It’s easy to fall into a rut or feel like you’re losing control of your life when stress is high and nothing seems to be going the way you’d hoped or imagined it would. I needed to get things back on track, and making these investments in my life helped me do just that—maybe they can help you too.
I started seeing a therapist. Although I never was one for opening up about my feelings to other people, going to therapy helped me a lot. You can do it online but I recommend seeing someone in person. Therapy forced me to go out and socialize, which helped my depression, and group therapy helped me make new friends. Learning how to be vulnerable is a must when building relationships (platonic or otherwise) and having people hold you accountable once a week keeps you motivated to do better.
I took up yoga. Despite being a hardcore athlete during my high school years, college made me lazy. There were too many assignments to do, and whenever I did have free time, I didn’t want to move my body. Now I take 20 minutes out of every day to do some stretching exercises on my yoga mat. There are enough short videos to find on YouTube that will help you fulfill these goals, and it’s a guaranteed to help you feel mentally and physically refreshed.
I decided to let go. Overthinking and expecting the worst are very much part of being human. But while it’s normal to worry, there are some things in life you just don’t have control over, including the future and other people’s actions and feelings. The only thing you can control is your own behavior and reactions in the present. Being able to realize this when you’re spinning out can help you let go and relieve so much stress. It has for me!
I started keeping a bullet journal. I never used to like these because I’m not much of an artist and knew mine could never live up to the fancy ones on Pinterest. However, I soon realized that doesn’t matter at all. I use mine to make a weekly to-do list and write down my appointments. It feels great to cross things off the list and to know how much I got accomplished in a given day.
I spent more time with books. This could be an audiobook or just a good old fashioned paperback. Try to think about what you loved reading about before. If you were never really a bookworm and novels don’t intrigue you – what about self-help books? There are tons of books out there written by very successful people who share their knowledge of life. Just Google what you feel like you need and educate yourself! Spending more time reading totally expanded my worldview and my imagination, and that’s always a good thing.
I began taking better care of my skin. Hopping on the K-beauty skincare train was probably the best thing I’ve ever done. Investing time and energy into skincare research as well as buying products and trying them out became a hobby. Not only was I learning something, but I looked so much better because of it. The routine helped me with my discipline; my morning and evening routines helped me manage my time better and cured my laziness when it came to self-care and time management.
I bought some new shoes. The effect of retail therapy is real. The one thing I particularly love to invest in is a good pair of shoes. The right shoes make the outfit and it’s common knowledge that when you dress nicely, you feel better too. Having those one pair of boots that just upgrade your entire outfit is so worth it and can immediately make you feel like you can take on the world. Whatever your one item is, find something that makes you feel confident and splurge a little. You deserve it.
I started saving money. When I feel sad, I spend money. A lot of it. I spend excessive amounts of money on food, clothes, and general leisure. I just keep digging the hole of financial ruin and find myself dangerously broke every end of the month. Deciding to put a stop to needless purchases and start saving that cash instead really helped me gain control over my life, and by saving little bits throughout the month, I was calling out the shots again, not my emotions.
I focused more on my friends. When you’re not in a great place in your life, you tend to hide away from other people. I did it out of embarrassment for my failures and shame because I wasn’t doing as well as my more successful peers. But if you have good friends, they’ll do their best to support you. Reaching out to people I was closest to was one of the most rewarding experiences. We created a more meaningful bond and my burdens were significantly lightened.
I forgave myself. Sometimes when we’re in that hole we’ve been digging for a while, we push ourselves to go harder. We set the bar so high that nothing else really counts anymore. It’s important to remind yourself to take a step back and that starting from scratch again is sometimes for the best. Give yourself props for stepping out the door that day or taking a day off to have some “me time” really helps. Appreciating the small things you do will keep you in a positive mindset to make it big in the future.
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