Self-Care Sunday: Giving Your Hope a Jumpstart
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you…
I'll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I'll rise unafraid
I'll rise up…
All we need, all we need is hope
Sometimes life beats you down so much so that it feels hopeless, pointless, or downright frustrating. For the past couple of months I have been hit with a number of unforseen, unplanned, and stressful situations that have left me depleted. I am usually a very optimistic person, always trying to find the good in everything, but I had become the complete opposite. I found the fault and the failure in everything. I capitalized on the negative, which only brought my disposition down even further. In the past, have gone at it alone, eventually pulling myself out of the funk.
But this time I called in my reinforcements. I didn't want to feel terrible everyday. I didn't want to believe that things wouldn't get better and work in my favor. I reached out to my network of friends, family, framily, and loved ones: I asked for encouragement, good vibes, prayers, and positive energy. In a matter of hours it started to work.
When I reached out, I found so much love and affirmation. I listened to friends, I cried, I prayed, I read. My friend who is going through her own transition gave me cards of affirmation that helped her through her trying time. And three days in I am already reading and hearing the things that I need to boost my confidence and hope.
I dug up a book that someone gave me twelve years ago called God Always Has a Plan B and from the very first page I received this quote "If you focus only on what it's like to fail in certain areas of your life, you could be drawn into the downward spiral of dejection." And that's what has been happening for the last two months. Harping on my failures which eventually led to me feeling rejected and dejected.
The last two weeks was really eye-opening for me. It was the quickest I have ever been able to to rebound from a period of hopelessness. I didn't even think it was possible to do, but I have now experienced it for myself. I learned a lot of things including that I was far stronger than I thought I was. Here are some of the things that worked for me:
1. Choosing to not worry about what I can't control.
Sometimes there are simply some things that are completely out of our control, especially when it comes to relationships and people. Letting go of my inability to control those situations gave me so much peace. I was then able to focus on the things I could control and began to take immediate steps toward those things. One of the most important things that I realized that COULD control was my attitude toward those situations. Even though you may not feel like you have any control, that is actually your most powerful and effective attribute. Use it to your advantage. Impacting your thoughts is half the battle.
2. Realizing that I was loved and admired.
Chances are, if you are a normal human being, you have probably been through a hardship of some kind. As a result you have probably grown tremendously and picked up some allies along the way. When I reached out to my network, I was overwhelmed with how much support and love everyone was willing to send my way. Simply asking for support without even having to disclose what was going on was very uplifting. Of course I knew that I was loved, but sometimes it's a real boost to be reminded. If you allow people to show you love and support, you will receive it; and yes, don't be too prideful to ask for what you need. I simply asked for prayers or positive vibes and that was enough for me. In addition some of my friends reached out and I was able to vent and bounce ideas off of them. I realized that I had more allies than I thought.
3. Listen for and seek out encouragement.
The old adage goes "seek and you shall find." If you seek out encouragement you will find it. Over the last couple of weeks even my social media newsfeed has been filled with encouragement, simply because I began proactively look for it. I proactively searched for my "God Always Has a Plan B" book and began to read that. I sought out encouraging words on YouTube and Periscope. And yesterday a song, "Rise Up," found me (quoted above). I had never even heard of the song but happened to hear it at the end of my Zumbathon yesterday. It was released last year, yet it was for this moment in my life that I needed to hear it the most.
For those feeling hopeless I am sending positive vibes your way. I believe that you will have better days. May your hope be restored.
The Body Buffet creates handmade artisan soap, shampoo, conditioners, spa bars, beard care, body wash and more for Baltimore, the DMV, and beyond. We have been creating conditioning skin-loving, hair-loving, since 2009. Visit our shop at www.thebodybuffet.com. Marquita Johl is the soaper-in-chief and a self-care advocate. She has been crafting soap for eleven years.