If you feel your foundation cracking, go back to the basics.
When was the last time you were in such a funk that showering felt like a major accomplishment? You know the kind of slump that drags on first for days, then for weeks, and makes you question if things will ever feel ok again. You get through life half-ass, going through the motions just to say you did. Honestly this used to take up a good part of my life, back in the days when I was “fine.”
These days the light well outshines the dark but with my shiny new normal, I am overly sensitive to even the slightest shadow. When I see one creeping in I can typically catch it and keep the funk to an afternoon or a day at the most. When I can’t though, when the yuck lingers, I have found going back to the basics is how I can get out with the least damage possible.
If I look back to the lowest lows of my life, when my foundation was not just cracked but crumbling, the basics included the occasional shower, feeding my kids, getting from point A to point B. If you are REALLY in the struggle, the basics are truly the simplest things you must do to get by. Don’t feel guilty about survival.
Once you’ve got the surviving down, simplifying life becomes critical to rebuilding. Go back to the basics of your essential needs. Are you sleeping enough? Sleep is everything when you are emotionally fighting to patch and repair your life. Your brain and your body need it. Are you getting enough water? Don’t let life’s lows allow you to create bad habits for your body. Drink more water, choose healthy foods (within reason, you are going to falter and it’s OK!), and move your body. Let endorphins do their thang!
Then look at your physical environment. Does your space need a good cleaning? Can you go through and minimize your things? Throw things, give them to someone who could put them to use, sell what you don’t need but still has value. Even just these easy steps will help you feel accomplished and like you are getting back on track.
Next evaluate the basics of the relationships in your life. You might need to disappear for a bit to focus on you and what matters. Make a list of the people in your life who you need and who need you. Those are the people you focus on. Social media – get out of there. Work gossip – walk away. If you have people in your life that are a negative force – tell them you’re busy. Spend zero energy on people who are outside your bubble of significant other, children, mom, dad, best friend, whoever you decide MATTERS.
As you reconstruct and get solid footings beneath you again, add back in slowly. You will be tempted to jump back in to life where you left off, but there were things in your life that caused the breaks. Be aware of them and be intentional about keeping them at bay. By starting with the basics and adding back to life slowly, you will find that those things are eventually filtered out until the cracks are more infrequent or more easily repaired.
There are times in your life that need to be about you and you alone. It’s not selfish to make yourself the priority. Take advantage of the learning that happens when you scale life back to necessities. I promise when you take the time and do the work to rebuild you, everyone in your life becomes stronger too.