HOW TO STAY INSPIRED + FOCUSED THROUGH ROUGH TIMES..
Have you ever had a time in your life where you feel like literally everything comes crashing down? It could be a really bad week, a really bad month, or sometimes even an extended period of time.. that mostly feels like an entire decade. Maybe you're going through a long-term breakup, or you lost someone who you thought was your best friend.. maybe a recent diagnosis wasn't in your favor, or you lost a loved one.. maybe your loss is a job/employment. However you spin it, it SUCKS. The pain is real, the struggle is hard, and major life changes are one of the hardest things we have to overcome as humans. :::::::::everyone begins to relate:::::::::::
The reason I am writing this is because the past 5 months of my life has been a series of unfortunate events. Recently, a close friend who also has their own business asked me, "How are you ok? How do you even get out of bed, let alone design." I was shocked when I responded without even thinking with, "Well it's brutal, it sucks, but you know what? I don't think I've ever felt better and more inspired to better myself. It'll workout, and I'll be thankful this happened eventually." And it was true. However, my "ways of dealing" were absolutely not like this in the past. Quite frankly, they were a fucking disaster.
Did the Cali living chill me out? Was I just getting older? Was it the years of every possible type of therapy finally kicking in? Whatever the reason, I felt okay and at peace. And more creative, and psyched on my business than ever before. I will say that it is extremely tough to be a creative or emotional person or an entrepreneur, and go through life changes. In my younger days, I was not functional, could not focus on anything but the issues at hand, would skip out on school or work to have a "mental health day", or even SPIRAL out of control blaming everything possible except myself for my sadness... WE HAVE ALL BEEN GUILTY OF THIS. IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT. MENTAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT.
I learned that happiness is a choice. You have control, and can focus energy however you choose to. I also learned that... eating in bed for days does not make you more attractive and leads to dry cleaning bills, crying about someone doesn't bring them back, partying your face off in any substance only leaves you feeling guilty, ashamed, and hungover/drained of serotonin. So, how do you train your brain not to spiral down the rabbit hole into the land of negativity? How do you get yourself to boost endorphins? How do you harness angry/sad/heartbroken/ energy into positive + productive energy? Well.. like everything else, it takes work.. but compiled below are a few things that I know have helped me tremendously throughout my journey, especially over the past few months to stay healthy, happy, and creatively inspired.
TIPS TO HARNESS YOUR ENERGY + DEAL IN A POSITIVE WAY
1. ALLOW A MENTAL HEALTH DAY.. OR 5. Give yourself that time. Take your day off work. Order extremely fattening takeout. Wear the SAME pajamas 3 days in a row. Don't shower (hey it works for me)! Let your close friends + fam know that you are ALIVE, but going into isolation for bit, then get rid of your phone/computer. Delete phone numbers if you have to (if you're like me you delete #'s you already have memorized just to feel like that person is OUT), refrain from posting nasty/sad quotes on social media, or writing emotionally charged texts you may regret. Soak it in, mark in your calendar when you'll be back to real life, and then get up + MOVE ON!!!!
If your business NEEDS social media updates, I suggest getting the app Planoly to plan out your feed in advance. Don't skip out on $$ making abilities, you'll need it for reason #2.
2. RETAIL THERAPY. Once you've made your way out of bed. Get out your house + enjoy shopping/activities like we all did in 2003. This forces you to be out on a mission, to have small talk, and to TRY to get yourself excited for something. Prior to heading out, look at your funds. Set aside the amount you CAN spend. Whether you buy a 30 min Thai Massage to loosen you up, a new pair of shoes, or a new phone, enjoy it. Give yourself a little present before you get serious again!
