford
      December 31, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you so much for your care and your comment! I’m looking forward to checking out some of your writing as well!

  • Jessica
    December 9, 2016 at 6:46 am

    I love the part in this blog post about bringing in more good than bad. I think I get stuck focusing so much on getting rid of bad things in my life. This perspective switch could be really helpful! Thanks for sharing!

    • Carisa Alford
      December 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I know that switching my way of thinking helps me a ton 🙂

  • Sarah (amica)
    December 9, 2016 at 2:58 am

    Carisa, thank you for this really helpful blog post! I definitely agree with you. Sometimes it can be hard for me to immerse in something else, when something in another area is weighing down on me and I feel I should fix that before doing anything else. I make sure, I take enough “nice time” though, for things which bring me up, such as reading your blog 🙂 It helps me to focus on the truly important, immaterial priorities in life. I also make sure to keep the stable points in my life, so sticking to working out (even if one is not totally enthusiastic about it at the moment), routines, which make days really better in the end and prevent from passivity as well as overthinking. Thank you again!

    • Carisa Alford
      December 31, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Those are some darn good tips! Thank you so much, girl!