A message from my 23-year-old self:
It is amazing what you can find in an oversized closet when you finally clean it. The biggest gem I stumbled across was a self-help declaration written by a much younger me in a time of personal renewal. There are many times during life when I dig deep and decide it is time to make changes. This was one of them. It is helpful for me to remember the quote by Zig Ziglar, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily."
I wish I would have stuck to this particular guideline, but it's never too late to begin again.
10 things I do for me:
1. No self-defeating language.
2. Think of 10 positive statements about each day.
3. Conquer 3 "monsters." (I defined these as tasks I really dislike doing, like laundry, dishes, or sorting through the mail.)
4. Set goals- make rewards.
5. Make a personal mission statement and read it daily.
6. Take 10 minutes at the beginning or end of each day and just breathe.
8. Smile, it releases endorphins.
9. Eat balanced -- drink lots of water.
10. Eliminate or conquer high stressors. We are products of our environment.
If you want to be athletic, then you have to run.
If you want to be patient, then you have to slow down and be kind.
If you want to be disciplined, then you have to just do it.
If you want to be positive, then you have to think positive and talk positive.
I love finding bits of wisdom from my former self. If I were to rethink my list 23 years later, I might add a few more things that I picked up along the way. I might also need to purge some things, like bad habits I acquired over time. The mind needs to be decluttered like the overflowing closet. When filtering through thoughts and feelings, a friend, therapist, or even a journal can be handy when deciding how to reorganize. It's always OK to ask for help. There are people who are willing to listen and offer their sage advice.
The great part of doing some "deep cleaning" is we have the opportunity to find a hidden gem or two that remind us of who we are. Not only is taking an inventory of our physical and mental assets a healthy thing to do, but it is also necessary for further growth. Some things we might have outgrown can be discarded; beliefs that no longer serve us can be tossed. We need to make room for new things, ideas, and possibilities. It's never too late to do a little spring cleaning.
The challenge today is to do some digging and find a nugget of who you are. What made you happy as a child? What dreams and goals did you set for yourself? As George Elliot says, "It's never too late to be what you might have been."
Every day is a new beginning, a chance to take a deep breath and start again. What hidden gem will you unearth?
Kelly Brevig is Suicide Educational Services Coordinator with Evergreen Youth and Family Services.