The following article is a guest post by the lovely L.A from Beauty Balance Light.
Hi everyone! My name is L.A. and I’m from Beauty Balance Light, the site for the serial self improver. I write about life lessons, bomb ass books I’ve read, places I’ve been, and my journey on a lifelong path to self-improvement. I’m so happy to be with you today sharing my 3 simple things to do to feel like you have your shit together.
A little bit about me personally: I’m a retired English major who now works at a coffee shop full-time. I was that kid who loved school, and that hasn’t changed! I love learning new things, which is why blogging made so much sense to me. It was a wonderful mix of something I knew intimately (writing) and something that I had absolutely no clue about (tech stuff, graphic design, and literally everything else). I’m an INFJ, Hufflepuff, and Empath who’s here to shake things up and change the world.
I’ve struggled for years with depression and anxiety; while not officially diagnosed, I suffer from a lot of symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ve been medicated at multiple points in my life, and I’ve been through my fair share of Sad Times. However, being the introspective and deeply unsatisfied human I am, I’ve analyzed, overanalyzed, and re-analyzed my experiences, all while collecting helpful insights about what brought me through and out of my funks. Today I’ve drawn together for you what I feel are the 3 most helpful, super simple actions that helped me to gain a semblance of stability and joy back into my life when I felt like I couldn’t do anything.
So without further ado, here they are: my 3 Simple Things to Do To Feel Like You Have Your Shit Together:
1. Brush and floss your teeth every night
One of the main aspects of my episodes was that I would neglect to take care of myself. This didn’t pertain solely to my physical hygiene, but also to my boundaries, emotional needs, and quality/quantity of food I consumed. I know a lot of people who experienced this in that they would let their room get to the point of so much clutter and dirt that it would overwhelm them. Or they wouldn’t shower for a week and a half because it just felt like too much effort. I’ve always been kind of a nut about my bodily and spatial cleanliness, so my issues tended more towards saying “yes” to going out when everything in my intuition was telling me not to or gorging myself on chips, queso, and pop tarts while telling myself I needed to lose weight. The important part, however, was that I was still neglecting my basic needs.
The most important thing in this simple action is the intention it carries: the intention of care. When you’re in a state of constant or severe depression/anxiety/self-sabotage, it can be hard to find a loving presence within yourself. For some reason or another, your brain is telling your body that it’s not worth showering or respecting your wants. However, when you dedicate time each day to performing the simple act of brushing and flossing your teeth, it reminds your brain that you DO care about your body. It’s a gentle way of saying, “yes, I’m still here, and yes, I do love myself.” Not to mention the symbolism of making the effort to rid yourself of bad bacteria and cleansing your physical space.
2. Get Your Body Moving
There’s definitely a long, involved science article describing the intricate details of why it works, but there’s something about having a dance party alone in your room that makes you feel a whole helluva lot better than you did before. When you’re in a Bad Place, your mind-body connection is going haywire. Your body is literally just trying to save you and keep you healthy while your mind is trying to convince the body that what it’s doing is pointless. No wonder we’re so tired all the time, being constantly pulled in two different directions is exhausting.
However, in my own personal experience, getting my body moving has helped tremendously. I’m a big fan of yoga myself, but it doesn’t have to be that. If you’re not into yoga, totally fine! Maybe go for a lovely walk in your favorite part of the neighborhood. Or run around with your dog in your backyard. ANY sort of movement will help to bring back together your brain and your body.
3. Eat a very healthy, very delicious meal.
This goes back again to intentionally taking care of yourself. When all you can think about is how unworthy, ugly, fat, incapable, etc. you feel, chances are you haven’t taken the time to prepare yourself (or go out and buy) a super healthy meal. But food is medicine, and what we put in our bodies has a much greater effect on our health and wellness than we have been led to believe. It’s incredible how much better we feel when we nourish ourselves instead of just curb our hunger pangs.
Science has proved when we’re stressed, angry, or caught up in negative emotions we automatically turn to sugar, alcohol, and dairy. This I’ve found to be 100% true in my own life. I work at a coffee shop, as I said before, and we have all the sugary syrups you can imagine. We also sell a wonderful array of cookies and baked goods, not to mention all of our sandwiches. When there’s a line out the door and I’m tired and thinking about my after-work nap, all I want is a cookie and a large salted caramel mocha with whip cream. Once upon a time I would have given into these cravings and settled into the sugar/caffeine high, but now I’m more self-aware that it’s simply the stress talking.
Essentially, if you put good in, you’ll get good out. If you take the baby step to look mindfully at the food you’re consuming and actively go for a meal that is healthier, I guarantee you’ll start to get yourself out of the Bad Place.
There you go, my 3 Simple Things to Do To Feel Like You Have Your Shit Together. Being in a place where you’re just barely surviving is tough. It’s a constant battle every day just to exist, and I completely understand. I’ve been there, and I want to help. Brush and floss your teeth, move your body, and eat a healthy meal: while not a cure-all (obviously), the mindset of being intentional in caring about yourself will give you a feeling of accomplishment, love, and the thought that maybe, just maybe, you can find joy in your life again.