Things are often easier said than done, and sometimes, when you just feel like thinking about everything that’s going wrong, no amount of positive quotes can make you feel better. While this state of mind (anyone else just start belting New York State of Mind? It’s impossible for me not to when I hear that phrase) can be hard to avoid, I try not to get to that place at all. In the past couple of years, I’ve focused on trying to change my lifestyle in small, simple ways that will make me a happier, better human being. So, here are my top tips for keeping that frown upside down.
Take it slow Stress builds up, and when it feels like the whole world is throwing curve balls at you, it can be easy to drop everything. A few years ago, when my scoliosis was progressing rapidly (despite my wearing the brace 23/7), I was a mess. I had practically given up hope and knew that surgery was in the picture. I would find excuses not to wear my brace, and I let my frustrations consume me. Sometimes, you just need a breather and time to take everything in.
Find an outlet I have been so lucky to have found this community where I can write about my feelings and know that you guys will understand me. Whenever I’m going through something emotionally exhausting, I write. Whether it’s on a napkin in a small cafe (as J.K. Rowling did with the best series of all time) or on a computer in my school library while I’m in the “bathroom”, writing has become something that I can’t live without. Everyone has a different outlet...before discovered writing, it was swimming and art for me, and those are still outlets. Something like swimming would help me put my frustrations on the back burner, and art, similarly to writing, just let me get my chaotic brain out on paper. You just need to find what works best for you.
Breathe Ah, air. What a nice thing it is to have. And quite underrated, too. Sometimes, when the sky is falling and you find out Vader is Luke’s dad and Snape just died and Fixer Upper is going to end after this season, you just gotta breathe. It’s simple, but actually more effective than you might think. I recently found an app called Calm that has an awesome tool called Breathe. You basically just click on it and it tells you when to breathe in and out to steady your breathing. It sounds like one of those crazy hippie things that would never work, but it has helped me to just take a break.
Make a good start I have a twin sized bed that is definitely too small for me, so I can’t necessarily wake up on one side of the bed or the other, which is good, I guess, because I can just say that I woke up on the right side of the bed every morning. Unfortunately, I have recently discovered the power of caffeine, and I get withdrawal every morning I don’t have some sort of coffee...although I am trying to do the whole healthy tea/lemon water thing...I’ll keep you updated on how that goes. I used to be a morning person, but as the late nights turned later with the mountains of homework that greet me every night, I’ve fallen into the habit of going to be late. As summer is coming up, I’ve made myself a promise to start going to bed early and waking up early, because I’ve found that waking up early sets me up for a good day. Getting into a routine, having a good breakfast, and reading a little bit always boosts my mood in the morning, and trickles into the entire day. If you have a good start, you are more likely to have a good end.
It can be hard to just turn your life around on a whim, but changing small things is definitely more doable. Hopefully these small changes will help you cope with your scoliosis or any other negativity in your life. And of course, my number one tip is to remember, we’re bent, not broken! :)