Ever stop to breathe and realize life has spun out of control, taking you with it? Your stress levels are off the charts, emptiness gnaws at the inside of you, and the temptation to cash it all in and start over is reeling you in like a snagged fish on a line.
Yeah, I've been there, too.
Things can get real unhealthy real fast.
One thing leads to another and before you know it, you're fed up with your life and there's a sinking realization that this isn't what your life is supposed to look like.
Here's the good news, you can come back from that place. You can find health again. It's not too far out of reach.
Let me help you with some steps (not necessarily in order) that will help you move toward health in your spirit:
1. Vent in Prayer
God doesn't mind your mess, especially when you let Him get His hands on it. Whatever is going on inside you, bring it to Him and get it off your chest.
2. Take a moment to revisit the big picture
The temptation to trade our future success for a momentary indulgence is never stronger than when we're exhausted and hurting. Taking the time to remember where you're headed can save you from making some costly mistakes.
3. Carve out time to linger over something that's good for you
Time with God. A healthy meal. The conversation with that person who has the ability to help you get your head straight. A long walk. Brushing your teeth (hey, I like brushing my teeth).
4. Find a Bible verse that speaks to your soul and let it sink deep
Turn it into artwork. Memorize it. Write a song. Text it to a friend and pretend like you found it for them. Do what you have to in order to make it personal.
5. Read a good book
Not one of those books with an ending that makes you want to throw it at the wall. Ask a friend for a recommendation and read something that inspires you to live a bigger story.
6. Write a letter of appreciation
Think of someone who's influenced your life for the better and write them a physical letter. (Scanning and emailing it to them totally counts, because who has stamps these days?)
7. Learn something new
Not something stupid that doesn't actually matter. Take the time to learn something that intrigues you and makes you want to keep learning.
8. Celebrate saying NO to something that's unhealthy
When you refuse to give into temptation, take a moment to relish it. Being in control feels good. Let it put a smile on your face.
9. Do something kind for someone else
Put your own needs on hold and love someone else, without any expectation of the gesture being returned. Breathe deep and appreciate the joy of giving.
10. Go to church and pretend like it's your first time
Remember the moment you awakened to God's love? Let the newness of it wash over you and banish all thoughts of being not good enough or beyond redemption.
11. Read Psalm 51 and see it through King David's eyes
Look for key thoughts that made this passage of Scripture a catalyst to David's comeback story after he committed adultery and murder. Why did he pen those words? What do they mean to you?
12. Clean house and get rid of temptation
Don't keep poison on the same shelf as the milk. If there are things that keep tripping you up, do whatever it takes to get them as far away as possible.
13. Find good friends and enlist their help
It might take work to discover or spend time with them. Put in the effort. Just being around them refreshes you and inspires you to make good choices.
14. Force yourself to do what you know you should but don't want to
Decisions have a domino effect. You're more likely to eat healthy on the days you get up to work out. And you're more likely to eat junk food when you slump on the couch to binge watch Netflix. Tip the domino in the right way.
15. Refuse to be a victim
Own your mistakes and weaknesses. Don't blame your failure on what someone else did or didn't do. Make sure the words that come out of your mouth line up with that truth.
16. Don't compare yourself to others in a negative way
You're on your own journey. Other people can inspire you and give you tools for success, but don't try to force your story into their timeline or steps of progression.
17. Break up with condemning thoughts
Not in one of those "off again, on again" relationships, but for good. Condemnation isn't from God. Immediately banish those thoughts the moment they show up at your door.
18. Learn to think about yourself the way God thinks about you
Some good verses to help you with this are Psalms 139, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:31-39, Ephesians 5:2, and Colossians 1:9-14. Spend some time going over them and letting them dig into your heart.
19. Make a plan for where you want to be
Nothing is more frustrating than aiming for something without knowing if you're actually hitting the target or even getting close. Learn what it looks like to be healthy and the steps it will take to get there.
20. Develop a realistic timeline for progress
It took more than one decision to find yourself in an unhealthy spot. A whole new set of habits is required to get you out of it. You're setting yourself up for discouragement if you expect overnight change.
21. Don't make excuses and put things off until tomorrow
Wherever you're at, start there. Pray the prayer. Have the conversation. Make the plan. It's doesn't have to look perfect, just get going. You'll be one step closer than you are right now.
22. Listen to the Comeback Series
Other stories of people coming back from setbacks or failure will inspire you to press in and not give up. Let the Holy Spirit highlight the parts of the message that specifically relate to you.
23. Ask someone to pray for you
When we're struggling, other people can often pray more faith-filled prayers for our lives than we can for ourselves. Even if you feel awkward, it's worth the ask to have someone pray for you.
24. Change up the scenery and schedule
Mark Batterson often says, "A change of place + a change of pace = a change of perspective." If you can, get away for a few days or just change up your schedule. Try getting up a little earlier than usual.
25. Don't isolate yourself
You need people on this journey. The most dangerous thing you could do is pull away from those who care about you. As tempted as you might be to build the walls and hide behind them, press into the relationships that can help you get healthy again.
There's no one formula for a comeback, but hopefully, some of these things can help you move forward when you feel stuck. God has great plans for your life. Don't let a setback or difficult season steal your faith for what is up ahead. There's a healthier, stronger, more confident and gracious you waiting just around the corner.