How To Pick Yourself Up
Self-care is how you take your power back.
By Loise Machira
We have all experienced some form of loss and although each experience is different, I have found myself applying the same routine to pick myself up, both consciously and subconsciously. According to Merriam Webster, loss is defined as the act of being unable to keep or maintain someone; or the partial or complete deterioration of absence of a physical capability or function. When I came across this definition, I reflected on how loss has impacted my life and found a trend of habits that have helped me get back on track. Hopefully with these tips, you can find some strength to keep going. But first, coffee!
The first thing that comes to mind when we think about loss is death or losing a business. With this in mind, you might disregard the heavy-hearted feeling of losing someone or something if it wasn’t within the bracket of death or business closure. If you have lost a friendship, a pet, a relationship, a business pitch, or your job, all this still falls under loss and the impact it has on our health is ultimately the same. If you have been making countless job applications and received no feedback or the outcome wasn’t what you expected, you’re dealing with loss as well.
1. Attitude is everything.
Instead of asking yourself why this keeps happening to me, ask yourself, what is life trying to teach me. I find that life keeps handing us similar challenges in different outfits to make us stronger and to also give us a chance to apply what we learnt to new situations. We keep hearing the advice that we shouldn’t go through life but grow through it. That life doesn’t happen to us, but for us. This mindset in approaching adversity is so powerful because you learn to look at life from a positive perspective. One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou says, “if you don’t like something, change it and if you can’t, change your attitude."
2. Fitness is crucial.
Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity and muscle size. Establishing a fitness routine for yourself will go a long way in keeping you engaged both physically and mentally. Exercise is like an investment in your mind, body and soul whose results positively affect every aspect of your life. Once you’re able to make it a habit, it can foster a sense of self-worth; and make you feel strong and powerful. You’ll feel better about your appearance, and by meeting small exercise goals like successfully holding a one minute plank, you’ll feel a sense of achievement. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to deal with mental health challenges; improve your energy and outlook; and get more out of life.
3. Food is life.
When I was small, my mum would always sing “food glorious food” in an attempt to convince my siblings and I to eat githeri, a staple meal in my tribe which is made of maize and beans. Yes, food does have a huge impact on our psychosocial health. Back in high school, we were taught the three basic foods our bodies needed to function well are protein, carbohydrates and vitamins. However, nobody taught us how these food groups affect our state of mind.
Nutritional psychiatry is an emerging area of research specifically looking at the role of nutrition in the development and treatment of mental health problems. Studies have proven that eating healthy can significantly lower the risk of depression by 25% to 35%. Clean meals tend to be high in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, seafood, modest amounts of lean meat and dairy. Next time you go grocery shopping, remember that healthy meals give you better moods. So clean out your fridge and pantry to make room for cleaner food options.
4. Company does matter.
Yes, the company you keep around can either drag you down or significantly contribute to your bounce back. When we associate with people who inspire us, whose values are aligned and whose moral compass is clear, we tend to absolve their good energy and positive perspective on life. When I surround myself with positive social connections, I get increased feelings of belonging, purpose, increased levels of happiness, reduced levels of stress, improved self-worth and a boost of confidence.
It’s true what they say, if you look at the people in your circle and don’t get inspired, then you don’t have a circle, you have a cage. People try to accommodate many friends and compartmentalise them based on the relationship, but I don’t subscribe to that school of thought. As much as people refuse to believe it, the company you keep does have an impact on your mental health and influences your choices.
5. Content is equally important.
What kind of content are you consuming? Whether its scrolling on social media, catching up on the news or reading an article, if we fill our minds with negative content, it affects our mood. Your mind is like a garden- unless you cultivate flowers, weeds will flourish. To keep our minds positive, we have to be intentional about substituting positive thoughts for negative thoughts. I have found that uplifting content in form of music, podcasts that speak on self-development and watching inspiring interviews by successful thought leaders has been extremely pivotal in my personal growth.
Yours in Wellness,
Images: Pexels, Strikingly
References: Harvard Health, Medical News Today, Help Guide
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