It’s cold out, the sky is gray, and you just don’t know what to do with myself. If you’re in college, it’s that weird time before the semester starts, and you’re just waiting it out. If you’re in high school, you just got back to school and have to sit in a classroom all day with people you probably don’t want to spend time with.
Maybe it’s wearing on you. Maybe you’re exhausted. Maybe you feel like you’re drowning.
Let me just tell you: it’s okay.
Sometimes you’re not okay, and that’s fine. I sure know what that’s like to not be okay, but I also know what it’s like to need to push through.
Here are 7 things to remember when you’re not okay:
1. Get out
Just get out. Whatever that means to you. Get out of your room, out of your house, out of your routine, out of your city — I don’t know. It helps to just take a few hours to get out of your dark, messy room and out into the fresh air. I know that sometimes when I’ve felt not okay, I am tempted to just wait it out from my bed hiding behind my comfy pajamas. Sometimes the world seems scary or tasks seem daunting, and you just want to hide.
Trust me, that never helps.
Whenever I feel myself slipping, I change me scenery. I work from a coffee shop for awhile, meet a friend for a study date, or go hit the gym. Just remember that things aren’t going to change until you change what’s around you.
2. Dig in
I know I just said to get out, but you also dig in. I mean that it’s so important to dig into yourself and pinpoint what’s making you not okay.
Is it a toxic relationship or friendship? Is it a job that controls your life? Is it getting behind on school? Is it not getting out enough?
Pinpoint what is making you not okay and change it because the way you feel isn’t going to change until you tackle it head on. I know that sometimes it’s hard, but looking inward is so important.
This may seem rudimentary, but a sign of depression and anxiety is the messy house cycle that follows. Perhaps you clean your room and it gradually gets cluttered throughout the week then you clean it — and the cycle starts again.
When you struggle with not being okay, your house or room isn’t messy simply because of laziness — it’s that cleaning your room is on the list of Things I’d Love to Do somewhere between doing a triathlon and eating a ghost pepper.
Cleaning your room sucks — especially when you feel like you can’t get out of bed, but it really makes a difference. A little accomplishment like cleaning your room or organizing your desk will give you something be proud of — and that’s so important. You can do five minutes. I promise.
Not only is it important for your physically de-clutter, you also need to de-clutter your mind and your schedule. Use your planner to de-clutter your schedule, and use a journal to de-clutter your mind.
4. Prioritize your hygiene
When you’re feeling really down, a walk from your bed to the bathroom may seem impossible, but a nice hot shower sure works wonders.
You’ll feel refreshed and at least in control of something. Also, you’ll be less inclined to stay hiding in your house or room because you’ll be refreshed and ready for the day.
Take a shower, style your hair, and just make yourself feel good.
Now I don’t mean lay out a prayer mat and say “om” for three hours — but if that’s your jam, then go for it! I mean be mindful and intentional with your time. Take a half hour every morning with a cup of hot coffee or tea and meditate on truths. Whether that means opening your Bible or looking yourself in the mirror and speaking affirmations, it’s up to you.
As Pinterest would say, “The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thoughts — it’s to stop letting them control you.”
6. Hit the gym
When you’re feeling yucky, working out may be the last thing you want to do, but it is so important. Not only does it keep you healthy, but your body also releases endorphins — which make you pretty darn happy.
According to Mayo Clinic, here’s how endorphins help you out:
- Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids)
- Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression.
- Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects.
So your bod releases endorphins, but going for a run, hitting up a boxing class, or taking some time for yoga also will make you feel like you kind of have your life together — and that helps you fake it ’til you make it!
7. Anticipate joy
Have something to look forward to. Whether that is a vacation, a deadline, a holiday, or just an end to that yucky feeling — it always helps to have something on the horizon that brings your joy.
Anticipating joy and living in the expectation that life gets better gives you so much hope — and that will fuel you to move toward a better place.
How do you combat feelings of not being okay? Let us know in the comments below!