Take care of the little things

“You need to take care of the little things. Even things like brushing your teeth twice a day and putting lotion your legs. I know it sounds stupid, but these are the things we do to feel good about ourselves!”

My friend Casey gave me her take care of the little things speech after I ate a pint of ice cream before 10AM. I’m happy to announce I haven’t housed a container of Ben and Jerry’s this week, but find her $.02 applicable in many situations.

Last week I started a new job—one I’m very excited about. I like the people, the mission, my role and responsibilities—I even like the proximity of my apartment to the office. Here’s what I don’t like: changing my routine.

My routine is the most comforting, reassuring thing about my week

A peripatetic person I may be, but I still find extreme comfort in my routine. A new job, a new apartment, you name it—I don’t know what to do with myself. I have to find a new coffee shop to sit at before work, a new gym to go to, and Lord knows what else. Will I still be able to workout with Will? Can I still go to my Tuesday yoga class? I know it sounds dumb to worry about yoga when I just landed a dream job, but these are the things that make me happy. They’re the things I look forward to.

As I take time to master my new routine—to find a new coffee shop to type blog posts at, to scope-out a new gym—I’m following Casey’s advice. I’m taking care of the little things.

This past week, I took extra time to do all the small things. These things (well let’s be honest they’re the things I secretly hate) make me feel in control of my own life. I rolled my calves each morning, and iced my Achilles each night. I brushed my teeth twice a day, completely removed my makeup, and washed my face before I crawled into bed—no matter how tired I was. I took a lesson from The Happiest Girl in the World, and wrote down five things I was grateful for before I went to sleep.

I am 100 percent aware of how ridiculous this sounds. I’m twenty-seven years old and I’m praising myself for brushing my teeth.

Taking care of the little things gives you confidence to tackle the big things.

When I was in college, there was a direct correlation between the 1) number of homework assignments on my plate and 2) the state of my room. Eventually I took a lesson from my roommate, and started making my bed each morning. No matter how stressed I was, no matter how many piles of clothes might be sprawled across the floor, and no matter how late I was running to class; I still made my bed. It made me feel ready to tackle the day—even if I really wasn’t.

Sometimes you need to fool yourself into thinking you’re in control. When the rest of your life is in transition, when you’re inefficient because you don’t have a routine, and when you’re indecisive because there’s just too many decisions to make; you have to convince yourself you still have a grip on things. You can’t pretend you have things together when your breath stinks and it looks like you haven’t shaved your legs since the eighties. Take care of the little things, and everything else will fall into place.

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