15 Things You Should Do When You Don’t Quite Feel Like Yourself

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1. Start making your bed every single morning. The mindless routine of it, and the feeling of climbing into a freshly made bed after a long day, will provide you with immense comfort and calm.

2. Read a book on a subject you know nothing about. The newness will both excite you and help you to realize a little more clearly what it is that you do love learning about and focusing on.

3. Regardless of how sad or lost or insecure you may be feeling right now, make an effort to be even more kind because of it. Often, we feel more connected with people, and even more connected with ourselves, when we focus helping others.

4. Look through old pictures on Facebook or Instagram, particularly from some of your favorite memories. Not as a way of avoiding the future and living in the past, but as a reminder of what you were doing and who you were spending time with at the moment that contributed to your joy.

5. Then make a promise to keep chasing after that feeling. You can’t move your college friends all into your new adult apartment, you can’t hand all of your bills and responsibilities back to your parents, and you probably can’t go back to that old job that you loved so much. But what you can do is work to get back in touch with that part of yourself that was awake and energized and curious about the world.

6. …Just remember that working to get back to that part of yourself doesn’t necessarily mean trying the same things that the old you used to love. You’re a human being, and it is in our nature to grow, and part of getting back to yourself can actually mean trying things you’ve never tried before.

7. Go on a long walk with absolutely no purpose. Walking to the grocery store or to the train doesn’t count. Actually go outside, or (if you don’t live in a city) drive to a local park, and walk around with absolutely no destination and no motive.

8. And don’t bring your phone with you. If you need it for safety purposes, at least keep it on silent.

9. Get enough sleep! Don’t waste your time staying up scrolling through things on your phone that you won’t even remember in the morning.

10. Drink plenty of water. Take vitamins. Put more good food into your body than bad. If you drink alcohol, know how to do it in moderation. Stretch. Get off the couch. Treat your body with all of the loving care that it deserves. It’s hard to feel good mentally if you feel bad physically.

11. Talk to people in various lines of work. Even if your job isn’t the thing that’s making you feel lost or listless, speaking with people from all walks of life helps you understand a little more about where you stand on your journey and where you want to go. Talk to your parents, talk to your aunts and uncles, talk to your friends, talk to your friends’ parents, talk to your parents’ friends, hell – talk to your little sibling that’s still in high school or college. Everybody has something to teach you.

12. Reach out to someone you trust when you need help. Sometimes it will lead to counseling and professional treatment, and that is completely fine and in no way a sign of weakness. Other times it means you just need to air out your worries, your fears, or your stresses to another human soul. Just knowing there’s another person breathing the same air that knows how you feel is sometimes enough to give you more strength to keep going.

13. Treat yourself to a good meal every single night. That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. If you’re on a budget, find something at the grocery store that you can make in large quantities so that you have something warm and delicious in your belly every night. And when finances allow, get yourself some delicious takeout or delivery every once in a while.

14. Move your body. Jogging, walking, yoga, joining a gym, group fitness classes, hiking, bicycling, always taking the stairs. Whatever it is, make sure you’re always putting the muscles you’ve been blessed with to good use.

15. Take a break to look at things that make you smile. Whether it’s a nice view outside your office window, or a funny Twitter account, or a picture of your family, or a pretty place where you eat lunch, or a request you make of a friend to send you a funny video every day during this rocky time, find something to squeeze into your day that is guaranteed to make you feel light, even if it’s just for a moment. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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