People can tell you a million times that life could get worse, they can tell you to focus on the positive, to stop stressing and over thinking. The reality is until you make this decision for yourself, all of that advice is useless. Of course, it means something that you have people there to give it to you, but the actual words that they say just bounce right off of you. Trust me, we all have those days where your brain feels like it’s covered in this impenetrable barrier, where it feels like nothing and no one can make it stop turning and spinning.
It’s up to you to make it stop. No one else can make that decision except you. It doesn’t matter if you have the world’s best support system, or no one, when your brain gets going and the stress takes over it’s up to you make it stop. It has to be your choice to breath, to let go, and to realize that if life has you this twisted than you need to stop and take care of yourself before you continue on.
The day I decided to start taking care of myself, my life changed drastically. The effects were small at first, but before I knew it the changes were getting bigger and easier to make. I started wanting more. I started wanting life and everything it had to offer. I started to imagine.
I’m still a student; I still have to do homework; I’m still buried in debt; I still have to go to work. I still have off days and get sad sometimes. I still have to go to the gym; I still don’t know what I’m going to do with my life or how to even remotely be an adult. My everyday life didn’t change all that much, but my outlook did.
The day I decided to start taking care of myself, all of these uncertainties and obligations started to become lighter. I started to realize the endless hope that lies in uncertainty and the immense privilege that lies in obligations. I started to imagine the possibilities of my life. With every path I dreamt of, I started to believe in myself more and more. Not because I figured out which path to take, but because I knew no matter which I ended up on, that I would be absolutely fine. No matter where life takes me I will always continue to rely on the strength inside me and know that it will carry me forward.
The day I started taking care of myself, I began to feel alive. I started singing a little louder, dancing a little harder, and caring a little less about the details. I started to do the things I love for myself. I started to write the words I needed to express, not the words others needed to hear.
Life is far too short to live it for anyone except yourself. You owe it to the people you love and to yourself to take care of yourself first. In the end, your happiness will affect the entire world around you.
Feature image via meredithmickelson.