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Some days I forget.
I forget to eat, drink water, take a break, and look up from the screen.
I forget to take care of myself.
I forget about myself amidst whirring meetings and to-do lists and “oh that one dinner I need to go to.”
I forget that the only way that I will solve problems, help others, and help myself is if I oil my gears and nourish my body.
It seems like a simple task: food, water, sleep, exercise. But, it is one of my greatest challenges.
I find myself more often than not with a depleted battery symbol blinking in my brain and no batteries in sight.
I break down.
In not much time, I resolve that the only way through my breakdown is to keep going, to keep working, and yes, to keep forgetting.
And before I know it, I am wallowing in a dark cave of “how the f*ck do I keep moving forward when nothing is working?” An angry email and rejection letter light up my phone and drag me deeper into the cave. I am discouraged, beat up, and exhausted.
I sit there with a blank stare while I roll around on the floor like a four-year-old trying to understand an instruction manual written in Beowulf Old English.
It is right about then that I need to remember where the escape hatch is on the back of the cave, but I rarely do—until I found this list.
I was shamelessly scrolling through Instagram when I found this put-me-back-together list created by Rachel Bell.
This list keeps me moving forward on some of the toughest days. It keeps me from waking up deeply entrenched in my breakdown cave, and I want to shout it from the mountaintops so everyone can get their hands on it.
I can’t get to the top of a mountain, but this will do.
>> Did you sleep well last night?
>> Are you hydrated?
>> Have you breathed deeply?
>> Have you been eating foods that support your cognition?
>> When’s the last time you connected with someone who loves you?
>> Take a cold shower for 45 seconds.
>> Is this problem outside or inside your control?
>> What do you feel?
>> What do you want to feel instead?
>> What do you believe is stopping you from having that feeling now?
>> Ask yourself: “Who or what am I blaming? Am I playing the victim?”
>> Ask yourself: “What lesson is life trying to teach me?”
>> Imagine yourself 10 years in the future. The ultimate, mature, wise, experienced, and “knowing” version of you. This is your higher self. Ask them what they would do if they were in your position. Write it down.
>> Complete one small task that you’ve been putting off or avoiding.
>> Reward yourself with self-care and learning. This will give you a dose of grounded perspective.
“Above all else…Remember that the breakdown always comes right before the breakTHROUGH.” ~ Rachel Bell