How to Reclaim Your Life

Imagine this: You finally move to the big city with your best friend after the two of you had dreamed about it for decades. Nothing felt more triumphant than facing the busy streets of Vancouver with your childhood bestie, that you love like family. Though nothing felt worse than when they left you shortly a couple of months after moving. They met the “love of their life” and they were ready to move on friendship-wise. After all, the city was oozing with networking opportunities and you’re just not enough anymore.

That was the narrative of a friend of mine that I worked with at a garden center over the summer. We formed a deep connection because we both were going through a lot of emotional turmoil when we met.


The truth is, sometimes the world feels like it’s conspiring against us, especially if many unfortunate and bad things happen to us in a short period of time.  I want to make this article for you folks who are going through something big in your life. Let this be your gentle guide.


I remember the moment that I began feeling like the land I stood on could not carry me. It was a feeling I got after breaking down. The breakdown was so poorly timed and I needed to go to work shortly after. So I picked myself up and reminded myself that I had to do my best to keep my performance up. I felt so powerful at that moment that I began to fight back as much as I could.


I started making meetings with counselors, seek support from friends and family, going to the gym, eating healthier, trying to focus on my career a lot more, etc. And I found that in doing all those things I started to really find peace within myself even when there was chaos surrounding me.


Elisabeth Kubler-Ross theorized the 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). I found that acceptance was the beginning of reclaiming your life. I, therefore, wanted to introduce the 5 stages of reclaiming your life. The first is acceptance.



Acceptance is when you can finally allow yourself to acknowledge what happened to you had a massive impact on your wellbeing. It’s to finally allow yourself to express what’s inside on the outside as well. Your reality becomes more clear to you. As much as I believe that people need to take the time they need to reach this point, I also want to assert that each moment you are alive could be greater than the next.


In this stage, you might start to notice that you are being expressive and transparent with yourself about the situation you’re going through.



A big part of resiliency is reaching out to others for support. People can offer wisdom, compassion, and a feeling of belonging if they share similar hardships in their life. But compassion also extends to yourself. A massive problem I dealt with was self-doubt. I felt like because I had gone through so many bad things, that the problem might be me, or that maybe I couldn’t trust myself anymore. It became clear to me though, that I lacked compassion for myself.


Everything that we go through in this life offers some kind of lesson that we may have not had the opportunity to learn in another part of our lives. Be sure in yourself and allow yourself to learn from your grief rather than resent yourself for it.


Goal Setting


Start a manifestation journal. Or set out goals for yourself. If your life had become disrupted by grief, then it’s a good time to ask yourself where you want to see yourself in 3 months? For myself, I set out to work out more regularly, increase professional connections, work more on my personal portfolio, and become less avoidant.


What could be improved in your life? What can make you more fulfilled? There are many aspects in your life that you could attempt to improve. Of them could be Social, Interpersonal, Professional, Mental, Spiritual, and Physical aspects.




Building habits is all it takes to work toward goals that you have. Unfortunately, building habits can be difficult. Knowing how habits work could be a good way to start. Habits work in a sequence of neurological events called habit loops. It consists of: A cue, a routine, and a reward.


Cues are anything that reminds you of the habit you want to partake in. Going to the gym at the same time every day, time of day becomes your cue. Cues are all about building associations. If you have a changing schedule, your cue can be associated with what you’re feeling. For example, on any day that you are feeling anxious, anxiety could be your cue to work out that day.


The routine is the desired behavior. What do you want to do every morning for yourself? What habits do you want to incorporate into your life?


The final element is the reward. Treat yourself when you feel like you had a healthy and productive week, your body deserves it.




The last step is the most self-explanatory but also probably the hardest. For one it has an indefinite quality to it. For another, it’s easy to fall off of routines that you’ve built especially if you haven’t done them for a long time. I would say that so far I have maintained some healthy habits by always reminding myself what I want in this life. Don’t get lost in the crowd, always know yourself, and where you’re going.


My grandmother always use to tell me to study hard, work hard, and eat healthily. She would express what she wants to see me achieve and then always end by saying “and I’m telling you this because you are precious and you deserve the best”. Reclaim your life, and give yourself what you deserve.


“If you hold your hand closed, nothing good can come from it. The open hand is blessed, for it gives in abundance, even as it receives”?


Biddy Mason

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