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Mental Health

Small Activities Are Slowly Making Me Feel Whole Again

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I’ve recently been feeling super down on myself because I feel like I’m not doing much anymore. I think back to when I was in high school, where I’d wake up every day at 5:30 a.m., go to school all day, go to cheer practice, go to work, then go home and do all my homework and still manage to see my friends. The thought of that now is jaw-dropping (honestly, it sounds like a gross way to spend my day), but I’m convinced that was not me like I don’t know who was inhabiting my body when I was in high school but — present me could never.

Even thinking back about having that busy day, I’m exhausted, like I don’t know if everyone else is experiencing this, but why have I just become so tired after the most minuscule of activities recently? Like I go to the grocery store? Exhausted. Ride my roller skates? I promise you, the rest of my day will be spent in bed. I just don’t know why things that used to fulfill me now drain me so heavily.

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Granted, I do work a lot, and I’m in college, so when I come home from work or class, I just want to relax; I want to lay in bed, eat and watch stupid shows that I don’t even have to pay attention to while I scroll through TikTok (I have to have background noise — sue me.) So, am I being a little hard on myself? Probably, but I just don’t understand what has flipped inside me that has caused me to get drained so quickly.

The more I thought about it, the more conflicted I felt because I’m so about listening to your mind and body and doing what you need to do. So, when I’m exhausted, I want to give my body rest, but then I’m mad at my body for being exhausted when I barely did anything, and it’s this pointless game I play back and forth in my mind and I can never seem to figure out the correct answer.

My solution is getting myself to do one thing that isn’t required of me every day. What I consider to be required of me is things like working, going to class, doing homework, etc. And honestly, I’m not sure if this is the right answer, but it’s what I’m going with because it has been working pretty well since I started doing it a week ago.

Some examples of the small things I’ve been trying to do that aren’t required of me is to go workout, read a book, write in my journal, call up a friend I haven’t talked to in a while, put on a cute outfit to go to the grocery store, paint a picture and deep clean my room. It’s only been a week, so this is what I’ve tried thus far, and honestly, I’ve felt pretty content. It feels nice to know I did something today purely for my enjoyment and not because it was required of me. Only doing things in life that you have to do makes life feel really boring after a while and I think that’s what might have brought on my weird rut feeling I’ve had this past month or so.

It’s so important to give yourself grace and your worth is never measured by the amount of stuff you do in one day. There are days when it feels like all you can physically do is lay in bed, and that is totally okay. Trust me, I’ve been there quite a lot recently. Still, by trying to do one small thing that actually makes me feel happy, I’ve felt enough motivation to get out of bed and do something, and hey, maybe it’s not a lot, but it has left me feeling better than I did before, so I think that progress counts for something. If you feel similar to me, try to do something that’ll make you feel a small light of happiness every day, no matter what it is, it could be doing an intensive skincare routine or having freshly washed sheets and getting into bed with shaved legs (because that combination is so good and probably the only motivation I have to shave my legs ever.) Whatever it is, if you can, do something for yourself because you are so wonderful and deserve to feel fulfilled every day.

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Avery is a student at the University of Central Florida majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Nonprofit Management and a certificate in Leadership & Gender Studies. Avery is passionate about all things mental health and iced green tea. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading someone's birth chart, starting the newest YA novel, crying over Harry Styles, and daydreaming about moving to New York City.
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