Do this over five days or five weeks. Set your own pace.
Day 1: Build an intimate network of peers
Realize you’re not alone. Reach out to a friend/s from the past and ask for support however you need it: a standing 1:1, a regular meetup you attend together, an ad hoc online group. Join a slack channel. One friendly voice can make a huge difference and chances are you’ll realize you already have this in place, just needs a little coaxing.
Day 2: Clear the slate
Audit social media accounts and other places you show up online. Edit/cull/archive/delete/make private those pieces that you no longer want to embrace. This may or may not include deleting past content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Medium, etc. (Or leaving platforms entirely). Think about how to be okay with those pieces of content you cannot control, e.g., content already published and in the wild.
**Bonus: Replace your face.
Update profile photos and cover photos for your online presence — new headshot, new landscape, new symbol, have fun. Whatever feels more like you.
Day 3: Define your boundaries
You can take this to mean whatever you want. Draw your lines in the sand. For me, it meant not trying to do 1,000 things and to just do one. Everything outside of that one task is simply off-limits. When I say no, I always do it with this boundary in mind.
**Bonus: Practice saying no
Say NO to something. Opt out. Remember you don’t have to give a reason.
Day 4: Improve your work space
Declutter, dust, clean, optimize where you work. Plants. Never too many plants.
**Bonus: Cull the closet.
Dress the way you want to feel. (For me, a call to reject fast fashion and stop working from home in my pyjamas all day!)
Day 5: Reward yourself with positive feedback
Get feedback from peers or colleagues about your strengths and accomplishments. In particular, what about working with you have they enjoyed. This should be a shameless plug to boost your self-esteem. It takes bravery to put yourself out there, so if you post your request and hear crickets, be brave again: tag specific people you would really like to hear from. Take your feedback and get some new LinkedIn recommendations if you wish (with permission of course), or just pat yourself on the back.
That’s it! I hope by the end of this process you’ll feel better, I did.
If the 5 day thing didn’t work for you, try the full 30 day plan (it’s free, no strings attached). It was originally written from the perspective of a designer, but I think can work for anyone.