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I was feeling a bit down towards the end of last week. Some of it had to do with the whole Paula Deen fiasco and the flurry of online arguments that ensued. I won't rehash the drama here because I want this to be a positive space, but let's just say the subject matter was disheartening and inspired some deep thoughts about the uglier aspects of this country's not-too-distant past.
Still, at some point, one has to pick herself up and restore her former level of fabulousness. I must confess that I'm not the greatest at cheering myself up, but when I do implement the following steps, the world looks that much brighter.
1. Surround yourself with people who truly love and care about you.
I know this seems a little counterintuitive, but I find that it's easier to join in--rather than be the one to start--the tooting of my horn. Once I've been around those who are genuinely edifying, I'm able to carry their sweet words with me as I move through the rest of my day.
It's an amazing gift, so don't forget to repay it when a dear friend is feeling down.
2. Grab some endorphins.
I've been extremely lazy as of late, and I've no doubt that the rollercoaster of emotions I've been experiencing is directly related to this sedentary phase. When I'm on top of my usual exercise routine, I'm stronger, my brain is clearer, and I enjoy myself more.
3. Do something for someone else.
This seems like another weird one, but I promise you it works wonders! When you're stuck in a shame spiral, you are completely consumed by yourself, so finding a way to serve someone else aids in jolting you out of your stupor. It doesn't have to cost a lot, either! Spend quality time with loved ones. Replace an email with a handwritten letter. Treat the kids to some frozen yogurt or surprise them with a playdate with their best buddy. Being a catalyst for someone else's joy can change your whole outlook.
4. Tune out and take a break.
Like many people out there, I tend to consume the internet haphazardly, absorbing all the information like a sponge, rather than firmly establishing a filter. For example, I know better than to read the comments below pretty much any article or video...and yet, I do it. Then I feel awful about humanity. Ridiculousness! To combat this cyber heaviness,
just about every weekend.
From Friday to Sunday evening, she shuns all things internet-based, opting instead to focus on her life offline. I've done it a few times and have always felt refreshed.
What someone thinks about you is none of your business.*
5. Understand that it's impossible--IMPOSSIBLE!--to be liked by everyone.
Despite being 31 and completely content with my life choices, I combat the need to be liked on an almost daily basis. I am beyond blessed for so many reasons, and yet I concern myself with the inane assertions of strangers and "computer cowards" (aka, trolls). I love communicating on this blog and
. Engaging with others and building a community is a very big part of my core beliefs. When the world is smaller, walls can come down and people become human rather than nameless, faceless statistics and/or stereotypes.
Now, the flipside of this coin is that I am vulnerable to the public because I have chosen to put myself out there...and not everyone wants to buy what I'm sellin'. It's humbling, but a tremendously important aspect of my personal growth journey. I am incredibly sensitive, but I need to cultivate some resilience in order to go wherever God's taking me. A stranger's comments should not resonate louder than my inner voice, am I right? I know who I am. It's time to start walking the walk.
For further confirmation, I opened my
, and I kid you not, this was the Verse of the Day:
Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions.
Proverbs 18:2 NIV
If this doesn't sum up the day and age in which we live, I don't know what does! I love it so much, I may tattoo it on my body (no, I'm not kidding).
I'd love to hear what steps you take to remind yourself that you're fearfully and wonderfully made, just as you are! Let me know in the comments.
*Found this gem in the July 2013 issue of
and was instantly enamored. If you know who originally said it, please let me know. Thanks!