Ever feel like you absolutely do not have your shit together?
Same girl. Same.
Sometimes, my to-do list just feels too long. Or my day just keeps going off course. Or I’m experiencing major writer’s block and have pages due in a few hours time. Or… or… or…. One thing compounds the next, my anxiety spirals, and my patience wears thin. I crash and burn.
I know you know the feeling.
I’ve found that when I’m having one of these days, the fastest way to pull myself out of it is to do one small thing that makes me feel like I’ve got my shit together, something that resets my mindset and pulls me out of the downward spiral I’m in. There is something about taking one small action that rights the ship and lets me recenter and refocus. Once I do that, my day almost always improves.
Here are eight tried and true ways to feel like you have your shit together when you’re in the midst of thinking you absolutely do not.
MAKE YOUR BED
If you would have told teenage Sarah that she would one day absolutely have to make her bed every morning, she would have laughed and laughed. But the very first thing I do after waking is make my bed and I never regret it. If you don’t accomplish anything else, you have been productive by taking a few minutes to make your bed. And there’s something about walking into your bedroom at the end of the day and seeing a neat bed waiting for you that’s just soothing to the soul. I have a theory it helps you sleep better, too.
PUT ON LIPSTICK
I know the majority of us are still working from home and that face masks cover our mouths when we’re out in public, but I recently started smearing on lipstick to show up for my Zoom meetings and classes and it just does something for my confidence levels. I feel put together, sassy, and it just feels good. I usually go for a classic shade of pink, but once in a while I spice it up and reach for my pre-pandemic favorite shade of red. Ya girl loves a good red lip. It doesn’t have to be lipstick, though. Maybe you add a statement piece of jewelry to your outfit or curl your hair. Do something that makes you feel put together and confident.
Confession: I stopped meal prepping when the pandemic started. If I was going to be at home, there was no need to meal prep – I would just cook food as needed. It was fine at first and even enjoyable, but it quickly became a chore and I would find myself making something quick and easy and not as healthy or else picking up something from a local restaurant instead of cooking what I had on hand. Once I moved to Los Angeles, I resumed meal prepping and not only has it cleaned up my diet, it has saved me a lot of time and money. Even on busy days or when things aren’t going right, all I have to do is pull a container out and pop it in the microwave. I’m well-fed and time has been optimized.
We all have that junk drawer or a catch-all spot on the counter, maybe a messy cabinet under the bathroom sink or a shelf that’s become the landing spot for any and everything. Or, in my case, maybe your desk is overrun with post-it notes that are now dated. Taking five or ten minutes to organize a small space will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something and the lack of clutter will likely help settle your mind. Your outer environment reflects your inner environment and I know I feel better when I’ve tossed those useless post-it notes.
GO FOR A WALK
Sometimes you just need to walk away – literally. Put on your shoes and hit the pavement. I take quick walks around my block throughout the day, especially when I feel myself being pulled in several directions or my patience thinning. It’s not a long walk – about ten minutes from the time I leave my door until the time I return to it – but it’s enough to give me the space I need to regroup and come back to whatever task with a fresh mind. Sometimes I try to use that time as a meditative space. Other times I’ll use it to plot a plan for tackling the task(s) at hand. But every time, those few minutes of fresh air are a game changer.
ASK FOR HELP
We try to do it all, but sometimes we just cannot. It’s okay to ask for help or ask for an extension. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone, but usually, when we throw up our hand and say ‘I need help,’ you’re met with grace. A lot of times, someone might even confess that they, too, are overwhelmed and didn’t want to speak up. Ask for help when you need it – and accept it when it’s offered. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. It makes you stronger and more able to offer up your best self.
When things are going south, hit pause and meditate for ten minutes. In the traditional sense, meditating means sitting quietly, breathing deep, and clearing your mind. Maybe that works for you, but I struggle with it. I’ve learned that meditation can mean many things. I mentioned above that I often find walking meditative. Sometimes It’s a fifteen minute yoga session or a soak in the tub (yes, right smack in the middle of the day). Find what meditation looks like for you and call upon that ritual when things feel out of control or you need to reconnect with your inner self – and disconnect from your inbox – for a few minutes.
When all else fails, grab a notebook and list everything going on in your brain. Write it all down – the to-dos, the thoughts, the worries, the meal plans, the gifts to buy, all of it. Anything that’s floating around in your brain. The act of writing it all down “empties” the brain and seeing it all on paper helps you find a way to approach it. Most of the time, I feel better just getting it all on paper. Sometimes I’ll go through the list and group my to-dos by priority or try to get to the root of why I’m worrying about insert thing here. The braindump is the best way I know of to clear space in my thoughts.
It’s easy to spiral when we feel like we’re losing control or things aren’t going right. Push the pause button and try one of these ways to feel like you have your shit together. Report back as to whether or not it worked for you.
Got another way that makes you feel like you’ve got your shit together? Leave me a note in the comments!