Mine were these shoes... to use in a shoot.. ironically, this is my most "liked" photo on instagram to date. #successful
JEWELRY BY STICKS + STONES | ROSEOLA BOOTIES BY JEFFREY CAMPBELL VIA LF STORES
3. DON'T SKIMP ON FITNESS, GET OUT THERE! Ugh, I sound like a mom or maybe just my mom. But seriously, go do your thing. I am the WORST with being active when I feel negative. But then I think about how much worse this all will be when my favorite clothes won't fit, and I force myself to go. In lazier or tension filled times, my go-to is Yin Yoga. It releases all your fascial tissue (which is so tight when you're tense), makes you feel leaner, and totally clears your head. If you're in LA, go to Sweat Yoga in Santa Monica.. the class is dark, and candlelit (no body shamers), it's hot AF which will help sweat out some toxins, + you get the best smelling, cold towel at the end which truly feels like a reward. If you're in Philly, there's NO PLACE better than Amrita Yoga's Yin class. The ambiance is everything. You will forget that you're in the 6th largest city in the country, and truly find relaxation.
Also, REVENGE BOD. This is not just for breakups. This is for everything. Pick a REASONABLE/REALISTIC celeb bod to inspire you + get on it. Save a pic to your phone, or put it on your mirror to help curb your excuses... Can you guess who my dream bod is? Comment below!
4. DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! *Please skip to the next tip if you're easily offended. Sorry to break it to you.. but YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL. You are not the only person that bad things happen to. Everyone gets fired at least once. Friendships don't last forever, People are not always what they seem. Your trust will get broken. You will get stabbed in the back. When you first realize that your situation is not special (this is a big one, it took me close to 27 years), it will start to get better. For some reason, this was in your cards, and it is what it is. Now here's your choice, do you want to let go of what actually makes you special? Harness your energy into what you're good at. No one can take that away from you.
5. GET RID OF THE TOXIC! Whether it's for the time being, or permanent, do NOT surround yourself with people you know are negative. You know how everyone has THAT friend? The one that seems to always minimize your feelings/accomplishments, and somehow make it about them? Yeah, DELETE. How about the friend that secretly LOVES when you're not doing so hot because they're continuously competing/comparing? YEP, DELETE. There is a person for everything, learn how to see them + hang accordingly. Are you going to go to your friend who has never had a serious relationship and expect relationship advice? NO. Are you going to seek career advice from your friend who has never had a legit job? NO. Now think of your happiest friend. Your most fun friend. Your most talented friend. The reliable friend. Maybe they aren't so close to you, maybe they're just someone you know that inspires you. The list goes on..but remember! Negativity spreads like wildfire, get away from it. F** it. You don't owe anyone an explanation to why you're taking some time for yourself.
6. MEDITATE, IN WHATEVER FORM. Anyone who knows me, knows I cannot sit still or shut up for very long. I have tried endlessly to meditate. I have downloaded all the apps (which I recommend if you are not a severe case of ADHD), I have listened to the Youtube tutorials, and I still cannot get it together. BUT, I absolutely can + do listen to TedTalks, and frequently lay down, shut my eyes + choose a topic I need to hear.
Here are a few of my FAVE TED Playlists that could be helpful! click on titles
MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE TEDTALK <<< WE CAN ALL RELATE TO THIS, IT IS SO ON POINT, AND FUNNY TO HEAR! GOOD FOR AN EVERY DAY REALITY CHECK. YOU ARE HUMAN!
Love, Loss, Cheating, Relationships <<< if your relationship is for shit.
Grief, Death + Views on Life <<< if you've just lost someone, or are on the verge of losing yourself.
Success, Feeling Inspired + Creativity << when you're feeling like the ultimate loser.
Depression, Anxiety + the Downward Spiral << when you're just so ovez
ALL PHOTOS BY: JOHN DIONISIO
Mental health is so important, and unfortunately we live in a society where it is viewed as "weak" to express how we feel. Expressing yourself + recognizing there's a problem is the first step to freedom. If you've gotten that far, you're ahead of the game. Whether you're having a bad week, or you are legit at rock bottom, seeking help of any sort is not the worst thing you could do. Doing nothing is the worst thing to do.
Comment below + share what helps you when you're struggling. You never know who you could help, encourage or inspire.
As always, thanks for reading! Here's a coupon code exclusive to the blog for the Leela Backpack I am wearing. Valid on Leela in Gold/Gunmetal ONLY. "Blog" for 15% off.