So. I'm sure that I am in good company when I say that 2020 has made me feel that I have zero control over so much of my world. For me, the loss of control started before COVID, so I came into 2020 feeling like my world was out of alignment and that I had lost total control of life. It was horrible!! I'd worked so hard to never be in that space again...yet, there I stood.
I remember venting to one of my closest friends about the space I was in and how things just felt like they were constantly spiraling. I shared with her that not only was I in internal turmoil, but I felt like my environment...my home, my office, my car...were becoming the physical depiction of my internal state. She told me about a book she read and a bit of advise that it gave. This simple piece of advise said "outer order...inner calm". Basically, I needed to begin to regain control of my outer space, which in turn would begin to help shift my inner space.
I decided to start with one very simple action. A very simple thing that I could do every single day, that gave my space a sense of order and also helped me feel in control of something. That one thing, as simple as it seems, was to make my bed everyday.
I mean, duh, you are supposed to do that anyway, right?? Yeah, well, raise your hand if you have ever dealt with anxiety and/or depression. *waiting* If you raised your hand, then you know it takes everything inside of you just to get out of the bed, yet alone care enough to make the bed. But, when I made that commitment to myself, it changed a lot of things for me.
You see, for me this simple action did a few very meaningful things for my mental health:
It set the tone for my day. Making my bed has become the very first goal I set and accomplish each day. It puts me in the mode to press into my other goals and go after them. And even if I don't accomplish anything else, well, at least I did that, so the day wasn't totally wasted.
It gives me a sense of control. I know that many days, especially in 2020, we plan for things to go one way and then the world takes said plans and swallows them whole. But, even when I lose total control around me, I can control this one thing. It helps to keep me grounded in some very strange way.
At the end of the day, no matter how amazing or crappy the day was, I get to dramatically sweep the abundance of throw pillows off the bed, pull back those sheets, and climb into a cool, freshly unwrapped bed. I don't know about anyone else, but I sleep better without the wrinkles...and we all know how good sleep can be for your mental health.
Making the bed may not be your thing. It could be something totally different. Maybe it's getting your workout in each day or cooking a hot meal for yourself or having coffee time first thing in the morning or having tea time as your last moment of the night. Whatever it may be, find it and make it work for your benefit.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that life is not in our control. I could have easily lost it...and trust me, I came very close...during this past year. But, the very simple act of making that bed everyday, in some peculiar way, saved me from going off the deep end. So, even when the days are feeling hopeless and you are beginning to spiral, I encourage you to muster up enough strength to just make the bed.
Light and Love...