1. Watch your posture.
It’s amazing how much sitting up straight and walking with purpose can contribute to your overall sense of worth. As someone with inherently bad posture, the days I really pay attention to how I’m presenting myself to the world are the days I feel like the most responsible, engaged and confident version of myself. Hunching yourself over to make yourself smaller is not what you’re meant for. Let yourself be seen.
2. Take a break from social media.
You’ve definitely heard this one before, but it’s a golden rule. Social media is great for staying connected, but constantly being fed a stream brunch pics and new kids is not only mindless, it’s toxic. When we routinely peer into the carefully curated galleries of others’ lives, we often end up comparing those pictures to our own. And, if their images paint a life that is much happier, more successful and beautiful than our own, it’s easy to feel bad about ourselves, especially when we’re already low. So do yourself a favor and put down the Instagram and focus solely on your own endeavors.
3. Put yourself to a 30 day challenge.
Any 30 day challenge. Maybe it’s eating in for 30 days straight, maybe it’s no negative self talk or gossip. Showing yourself what you’re capable of and pushing yourself beyond what you believed your limitations are will not only give you strength, but will also help to build the confidence you need to pull yourself back together and become the person you were always meant to be.
4. Spend time alone.
Not a lot of time alone, but just enough to give yourself the opportunity to self reflect without using other people as a distraction or as your source of validation. Ask yourself questions to get to the bottom of what ails you: What is it that makes you so unhappy? What is preventing you from growing? What is it that triggered this tailspin you find yourself in, and what does that say about who you are and what you need? These are all questions you can ask yourself and these will hopefully start giving you the right answers, or at least lead you to the right questions.
5. Write down five things you like about yourself.
Any five things. It can be something physical such as your eyes, or it can be behavioral, such as your patience for other people. Whatever you like that has to do with you, jot it down. And, if you can think of more than five, keep writing!
6. Write down five things you don’t like about yourself.
You may come to find that the things you do like and the things you don’t like are all within your control. Maybe you don’t like that you’re impatient, or maybe it’s something as simple as wishing you ate better or worked out more. These are all skills that can be built upon. And the things you seriously can’t change? Work towards acceptance. We all have flaws and cracks and a level of brokenness that cannot be repaired. No one is perfect, and this is what makes us human.
7. Create an ~inspiration~ board (no, seriously).
Grab a cheap cork board and go to town creating a gallery of all that inspires you. Scour through magazines, find quotes that bring you joy or a feeling of understanding. Hang it somewhere where you can see it daily, and update as needed. Not only will the content on the board lift you out of listlessness when you see it, physically creating something can help give you a sense of purpose and happiness.
8. Find a cause you’re passionate about, and then get involved.
Find something that is bigger than whatever it is that’s bothering you. Maybe it’s donating at Planned Parenthood. Perhaps it’s going back to a place of worship, or volunteering at the local animal shelter once a week. Find something you’ve always wanted to get involved in and then get involved. You’ll be helping the greater good and will probably start to feel better, too.
9. Make exercise a priority.
We all know the benefits of exercise, both physically and mentally. Find something you like to do, be it yoga or running, and commit to it.
10. Whenever the going gets tough, remember to practice compassion.
For others and for yourself. Everyone is only doing the best they can at a given time with the given resources they have, including you. So don’t lose sight of this when you feel yourself coming apart. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling bad; don’t get down on yourself for just feeling anything at all or making the mistakes that come with being human. Be kind to yourself. You’re okay.