Nobody looks on the bright side of things the way Kimmy Schmidt does. As the star character of the hit Netflix original show "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," Kimmy, played by Ellie Kemper, is a bubbly, naive redhead who lived through some extraordinarily bad circumstances and survived with a smile.
Since the first season premiered last year, Kimmy Schmidt fans haven't been able to get enough of her infectious positivity. (Luckily, season 2 has finally arrived, premiering on April 15.) And for good reason, too — while the show may be full of jokes at every twist and turn, there's still a lot that viewers can learn from Kimmy about handling tough times. As Kimmy says, "Life beats you up. You can either curl up in a ball and die, or you can stand up and say, 'We're different, and you can't break us.'"
When work and life have you feeling almost too stressed to function, try following Kimmy's lead. Here are four ways to handle stress and be unbreakable, just like Kimmy Schmidt.
Use the resources you have.
Kimmy spent most of her life locked away from society in a bunker, with no technology or the ability to get an education. Needless to say, as a result, she has limited resources. But, when Kimmy faces a challenge at her job in season 1 episode 2, she overcomes it by using what she knows. Her boss, Jacqueline Voorhees, tasks her with not only throwing the perfect birthday party for her son, but also grounding her snobby teenage daughter Xanthippe. Kimmy calls on her new friend and roommate Titus for help, and uses her knowledge of a plotline from a Baby-Sitter's Club book to get through to Xan and ground her. And in the end, Kimmy is allowed to keep her job.Credit: Netflix
Whether you're a new employee or you've just taken on a new role at work, it can be even harder to handle difficult tasks when you're still getting your bearings. You may not know everything you need to know at first, but, like Kimmy, you'll learn. And in the meantime, use the resources you have — you have a unique set of knowledge, skills and connections, so don't be afraid to use them. Even when you think you can't do something, consider what you've got going for you — you might just surprise yourself.
Make up a mantra.
Despite being kidnapped and living through terrible conditions, Kimmy is almost always effervescently positive. She has a few ways of coping with negative feelings, including her personal mantra, which she tells Jacqueline about in season 1 episode 4. Kimmy explains that, in moments of sadness, she would smile, jump up and down, and repeat the words, "I'm not really here! I'm not really here!"Credit: Netflix
So, maybe your mantra could use a little more nuance — you can't exactly jump around your office and yell that you're not actually there without worrying everyone around you. But Kimmy's right when she suggests that repeating a comforting phrase can help you calm down. Every job comes with obstacles, so find a quote that speaks to you, and think about it or say it quietly to yourself whenever you're feeling overwhelmed. [See Related Story: 5 Career Lessons from April Ludgate of 'Parks and Recreation']
Take everything 10 seconds at a time.
Think you can't get through a tough project, an important presentation or just a rough day in general? Think again. If Kimmy Schmidt could survive 15 years in the underground bunker thinking the rest of the world had been destroyed, you can get through a bad day. As Kimmy says in season 1 episode 2, "A person can stand just about anything for 10 seconds...then you just start on a new 10 seconds."Credit: Netflix
When a particular task seems insurmountable, take a page from Kimmy's book and try breaking it up into smaller pieces. You'll probably find that it's easier to take on something that's difficult for you when you look at it as smaller intervals of time or smaller things to complete. Not every task you take on will be up your alley, so when you're feeling stressed or frustrated, just take everything 10 seconds at a time.
Look for the good in the bad.
Kimmy's positivity is, as the title of the show implies, totally unbreakable. She's constantly looking on the bright side, even when most others would give up. She can find a way to put a pleasant spin on just about anything, including the time Xan insults her and calls her a bitch in season 1 episode 10. Rather than get upset, Kimmy turns it into a compliment with a retort about puppies.Credit: Netflix
If you face criticism, or something less than stellar happens at work, it can be easy to let it get you down. Instead, do what Kimmy does and try to look at it from a different angle. If you can find something positive or constructive in the things that upset or frustrate you, it'll be easier for you to make it through.