Stand up. Seriously. Stand up and do a lap around the room. Open the curtains. Stick your head out of the window and breathe in the air. Go for a walk if you can. Stretch – try drawing your hands to your opposite shoulder blade and your feet to the back of your opposite thigh. Feel your body and be glad that you have one to even formulate negative thoughts about. But don’t, don’t formulate negative thoughts. Just relish in the joy of your arms that can hug your loved ones and your legs that can get you where you need to go.
There’s evidence that you’re nourished as much by the joy you get from your food as from the actual calorific content so eat, for goodness’ sake, eat whatever it is you’d like. Eat fruit and lick the juice from your fingers. Eat vegetables that are so crispy they crunch when you bite into them, eat thick, crusty bread; eat potato waffles and baked beans like you used to when you were little. Eat pizza if you want it and eat it unapologetically and remember that it’s not ‘bad food,’ pizza can’t be ‘bad’ because it’s just food and food does not have morality. Drink some water. Everything seems worse when you’re dehydrated.
Have a shower. Wash the dirt from behind your ears and the backs of your knees. Clean your teeth and comb your hair. Picture the sad running down the drain with the water, or something like that anyway. Put real clothes on – your comfiest sweatpants or a lovely dress or skinny jeans or whatever. Who cares about what you’re wearing other than you? Who said you shouldn’t wear something other than you?
Look after something! Talk to your little sibling, or feed your dog, or water your plants. If you don’t have a little sibling or a dog or a plant, then maybe clean your shoes. A kitchen sponge works well for this, or a damp cloth, or a face wipe in a pinch. Tap off the worst of the dirt first and then use warm water and small strokes. Look at your shoes and take solace in the knowledge that even if you do nothing else all day, you cleaned your shoes, and that’s a good thing. You did a good thing.
Volunteer, if you can. Relish in the enjoyment of someone else’s enjoyment. Spend time with friends and even make new ones! You can never have enough friends, even if that means one solid BFF. Choose to make a difference. Clean your closet, plant some basil, or visit your neighbor. Make something, or learn something, or experience something new. Listen to an album you’ve never listened to before. Watch an informative YouTube video. Make a paper crane. Write an excerpt of a book you’ll never finish. Watch the first episode of a TV show you’ve never seen before. Learn to twirl your pen around your fingers. Remind yourself that there exist so many beautiful things that you have not discovered. Tell yourself that your mind contains so many wonderful things that you have not discovered.
Sit down and make a list of all the things you need to do and all the thoughts that won’t leave you alone. Everything seems more manageable when you commit it to paper. Lay your fingers on your arm where your hand meets your wrist, about two centimeters in from the outside. Feel that? That’s your pulse. That’s the blood flowing through your veins. That’s the weight of thirty-seven trillion cells all working to keep you alive. Isn’t that something else?
Talk to someone. Seek out a friend or family member or even your match. You do not have to go through things alone. Push down the voice in your head that tells you that you’ll annoy them. You won’t. Promise. Choose yourself; it’s always worth it.