There are seasons when most of us struggle with feeling anxious or feeling down. During these times if can be helpful to take a small step to feel better and to help manage how we are feeling. Sometimes it is these small steps that can really help us move out from a hard place.
Often, we feel like we may need to make big sweeping changes and that can feel overwhelming and instead of moving forward we just stay right where we are.
There are so many small steps that we can try that will help us to move forward into a better place emotionally, physically, and mentally. If you are feeling stuck, anxious, depressed, or unable to make your next decision, take a look at some of these ideas and see how taking a small step can help.
Often, when we are struggling, we want to isolate. Isolation is not beneficial for any part of our being. It will not help your move forward and usually will give you the ability to focus on things that can keep you stuck where you are. Some ideas for staying connected are:
- Make time to gather with people who you feel safe with and who care for you
- Use facetime, phone calls and texting to stay connected
- Keep in touch with friends you do not often see by phone, email, and letters
- Continue to go to social activities even if you do not feel like it
- Reach out, support, and encourage others
- Help a friend out with a need they have
- Have coffee or lunch with a friend
- Try a new class
When we are not in a healthy place emotionally, we can tend to let go of activities that we enjoy and nurture us. This may be a time to push yourself to continue with activities and habits that are good for you even if you do not feel like participating.
Some ideas for choosing activities that can nurture yourself are:
- Embrace an old hobby that you used to love
- Try a new hobby that looks fun
- Start walking in your neighborhood. Maybe ask your neighbor to join you
- Take that new exercise class you have been wanting to try
- Visit a museum or attend a concert
- Spend time in nature
- Continue to do your self-care activities
- Listen to music
- Watch a new movie or a series you have loved in the past
- Enjoy time with your pet
Taking small steps to get our bodies moving can bring big benefits in helping us to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. For many of us that needs to be intentional small steps. Each small step you take builds upon the one before it and soon you will be excited and proud to see how far you have come.
Here are a few ideas to start with:
- Decide to not stay in bed or on the couch
- Move around in your home
- Take a walk around your block
- Try an exercise class
- Park your car a little farther out and walk to your destination
- Take the steps at work
- Take regular breaks to walk around if you sit a lot for your job
- Find something that you enjoy that gets you moving. It could be walking, jogging, playing cornhole. It does not matter what the activity is as long as it keeps you moving.
Challenging Negative Thoughts.
When we are struggling it can be easier to embrace negative thoughts. This is a time to challenge those thoughts and not allow the negativity to create even more problems. Often negative thoughts start with a fact that may have happened, but we do not want to allow that circumstance or result to make us think that will be our only future outcome.
Taking the time to challenge our negative thoughts can help us to see the truth of the thoughts and how we can use past experiences to help us move forward. If you struggle with negative thoughts, it might be good to have someone to talk these thoughts through with to help you in evaluating the past experiences and determining how to move forward in positive healthy ways.
Taking Care of Your Body.
Taking small steps to do the things that our body needs will not only help to keep a healthy body but also will help us mentally and emotionally. Some areas to stay focused on are:
- Stay hydrated
- Eat foods that are good for your body
- Have a good sleep routine
- Getting enough sleep for your body
Any of these small steps will be beneficial and will help you continue to embrace, manage, and develop your best self. If you are struggling, take a look at these suggestions and pick one to try today.
If you feel that you have tried taking small steps before and they just have not helped, our therapists would love to help you in your journey of small steps. They are here to listen to you, brainstorm and help you find successful ways to build and maintain the life you want and to help you be your best self. For more information https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/