1. Delete all social networking — at least at first. (Alternatively, use SelfControl, or another web extension that blocks you from social media for a little while.) It’s important to remove yourself from feeling the obligation to look at the best aspects of others’ lives and compare it to yours or compete to show why your life is equally if not more enviable.
2. Position yourself near other people. I started venturing outside the house —shades on, iPod in hand-and walked to the nearest coffee shop. It’s comfy and you’re surrounding yourself with people without the obligations of socializing. Breathe, look around, and observe your surroundings. Notice the little things. Realize this is the bigger picture. You are both insignificant and significant. You are not alone, though.
3. Go online and read through others’ stories. Maybe they’re depressed, too. Maybe they’re scared, too. Maybe they feel like they can’t find real friends that listen or care, either. This comforted me immensely. Misery loves company, after all. Everyone struggles with feelings of cold isolation at one or several key points in life. I guess it’s how you deal with that chaos that shapes who you are. That’s more comforting than not — that it’s all in our control.
4. Start writing. Create to-do lists to keep your life structured and on task. Jot down thoughts as they come to you — your creativity doesn’t have to be limited to writing a novel. I think writing about who I am, what I thought, what I cared about, and what was important was the most helpful. This sometimes included what had happened recently that still scars me, what was happening day to day that felt noteworthy, thoughts, and ideas for the present and future. I reread and revisited that for weeks afterward adding or making changes when I thought necessary.
5. Create or finish something. Start with tasks as simple as making meals and reading novels you start to the faithful end. This can be anything from you finally finish up that Pinterest craft you started months ago or ending a Netflix series you started days ago. No matter what, you’ll feel accomplished and productive. Stop telling yourself that you can’t do something. It’s actually starting something that is the most difficult — and you’ve already done that, haven’t you?
6. There are particularly non-cheesy, not overused quotes out in the world that can really brighten any dark day. Find them, and write them down and stick them some place you’ll see regularly. There’s these winners for starters: “it’s always darkest before the dawn” and “if it’s not okay, it’s not the end”. They can remind you there will be better tomorrows ahead. The past is made up of wonderful memories but it’s not where your future lies.
7. Explore music on Spotify or Pandora. Nothing picks me up faster than uncovering a gem in the rough. Sometimes exploring your style in clothes or tasting new foods can expand your horizons and bring you unexpected joy as well. Explore new things you thought you couldn’t do on your own before. Feel empowered as you set out by yourself confidently and face the world head on.
8. Remember that you are the one in control of your life. Make a plan for the future, for 10 years, 20 years from now. Plan a trip to go somewhere you always wanted to travel to and plan it out step by step to make it happen. It’s not so much about being “independent” but not depending on others.
9. It’s good to have time to think but also take time to be active and do things. There is only so much self-reflection that can be done. Immerse yourself in the comforts of another world by reading a book. Something that you just can’t put down. Not a reader you say? There will always be a book that can interest anyone. If you’re not reading, get invested in a TV series. It’s something distracting, something non-stressful, and something that can take your mind off of things. Lose yourself in someone else’s creation.
10. Go outside and just enjoy nature without feeling obligated to share, tell, or think deeply about it.