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The other night was full of tears and devoid of sleep. I’ll admit I did a little grumbling at the sun for its untimely arrival the next morning. Alas, I hopped (okay, stumbled) out of bed (couch.. same difference) and made myself a damn good bowl of banana ice cream, some hot coffee, and went about a productive day. I’m not going to go into logistics of the ongoings last night. This is a blog, not a self-counseling site… I’ll say this. I’m still hurting, bruises don’t mend overnight… but I refuse to let them cripple me. Here’s five tools I use to work through an emotional blow and get back on my own two feet.
1.) To-do Lists
I am not an organized person. I don’t have gleaming white walls and Instagram-worthy marble countertops to match. I never color-coded planners or coordinated running shoes with my tops, but I am a firm believer in to-do lists. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of binging on Netflix or wine or laying immobile in bed after something gets us down. A day full’s list of preparations for my writing and working and cooking is exactly what I needed to get my sad little butt up and moving this morning. Getting in the habit of writing a daily list of anything on earth you wish to accomplish is often that little nudge that’ll move you from wishing to doing. Sometimes, I write a handful of barely legible tasks such as “grocery store” and “bathe dogs” on a sticky note before bed, and sometimes I type up elaborate plans for my work. Either way, it creates a sense of purpose and I have no shame in saying ticking laundry off a sheet of paper is far more rewarding than just getting it done.
2.) Apologies and Forgiveness
As glad as I am that you can apologize to Frank for breaking his pencil and forgive Barbara for stepping on your toe, I'm talking about moving on and letting go of the heavy stuff. People lie and steal and cheat and die every day. Whether you're the perpetrator or receiver of such perpetration, you deserve, for your own sake, to make peace. Every relationship, be it with friends, lovers, family, fate, and even ourselves is a two-way street. Everybody is human, everybody messes up. Fix what can be mended, and let go of all that is broken beyond repair. Holding will weigh you down and sink you into your own demise. As a recovering passive aggressive behavior addict, I can tell you the energy put into staying angry is not never worth it. Forgive yourself. Forgive your friends. Forgive your enemies. And forgive the earth. I believe in balance and karma. Those who do the unthinkable will be punished in time, but it is never your jab to do so.
Yep. I’ve done it. Played the cliche love thyself card. You know why it's such a cliche? It works. Facials and bubble baths and late night jam fests in expensive lingerie aren't about feeling pretty. They are about acknowledging that you are deserving of good things. That your worth is ever-present. That it is not predetermined in the numbers on report cards or paychecks or the bathroom scale. Show yourself love so that you may live in love.
4.) A Flexible Paradigm
While traveling alone with deactivated social media and little contact with family and friends, I was robbed. I went from what I perceived as poor to flat out broke. At the time, it was a little hellish wondering whether I'd sleep in a storage container at night. But it forced me to step outside of my shell, to reach out and place trust in people and resources I'd have otherwise never known or cared existed. My point is I could see this as some tragic event that stunted me emotionally, or I could grow from it. Your reality is entirely subjective. Choose to perceive it in the ideal light and that is what it will bring you.
5.) Make Food Choices You Can Feel Good About
Eighty percent of Americans are nutrient deficient to some degree. Because these nutrients feed your vital organs that produce and control hormones, emotions, logic, and fatigue, they could be contributing to the causation behind your stunted emotional state. Eating a wide variety of micro and macro nutrients from whole plant-based foods ensures that your body is getting what it needs to best prepare your mind for anything the world throws at it today. Not to mention you can feel good about the animals and the earth you’re saving along the way.
I’m no self help book but following these simple prices of advice has helped me overcome many personal obstacles. The last thing I’ll leave you with is this: you can memorize all the tips and tricks in the world but in the end your quality of life is in your own hands. What are you going to do with it?