1. Go for a walk outside. Listen to how the wind moves amongst the trees. Feel how the sunshine lands upon your face. Watch the birds as they flutter about and breathe. If you let it, nature can heal your soul.
2. Brew some hot water and pour yourself a cup of tea. Tea is more than a hot beverage that is calming—it’s a ritual. It requires slowing down so that you don’t spill it and burn yourself. It asks you to be still, if only until you finish the last drop.
3. Breathe. Feel the air within your chest. Feel the release as you let it all go. Keep breathing.
4. Cry. Let the tears fall without hesitation. Let your mascara run so that your face is a mess of makeup and streaks. Let your voice match the feeling of anguish that you’ve buried deep within your heart. Let the sounds you’ve been choking back for far too long come spilling out. Let it go.
5. Breathe. This always bears repeating.
6. Write it down. Write whatever it is that is piercing your heart. Write whatever it is that is threatening your peace. Write about whatever it is that is keeping you up at night, struck with worry and sadness and grief. Sometimes when we write down what is plaguing us, that “thing” doesn’t feel so scary. Other times, it’s a beginning moment to know what to do next.
7. Read a book. Read a book—not a blog, not an Instagram caption, not an article you found on the internet. A book. A book that you can hold within the palms of your hand. A book that lets you get lost in the story of someone else, somewhere else. A book can open your mind and soul—a book whose words can heal the hurt within your heart.
8. Tell the people you love that you love them. When your heart is hurting, and your faith is lacking, and you’re unsure whether you should cry or scream or go outside or read a book, perhaps the thing to hold onto is love. So pour into the ones you love, even on your darkest days. To love is always a worthy choice.
9. Remember, you’re still here—and because of that, you can still make things better.