So life has gotten messy for you, eh? Yeah, we’ve all been there. Whether it was a tragic event, illness, lots of change, stress, or just some inconvenient procrastination on your part, now your life feels like it’s been derailed. It can feel frustrating and hopeless trying to figure out how to get your life back on track.
Lucky for you, your life falling apart isn’t the end of the world. It just takes some changes, some patience, and some effort to put it back together again. Trust me, my life has fallen apart more times than I’d like to admit in my short life so far, so I know a thing or two about putting it back together. These are the 10+ methods I use to pull myself together and get my life back on track.
There are 6 elements of a strong foundation of self-care: rest, hydration, movement (and exercise), sunshine + fresh air, hygiene, and diet. These are the building blocks of a well-rounded, self-actualized life.
You see, without taking care of these physical things, your body doesn’t function at its prime. And most personal growth is focused changing your thoughts, traumas, mindsets, etc. Well that all goes down in your mind aka your brain.
You know what your brain is? An organ. A very important organ that does better when it has had all its physical needs met. And it is rather hard to figure out how to get your life back on track when you feel physically “eh”. Read all about foundational self-care in this post!
You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond.
If there is one thing certain in life, it is that it is always changing. If you can’t control what happens, but can control how you respond, it makes sense to prepare for some change before it happens.
I’m not saying you need go crazy on the preparing because that just leads to more stress. But life changes. And if you live with anxiety and depression then you know that sometimes mood changes even faster. With those drastic mood changes simple things can become difficult.
Simple preparedness helps in those times where everything is too much and everyday is too hard.
- Have an extra set of sheets + towels always ready. I’m not one for keeping more than you need. But! This is a must in my opinion. You know what sucks when you’ve had a hard day? Your little old dog unable to hold her bladder accidentally peeing in your bed just as you were ready to pass out. Being prepared for little things that will happen at some point help prevent those mole hills becoming mountains.
- Plan a catch up day at least once a month. This is a day you leave completely open (no appointments or firm tasks you have to do that day), to catch up on the things that you feel you’re behind on. Even if that means you spend the day catching up on sleep – use it.
- Meal prep + plan
Meal prep + Plan
Still sort of on the topic of that foundational self-care, set aside some time to meal plan + prep. As we said, food + water are crucial building blocks to your self-care and help you get your shit together.
Knowing what you plan on eating during the week makes life easier. Grocery shopping is simpler, you can plan for spending money on take out on busy nights, and you waste less time aimlessly staring in the fridge unsure of what to make.
Meal prepping doesn’t have to be hard either. It may seem like another pesky thing to add to your already extensive to do list, but I promise you it’s not. Having food prepped and ready to go helps save you time, money, and energy throughout your week.
Clean Your Space
You physical surroundings are a reflection of your internal feelings. If your home and work space are a train wreck, that’s not going to help you feel less like a hot mess on the bs express.
Giving your home a good cleaning helps beyond imagine. There’s all the normal things you should do: laundry, cleaning your bathrooms, vacuuming, mopping, and putting away things in their proper homes. But one area of the home can make a huge difference. But it’s one we kind of just gloss over often.
Your kitchen. Clean it. Like really, really clean it. We don’t realize that the kitchen is often the heart of the home. You prepare your meals there, go there first thing in the morning and last thing at night. People oddly always seem to end up gathering in a kitchen – maybe it’s all the good smells and easy access to food.
For whatever reason, kitchens breathe life into your home. So a clean kitchen can help breathe some life and calmness back into your life. Scrub the counters, wash the dishes, and clean your appliances. Use some simply cleaning supplies like some citrus infused vinegar and enjoy a sparkly, sweet smelling kitchen.
Clear Your Mind
When your mind gets too full of thoughts, nothing productive happens. You can’t get your life back on track when your brain is in a constant fog making it impossible to think clearly.
Meditation, walking, reading a good book, or enjoying your favorite hobby can be excellent ways to clear your mind. They can be relaxing and allow you to filter out the nonsense so that you can go into your day with a clearer head.
