Bear with me today, as we don’t have much “food” talk happening, but a personal rant that will hopefully make you feel a little better about the times you find yourself in a similar spot.
This week started without promise (pessimistic, I know), and by Thursday, I sort of accepted the fact that what I said I’d do Tuesday on Monday is just going to wait until the weekend, maybe even next Monday. Screw it.
I wasn’t necessarily accepting defeat as much as I was offering myself some chance at peace. Like, “Hey dude, it’s okay you’re not really feeling it, you are still managing to put in some effort.”
Then I realized, even though I’m failing to reach my 100%, my 25% may as well be full on effort because during weeks like this week, a little bit feels like a LOT.
Here are a few numbers to help you put my “minimalist approach” to this week into perspective:
How many times I decided not to board a flight I booked: 1
How many series I began/finished on Netlix/Amazon: 2.5
How many days it took me to write a 1,000 word article: 4
How many times I ate cereal instead of real food: 5
How many times I went to the gym: 0
As I ponder the events of this week deeming them all “BAD” in big red letters, I forget the joy that sprouted through the cracks while I wasn’t paying attention, probably because I was occupied with the all-consuming idea that the world was definitely over.
So, seems pretty darn lazy huh? Well, I didn’t take into account how many times I swept my floor which is at approximately 50 times. I broom first, vacuum second, dry swiffer and wet swiffer. Like, it gets pretty intense.
My first tip to cutting yourself some slack is to focus on what gives you order, even when you can’t create order yourself. There are places in which my lack of effort is quite the opposite, even if my effort isn’t making me any money or making me sweat. Sweeping the floors is my slightly obsessive “control” tactic. Find yours.
Buy a bunch of new plants or find something to take care of. This was my way of coping with my other coping mechanism which is the idea that adopting a puppy would fix literally everything. Yes, a puppy would cure my writer’s block, ensure that I never shed another sad tear, and inspire me to do things that aren’t watching ‘Master of None.’ Anyways, the plants are far less involved and they make things look nice. It’s good to buy yourself presents when you are sort of down in the dumps, but avoid presents that are also commitments i.e. animals, children, and food that goes bad because get real, you’re not cooking.
Go for walks. Like, multiple walks a day. Walk with dogs. Walk in the sun. I didn’t go to the gym, but I walked a lot. I walked to the store or bank if it was feasible because I was wasting a LOT of time indoors. I had time to walk, so I did. It gives you purpose, and the sun makes you feel good. Fun things happen when you walk. This week, I followed all of the blaring sirens to the scene of a house fire. They saved a puppy. It was like watching a movie. You never know where your feet will take you… unless you live near the co-op, then your feet will take you to snacks. This is also a good tip.
Go places without a budget. Pretend you are rich. Okay, if you really can’t do this, I understand. I’ve had some disposable income lately (I’m not bragging, this is new to me), so I implemented this rule during my unofficial bare minimum week. I went to places like Home Depot, Target, and Whole Foods and I bought whatever I wanted, even if it was just to get out of my house. These are places that are dangerously easy to spend money at. By not focusing on spending money, I didn’t spend much. Now, I have tasty food (that isn’t cereal, promise), a new headboard, and new curtains. It made me feel like I was doing SOMETHING.
Focus on what you are doing. Avoid what you are not doing. Deadlines? Push them back a day. If this is an option, just be flexible. Add an unofficial day to your week. Things will get done in due time. You’ll get enough done with this rule to feel okay about yourself and your life and all of your failing hopes and dreams. Did I say failing? I meant flourishing. You are productive. You are worthy. Nobody is going to fire you.
Plan a vacation. When procrastination got the best of me, I decided I was going to Norway. Don’t let me back out of this one. I once read that the most exciting part of a vacation is planning the vacation. That’s really effing depressing, but if you’re feeling a bit low, you may as well lift your spirits with the prospect of learning a new language (Duolingo, my friends) and exploring cliffsides and fjords. When it’s not all it turns out to be, you can refer to this guide again.
Drink fancy drinks. So, my first attempt at following this tip resulted in me being very drunk from two glasses of wine which only exacerbated my negative feelings and inspired me to call my entire family. I mean, go buy a fancy $7 ginger “cleanse” juice and sip it like you are royalty. Get an almond milk matcha latte or something obscure. This is no long-term solution but it is a) an excuse to leave your couch and b) delicious. Oh, and it’s healthy. Considering how not-healthy eating a pint of ice cream is, the juice balances it all out. I think.
See your friends. Hug your mum. Cuddle with puppies. Don’t do anything you don’t have to do alone, alone. Let someone know you’re feeling kinda meh and you could use someone to talk to. Go to your friend’s houses, eat dinner with your sister, or invite someone over. If anything helps to reassure you that everything will be fine, it’s friends and family. Or your therapist. Call them too.
Mater your instincts!
Alexandra Barone (aka Alex) is a healthy living aficionado residing in the lovely city of Pittsburgh, PA. She writes about all things real food with a focus on the paleo diet. When she’s not throwing it down in the kitchen, you can find her swinging kettlebells at Primal Fitness Pittsburgh, running through Frick Park, or walking dogs around the city.