I know for me when my mental health is not in the best shape, ordinary tasks seem futile. The motivation is nonexistent and to be fair, why should I care about my settings when I feel terrible? In the end, our environment tends to reflect our mental turmoil.
There are days when something as simple as getting out of bed feels like a full day’s work. I thought I would name 10 things that you can do to feel accomplished, even when that feeling seems unattainable. Remember nothing is too small; we can always celebrate more victories.
1. Waking up and getting out of bed
I honestly do not know how people can jump out of bed with a smile on their face and simply start their day. If that is your life, good on you! Waking up is taxing, especially during a particularly rough night with your thoughts. Taking the next step to exit the bed is a feat in itself. Sometimes your mind and your muscles are working against you. If you can summon the strength and sit up, you accomplished something big!
2. Opening the curtains or blinds to let some light in.
On a good day, I have been known to sit in the dark or a dimly lit room. On a bad day, I transform into a dejected vampire. The darkness matches the way I feel on the inside, void and soulless. However, if I am not going to leave the house, I suppose I could let in a little light. You may find yourself looking out the window quite often.
3. Eating at least one hearty meal
Sometimes it is either nothing or junk food. Both take minimal effort and are not necessarily good for you. For me, I could lose my appetite or I crave sugar and salt and have zero motivation to cook for myself. It is a little bit of work, but If you have to, at least one real meal can make a difference. You do not have to push yourself to partake in three-square meals a day. There are simple things like oatmeal, eggs and toast, soup, or fruit and yogurt that can provide nutrients and a semblance of balance.
4. Drinking a glass of water
You could reach for alcohol, soda, or juice but making a conscious decision to pour yourself a glass of water is a pretty big deal.
5. Changing your clothes
This could be from pajamas to yoga pants. No need to wear a three-piece suit to feel productive.
6. Taking a shower or bath
A shower and/or bath can be relaxing and improve your immune system. Hot or cold, showers can be a good sensory experience.
7. Cleaning a small area of your home
What is the phrase, “cluttered house, cluttered mind”? It is something along those lines. Studies have shown that clutter does affect your brain, but in the grand scheme of things, there are so many factors that affect your brain and your mood that clutter can go on the bottom of that long list. You may have a goal of cleaning your room, but when you can’t finish, you feel discouraged. Instead, lower your sights, it’s all about you. Focus on a corner of the room or even your bedside table. If you feel like doing more, even better!
8. Doing something creative
Write, draw, or sing. Not talented? That does not matter. Don’t feel inspired? Create something based on that feeling.
9. Stepping outside
You do not have to go for a run or a hike, as inspirational posters might make you believe. You do not even have to leave your doorstep. All you need is to let the sun hit your face.
10. Telling someone how you feel
No, you’re not fine and that’s okay! I think we all share the fear that we come off as a burden or no one will understand us. Are you a burden? No. Will you be misunderstood? Probably. But, we cannot possibly know if we do not give it a chance. In the form of a text, tweet, or carrier pigeon, it’s okay to let someone know that you’re not doing well and you either need some help, alone time, food, or all the above.
You can do all of or one of these things and still be considered victorious. You do not need to move mountains, you can skip pebbles; it is all fine.