A Tiny Life Hack

Some days I just wake up in a dark place, and I can’t get out of it. I look out at the ocean and don’t give a fuck that it’s there, and then I beat myself up for not appreciating this amazing place I live. I know I should appreciate it, but my brain just can’t get on board.

“What if you started your days with a positive affirmation?” my therapist asked. “I say a little prayer every morning before I wake up to set the tone for my day.”

I’ve been saying “thank you for giving me another day” every day since I wake up, and so far it’s been a helpful way to start my day.

“And what do you do when you first wake up?” she asked…knowing my answer.

“I, um, roll over and check Instagram…” I replied sheepishly. “But! I’ve been taking an Instagram break!” (At the time, it had been a whole 24 hours.)

“Well, no wonder you’re starting your day with all these negative feelings—think of all you’re consuming from the moment you wake up, immediately comparing yourself to others’ workouts, travel, whatever.”

If you’re anything like me, it’s probably become a reflex at this point to check Instagram or other social media in moments of boredom, and/or first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

I’ve been signed out of my Instagram all week other than for a little while today, and I’ve found a really healthy replacement for myself.

While I was trying to think of affirmations, I downloaded Gabby Bernstein’s Miracles Now card app, based on her Miracles Now book. The app (which isn’t free, it’s $4.99, boo) has 62 different affirmations. (The cards are also available in a physical form if that’s more your jam.)

Now, when I want to check Instagram, I look on the app instead to get an affirmation, which feels much better than refreshing Instagram looking for that elusive hit of dopamine.

As I said, part of the reason I’m chilling it on Instagram is to stop the comparison game. As soon as I downloaded the app, this is the FIRST affirmation I saw. Hi, Universe, I hear you.

(Another Instagram strategy is to only follow accounts that are positive/good for your mental health. I have unfollowed most people I was following from my dog’s Instagram and am now following positivity and positive psychology accounts, so that if I *do* feel like scrolling, I’m seeing good stuff.)

I’m certainly not off the ‘gram for good, but as I’m focusing on school and what fills me up (writing, not scrolling), this feels good right now.

Any little life hacks that have helped you lately?

3 comments on “A Tiny Life Hack

  1. Keith w Petersen

    Well as you said, for goodness sake avoid social media. It’s a blackhole.

    I’ve recently had some negative (life changing and not life threatening) diagnoses. Certainly, it’s been a disappointment, surprise, shocking.

    At some point in our prayers, we should also begin to add, “Pls God, give me the grace and strength to accept these crosses that you are giving me”. Certainly, we should always still ask for the cup to be removed. Accepting God’s will does not limit us in fact in frees us more. Just ask to walk in the light that he has shown us.

    Gratitude, as you’ve also noted, is a big part, too. As the great philosopher Satchel Page once said, “If you pray when it rains, you ougtha pray when the sun shines.”

    There is, for me, great comfort in uniting my pain to the holy sacrifice of the cross. i have found on many “sport blogs” a real hatred for Christianity and any mention of religion. Not sure why. Just offering up my experience and a hope that someone else will find my experience of some merit.


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