When life gets tough

by Reuben

Step 1: Get started.

Step 2: Drink water. Keep yourself hydrated.

Step 3: Go bike or walk around your neighborhood. A change of environment is important, whether it's going outside or staying in a different room.

Step 4: Use all that pent up energy as an opportunity to make and strengthen connections with the people who matter to you. Talk to someone you haven't talked to in awhile, say hi, ask how a friend is doing. Invest all that energy into something that would ultimately be better for you in the long run, even if it may not look like it now.

Step 5: Eat. Don't overeat, nor deprive yourself from food. Sometimes it's easier said than done, but eat your fruits and vegetables. Make something for yourself. Your body will thank you.

Step 6: Watch movies and shows, play games. Do something. Join that club you've been wanting to join, that class you said you've been wanting to get into. Cook that dish you've been wanting to cook. Do that one thing you've always been interested in doing. Do things that are of your interest. Even if it ends up not being enjoyable or doesn't go the way you want it to, that's okay. Sometimes you just have to put your mind onto something else.

If you don't feel like doing anything, that's okay too. But get up and make your bed. Sometimes all you need is to get through the day, and the very fact that you got up and made your bed is already an accomplishment itself. Give yourself a reward for the little things, because it's the little things that will get you a long way.

Step 7: Cry. Get mad. Punch that pillow. Scream to the top of your lungs. Let it out. And speaking of a change of environment, get rid of the things that make you unhappy, there's no use for them anymore. Remember, it's not running away, it's letting go. It's embracing the past and getting up again. Because if it hurt and made you feel all sorts of things at once, then at the very least it mattered. At the very least, it will make up the well-rounded, if not slightly wiser, person you will become. At the very least, you know the good things existed.

Step 8: Don't sleep without a positive thing in mind. Tell yourself you're good at things, you can survive, tomorrow is another day, it will all be alright. Do not sleep until you feel less like a crappy piece of wet carton. You might not believe the things you tell yourself, but practicing positive self talk is so important. Everything starts with you. Make yourself smile, make yourself feel better. Start somewhere, no matter how small.

Step 9: Do not sleep without brushing your teeth, drinking water, and eating enough. Take care of yourself.

Step 10, the final step: Know you will survive. Repeat when life gets tough. Don't forget to stay hydrated!

Keep this list handy to remind yourself of the good things.