This, my friends, is one of those posts I deliver to you while actively trying to listen to my own advice. I am teetering dangerously on the edge of meltdown territory. I consider the tears shed after I dropped some library books down the stairs yesterday more than adequate proof. I would delve into all of the forces combining to give birth to this epic impending implosion, but it would bore you. Like, completely.
We all have our own shit to bear. We don’t really need to be bogged down by other people’s shit. It’s enough to climb out from under our own.
The magical secret behind climbing out and conquering that meltdown you feel rolling in isn’t actually all that magical. It comes down to one simple little idea: self care.
Admittedly, I’m not very good at that—which is exactly why I’m finding myself in this position. There are certain things that you can do for yourself that will make you feel better physically, which will absolutely contribute to your overall well being. When you ignore these things, you only make all of the negativity you’re experiencing worse.
There are five things I always need to do to make sure I’m at my best. Lately, I’ve been doing one or two of them at most.
Like most of the things on this list, sleep seems like a no-brainer—but it can be so difficult when you’re stressed out. I for one might be exhausted, but when there are a million things running through my head, they seem to kick into overdrive the second my head hits the pillow. It makes sleep incredibly difficult. Half the time I turn to Instagram or my Nook to distract me, but this habit inevitably draws the cycle out even longer.
Try to break the stress cycle by focusing on gratitude (life isn’t really that shitty because…) and/or attacking your negative thoughts head on. If you’re beating yourself up over something, try to think of three reasons why your negativity towards yourself is wrong. If you can’t, try to think of three things that could make your situation better. The tiniest bit of relief can make sleep much easier.
I’m always amazed at how much better (read: less moody) I feel when I drink enough water. I have more energy, I lose the headache, and I’m much more capable of getting out of my own way. Seriously, I dare you to try it today. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times (and actually remember to drink it!). I promise you will feel so much better—and you’ll look better too!
Stop eating shit.
Like drinking enough water, this is something that can majorly impact your mood. When I’m stressed and freaking out, I always reach straight for the chocolate and the ice cream and pretty much anything else that is guaranteed to make me feel crappy. It feels really, really good at the moment you’re eating it (kind of like a drug), but it doesn’t take long for that euphoria to become exhaustion and crabbiness. When I eat well, I feel well. Period.
I touched on this a little last week, but it bears repeating: messiness totally clutters your mind. When you have a lot going on and are stressed and overwhelmed, being surrounded by crap only makes it worse. It adds to your already cluttered brain. Plus, there’s something about the act of cleaning that eases stress—even if you hate to clean.
Go for a walk.
Move yo self. Exercise—even if it’s just a ten minute walk—does wonders. It’s especially effective at helping to clear your mind. Get up, remove yourself from the situation that is causing you so much emotional turmoil, and move your body.
While doing one or two of these things is great, you really have to take care of yourself as a whole if you want to feel better. It’s almost impossible to break free of all of the muck if you’re making the situation worse by not taking care of yourself.
Obviously, there are instances when a person needs professional help to lift themselves out of the darkness. If attempting any of the things on this list seems impossible, you need to talk to someone who can help you. But if you’re able to function and just incredibly stressed, try tackling these tips bit by bit to make yourself feel better.
And if you have any other tips, share them! I know I could use the help!