How to get back up when life knocks you down.

Andy Travis
4 min readJan 2, 2020

2019 was a hell of a year for me.

My friends stopped stopping by. The cash ran out. Phones stopped ringing. My career crashed to a grinding halt and my couch became my sanctuary and silent retreat.

It’s 2020 and I am still here.

How did I hustle to stay afloat while the ocean of life dunked me around.

This is a small list of things I did to survive. I hope you find some of the hacks useful if you are feeling a bit under the wave.

1. Breathe

I discovered my breath. Every time panic would wash over my body and swirl in the pit of my stomach and rise like a tsunami in my chest — I would just stop and breathe. Just breathe and feel it inside. I would imagine the oxygen dissolving into every dark corner of my cells and washing the carbon dioxide away. I would breathe in and hold my breath to the count of 7 and then breathe out to a count of 7. I would do that for 5 breaths. And I felt better. And the panic would fade away. And I could get back to doing what ever I was doing that was constructive in the moment.

2. Count what is Above the line.

I learnt this from someone I can’t remember the name of . So please credit them as you read this.

I take a page and draw a line in the middle of the page . The line is my mood /state of calm. Below the line is negativity, self doubt and fear. Above the line is hope and enthusiasm and joy.

Count the times you went above the line in your mind. Count the times you could think and do things that made you feel good and tranquil and hopeful. Also count the times you went below the line. And felt small and worthless and afraid and old and feeble. Just count them all. I found just keeping count reminded me that by the end of the day the maths looked better than I thought it would . The numerator had quite a few positives to offset the denominator.

3. Watch your thoughts.

It’s an incredible experience to notice your thoughts as they arise. You quickly realise that you have no control over your next thought that will surface in your mind. You can’t control that but you do have the power to choose what…