But if you find that everything feels important in your head, it may be hard to filter it out. For these cases, list making is great. Getting all your thoughts on paper can help you sort them out by subject and priority which helps you figure out how to get your life on track in easy steps.
Be productive, not busy
Being busy is not the same as being productive. You can be busy all day and get absolutely nothing done. You can be productive and get everything done in a few hours and have the rest of your day to enjoy leisurely.
Being busy sucks. You don’t get your life back on track by being busy. You get there by being consistent and productive.
I have found that I’m most productive when I do these 2 things:
1. Focus on one task at a time. Multi-tasking is a thing for busy people. But single-tasking is for the most productive. Your brain can’t actually focus on numerous things at once so single-tasking allows you to devote your focus to one task at a time. The result is that you finish the task faster and often better than you would multi-tasking.
2. Use the pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro Technique is miracle. It’s easy to use, reduces overwhelm when you have a lot to do, and helps create clear focus.
Check out Kate from Beyond the Safe Harbor’s post on the Pomodoro Technique. She’s awesome and a complete wizard when it comes to productivity and getting out of your comfort zone!
Get your money under control
When it feels like our lives have gotten off track, we are also often having money problems. Money is hard. It can ruin your life if you let it get away from you but it can also make your life 100x easier.
Trying to get your life back on track is much easier when you’re using money to help you, rather than letting it screw you. How do you do this? Well by checking out this post to help you learn to be better and more mindful with your hard earned cash.
Focus on your needs
How often do you actually focus on what you need? We as women are almost expected to care about everyone else. Our families’, friends’, work’s, and pets’ needs all take priority over our needs.
I can tell you from experience that no matter how much you want to help others, you’re no use to anyone if you’re dead. That sounds super harsh but it’s a harsh reality. You cannot run yourself into the ground with the excuse of being “helpful”. The world deserves the best of you, not whatever is left of you.
Take some time and figure out what you need. That includes what you need emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually too.
You may expect that your needs are huge and drastic, but more often than not I’ve found that they may be as simple as taking a nap and having a snack. Not every need needs to be complex. So if you need a day to binge Netflix and have no responsibilities or reason to put on pants, then that’s what you need.
Declutter your digital world
I love technology and the internet as much as any other 20-something. But I’ve got to say it collects a lot of clutter. Clutter is stressful.
Go through your emails and delete the ones you don’t need. Unsubscribe to the ones you don’t want to receive. Delete texts and messages you don’t need. Unfollow people who make you feel bad about yourself.
Your digital world is allowed to be whatever you want it to be. It should be a place that’s useful and helpful but also inspiring and positive. It is an extension of our lives whether we want it to be or not, so our digital world shouldn’t be filled with unnecessary negativity.
I know technically rest is part of the foundational self-care that we already discussed, but I thought it was important enough to make this clear. Rest is not a waste of time. It does not make you lazy. When you rest, you are being productive. Why? Because when you’re resting, you are repairing.
You are allowing your brain to relax and repair it’s neural pathways. You are allowing your muscles to heal and recoup. Resting is sometimes the most productive thing you can do to get your life together.
So if your body is telling you that you’re tired, listen to it. Let it rest. And let your mind rest too. The only miraculous thing that overthinking does to you is drive you crazy.
Calm the f*ck down
Good things take time. Rebuilding your life and getting yourself back on track won’t happen immediately. However, if you freak out, criticize yourself, or are in a constant state of panic, it’s going to be much harder to get it together.
It is definitely scary when life gets turned upside down but remaining calm allows you to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Live each day as it comes and understand that sometimes your biggest task is just to make it through that day.
Life has it’s bumps in the road. And sometimes those bumps feel like giant potholes that give you a flat tire. It may take some extra time to fix your tire and get back on the road, but in the end even the biggest bumps are still bumps in hindsight.
Getting your life back on track isn’t impossible and just like with anything requires some of your bad ass determination and taking steps to improve your life. Start with getting your foundational self-care back on track, it is after all the foundation you set your life upon. Then move on to taking care of yourself and the most important things in your life. Things will fall into place.
You are smart and capable. You’ve got this.