Read Here: 10 Ways To Take Your Life Back When You’re Broken

There’s an old, outdated assumption that time heals all wounds. But I believe this to be untrue. In the words of Dr. Phil, “Time doesn’t change us. It’s what we do with that time that changes us.” We are all more than capable of taking control back into our own hands when life knocks us down. It’s just a matter of doing so deliberately. Of making changes that will move us forward. Of finding a way to progress with purpose, rather than simply letting life knock us around into whoever we will become next. When you’re feeling lost and disheartened with life, here are 26 simple methods of taking your power back.

1. Get In Shape.

Strong bodies and strong minds go hand-in-hand. Forget about how your workout routine is making you look and start focusing on how it makes you feel – on the strength, the dedication and the structure that it brings to your mindset. By harnessing your physical power, you’re reminding yourself that you’re capable of so much more than you used to be. In the words of Jillian Michaels, “Fitness isn’t about a crunch or a push up. It’s about taking your power back.”

2. Get out of town.

Take a day, a week or a month to escape your usual surroundings and welcome in the world outside your doorstep. Sometimes a change in mindset is as simple as a change in scenery – and being away from home allows you the space, the freedom and the tranquility to heal on your own terms.

3. Rewrite your story.

The past is nothing more than a story we repeat to ourselves – and allowing ourselves to understand this is an incredibly liberating notion. Visit a narrative therapist who can help you re-frame your experiences, or journal them out until you’re able to come to a new understanding of why things happened the way they did. Learn to pinpoint the opportunities for growth within the destruction of your past – and then move forward with those opportunities close to your heart.

4. Invite new people into your life.

The positive effect we are able to have on one another as humans is immeasurable. Sometimes the best way to heal from the toxicity of past relationships is to allow the beauty of new ones to flourish. We all end up thinking, behaving and being like the people we spend the most time around – so choose the ones who make you want to be the best possible version of yourself.

5. Tell your story.

Be honest about your past. Share the pain of everything that’s happened to you and allow your strength in moving past it to inspire other people. Don’t hide or downplay anything that feels important to you. Refuse to apologize for where you’ve been.

6. Be disciplined about self-care.

When we’re sick, we take particular care to rest, drink fluids and take medicine – even if it temporarily impedes on our productivity. When we’re struggling emotionally, we have to take care of ourselves in much of the same way. By making self-care a priority, you are setting yourself up for a quicker and infinitely less painful recovery.

7. Change your appearance.

Sometimes we need a deliberate outward change to reflect a subtle internal one. By altering your hair, makeup or style, you’re concretely welcoming change into your life – and recognizing that it can be a good thing. In fact, it can even be something that happens on your own terms.

8. Quit what isn’t working for you.

When the stakes are down and our lives are lying in shambles, we are paradoxically awarded the ideal opportunity to start over. Use your ill fortune as the excuse you’ve been waiting for to walk away from that shitty job, toxic relationship or commitment that is making you miserable. If you’re going to be forced to start over, you might as well do it once, the right way.

9. Give yourself permission to let go.

Not everything that happens to us has to have a meaning or a lesson. If your past no longer serves you, give yourself permission to let go and forget about the pain that has been holding you back. You dictate your story and you don’t have to place emphasis on anything that makes you feel small.

10. Connect with people who’ve been through something similar.

Seek out the words, company and comforts of those who understand what you’re going through. Read their stories, cherish the wisdom they’ve gleaned and use it as a constant, pervasive reminder that you are never alone.