When you feel like you are being pulled in a thousand directions at once, it is easy to lose sight of the daily things you can do to stay strong within your stress. Instead of engaging in vitalizing activities, people typically retreat into bad habits like staying up all night, binge-watching TV, scarfing down junk food, and skipping workouts. They withdraw from friends, are reluctant to try new things, and don’t make time for hobbies. The result is a double dose of stress.
During these difficult times, I recommend being “un-you.” Essentially, it is about doing the opposite of what you feel like doing—i.e.,crawling under the covers with a bucket of ice cream. This is exactly the moment to eat healthy, get enough rest, spend time with friends, show up at the book club gathering, take a walk in the park, look up from the phone, and hold the elevator door for a stranger.
Focusing on things outside of yourself helps defang the stress you are experiencing. There are countless interactions, micro-moments, and decisions we face each day that bolster or deplete our vitality. Sometimes it takes being “un-you” to become a better version of yourself.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire