It’s the small, consistent things that make my mood brighter and keep myself feeling put together. Throughout the day, I’ll do random things like organize my desk or put dishes where they belong. Go for a walk.

Thinking about life as one big picture stresses me out so I try to think simply and slowly. A little at a time. My natural tendency is to look at everything all at once and it overwhelms me.

I start to overthink and over worry. And when that happens, I get nothing done. My chest hurts and I sit there trying to rub the ache away but that doesn’t work.

That isn’t how I want to feel every day though, so I make the effort to slow down and do something small. I’ll brush my hair. I’ll write out my tasks, and then tell myself to only focus on that task until it’s done.

Then I’ll do something random but rewarding like eat a fruit, and then work on a lecture. Finish that, do the next. Such a simple concept and yet it hasn’t become second nature.

This formula works for me though and it is something I have to consciously choose to enact every day. The first thing I do when I wake up is smile.