I’ve always been a pretty confident person, but we all get in ruts sometimes and I’m no exception. Over the past few years, I’ve mentally compiled a “toolbox” for pulling myself out of a rut and getting back to feeling like the awesome woman that I am.
This is a biggie.
I’m not a athlete. I’m not a workout fiend. I’m not sure I’d even consider working out to be a hobby of mine. In the past, my workouts have gone in spurts- I’ll hit it hard for a month, maybe two, and then end up crashing on the couch for the next six.
I’m doing my best to smooth that out. I’m aiming for 3-4 days a week, and it’s really helping my mental state. I’ve noticed that everything seems magnified when I’m in a lazy period. Every mistake, every misstep, every wrong turn sends my demons into overdrive, telling me that I’ll never get anything right so I might as well just stop trying. When I’m more active, I seem to be able to let things roll off of me.
Do what makes you feel good. Walk, run, bike, strength train, do yoga, go to pilates, kickbox. Whatever. As long as you are moving, you’ll reap the mental, emotional, and physical benefits.
I love a lazy weekend. Who doesn’t? Pajamas all day, catch up on Netflix, cuddle with the dog… but by around 2 PM, my mood starts to tank. I realize I’ve done nothing with my day. And while I definitely need lazy days every now and then, when I have too many lazy weekends in a row, I start to get ancy. I’ll find myself wandering around my house, feeling like I have a storm inside of my chest and no way to get it out.
The antidote is easy: do something! Mow the lawn, shovel snow, rake leaves, fix that broken window shade that’s been bugging you for ages, walk the dog, deep clean the house… anything! Anything that’s been on your to-do list, anything that you keep thinking you’ll do “someday.” Get it done! Or maybe use your time to try a new hobby, go check out a new restaurant or coffee shop, prep and freeze some meals. For me, as long as I feel like I’ve accomplished something, I feel pretty victorious.
Take Some Time for Self-Care
Self-care is such a big topic right now, and with good reason. You can’t expect to drive your car endlessly without putting in gas, right? Same concept. Sometimes you need to stop what you are doing and put yourself first.
My favorite way to treat myself, far and away, is a hot bath. And I mean hot. If I’m not sweating in my bathtub, it’s not hot enough. If I’m really feeling the need to recharge, I’ll toss in a Lush bath bomb. I’d say they are my “guilty pleasure,” but there’s no guilt associated! They’re divine. And I always take something to read- National Geographic and TIME magazine specials are common, but so are my favorite go-to, can never read them enough books. We all have those right?
Watch What You Eat
When I get in a funk, I usually eat comfort food. And that’s totally fine. I mean, it’s called comfort food for a reason, right? It’s comforting! I’m definitely not against using food to feel better; if you consider food to be nothing more than fuel, you’re doing a huge disservice to a major part of our lives. Food is culture, food is nostalgia, and food is comfort.
I run into trouble when one day of comfort food turns into two, then three, then a few weeks. By that point, I feel so out of the rhythm of healthy eating that it’s daunting to pick it back up again. But pick it up I do, and I always feel better for it. Fresh veggies make me happy. I grew up with a massive garden in my backyard, so produce is very nostalgic for me. And besides that, when you are eating well and nourishing your body, you feel good mentally too. That’s not to say mac n’cheese and frozen pizza have no place in your diet- they absolutely do if you want them there- but knowing that food has such a massive impact on my outlook keeps me from hitting the comfort food too hard.
Take a Social Media Break
Or stay off it completely.
Social media is amazing. It connects us in ways we never could have dreamed of. It helps us keep up with friends, it opens our eyes to the world, and it’s a powerful tool for affecting change.
It also can make us feel like shit.
I know, because that’s what it does to me. I get drawn into the comparison game so incredibly quickly that it isn’t even funny. I can be looking at an Instagram page for inspiration on anything- food, fashion, travel, whatever- and before long I’m bemoaning that these people have such amazing lives and I’m just normal and boring and totally useless.
You have to remind yourself that most social media is a fantasy. People show you only one part of their lives, and a perfectly curated one at that, and yet you superimpose that onto your own life and feel like you don’t measure up. I haven’t been able to find a way to combat this, so I just don’t partake. I think social media definitely can be used safely and healthfully, but I haven’t found that balance.
I do sometimes still look at Instagram feeds, but usually only for a few minutes. I know when to close them as soon as I start feeling the comparison starting. Know your limits and back away when you need to. Your life is just as beautiful as any photo you see on Instagram.
What about you? What do you do to feel your best?
Overflowing with love,