Greatness is often born of small things. So often when are feeling unwell, stuck, or down we imagine a huge shift taking place in our lives. We fantasize about running off to an island and start looking up airfare on our office computer (Ummm… I do anyway). Sometimes we do need to make a big change. We need to leave our job, or end a toxic relationship. But more often than not our feeling of ickiness is bred from habits that aren’t nourishing us anymore.
When my clients are in my office facing depression or anxiety, some of them share that they believe leaving school, moving away from Los Angeles, or never talking to their mother again will cure their ailments. Maybe. But wherever you go, you will be there. So let’s start small. What are areas in your life where you can make a small change? Starting slowly is great for many reasons. Not only do you not have to uproot your entire life (which can be daunting as well as impossible for many), you get to build confidence in your ability to make change by not overwhelming yourself. And you get to put on your investigator hat. By not making massive a change, you are allowing yourself to really pinpoint what has an effect on your mood, energy levels, etc. Below are some tips to make your day a little sweeter and soul a little brighter. A little bit can go a long way…
Don’t read/watch/do things that make you feel bad. This may sound elementary, but how many of us sit on Instagram scrolling down with an icky feeling in our stomach? It’s not always good for our souls to see everyone’s idealized self plastered onto the screen. If watching the news every morning makes you feel low about our world, take a break. Invest your energy in something that gives you hope and inspiration.
Light a candle, say a prayer, pull an angel card. Do whatever tiny, low maintenance act you want to do to give your day meaning and a sense of purpose.
Be still. Be silent. Maybe it’s just for one minute. Take some time to move into your inner world. See how it feels when you shut out the busy world around you.
- Eat Slowly. Smell your food, look at all the colors and textures. Spend a moment being grateful for the ability to consume fresh, beautiful meals.
- Buy a big ol’ bottle of water and keep it next to you. Simply having it in sight will help you drink more.
- Be prepared. Have a satisfying, hearty snack with you at all times. This will keep you from reaching for something that may mess with your mood later.
- Take the stairs.
- If you are in the office all day, step outside for 2 minutes every few hours. Breathe.
- If you stare at a computer all day,close your eyes for just thirty seconds every hour and take a deep breath.
- Send some love to someone. Whether it’s a smile and hello to a stranger or a heartfelt text to a loved one. We have so much anger, hate, and intolerance in this world. Take a moment to invite love back in.
- If possible touch someone you love. Get a hug, give a cuddle. Sometimes 5 minutes of touch can save you hundreds in therapy (believe me).
Take a moment or two each day to write down your mood and what tiny changes you made. I hope you get to taste the juicy fruits of the seeds you plant, sit back, and enjoy watching them grow.