Stuck. Like a wad of gum on the bottom of your shoe. Like a piece of tape to a freshly painted wall. Like a middle school girl to her bff Jill. Like a thick smear of peanut butter to bread.

Do you ever just feel stuck like that? I do. In fact, at the moment, I feel stuck to the bottom of the sea with weights strapped to my ankles, no scuba mask around my mouth, no air, no sunlight. Drowning.

I’m drowning, screaming for help, but no one’s down here. Pudgy fish, clumps of seaweed, gargantuan crabs, yes, but there is nothing, nothing down here in the depths of the sea with a brain larger than a pebble. Only me.

My skin is pruning. My vision is clouding. My breath is running out.

And yet I haven’t given up. I will reach the surface — I have to. I refuse to stop reaching for the sky. I refuse to let the cold water engulf my lungs, to let the scavengers come for my limp body, to lose myself, to lose hope.

No, water will not engulf my lungs — because this situation is hypothetical. It’s an allegory. It’s a deep dive into my mental state (yikes, right?). The current pulling me into the trenches of the sea is not real. Which means I can get out. I can get out. And you — you, over there, the person who feels stuck like me, can get out too.

To do so, however, we’ll have to take action — we’ll have to do more than just think positive thoughts. So I’m ending the depressing talk now; I’m taking action, and I’m sharing with you how I plan to do it. Without further ado, here’s short a list of things that I will do to improve my well-being.

Side note: I’m no expert on mental health, so don’t take what I’m saying as law.

  1. Wake up. Look in the bathroom mirror. Tell myself something I like about myself. My nose is adorable. Also, not only can I divide, but I can do long division too — and that takes skill.
  2. Keep a log of things I’m thankful for. For example, I’m thankful for my lil dog. He’s the greatest damn thing on this planet (besides a tub of ice cream, a spoon, and a mindset of determination).
  3. Go for a walk. Or the gym. Or yoga or something. Get my body moving. Get my endorphins pumpin’!
  4. Make time for breakfast. Gobble down something that’s both tasty and healthy — like warm oatmeal (here’s a recipe) or chia seed pudding (here’s a recipe).
  5. Soak up the sunlight. Go outside for five minutes before I leave for work and five minutes when I get home from work. Close my eyes, breathe deep, and soak up that serotonin (yes, I realize that’s not exactly how it works).

Below, share some things that you do that fill you with light, ease your stress, or make you smile. Let’s help each other find happiness.

Gigi Nally

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