There is nothing quite like walking out of the haze of a tough season. On the other side is much needed relief and a chance to repair. But what if you have never experienced that “other side”? What happens then? Maybe you have been grinning it out for so long your body is quite literally forcing you to take a breather? Or maybe this is a new concept and you’re looking for a place to start. Below is how I eased myself into changing my course. I know these won’t be just perfect for you, but I’m positive it will help you on along your new path.
One of the first big things I had to change for myself was the way I processed life, career, rising a family, and more life. Podcasts for me was the ticket. I stated listening to every self-improvement episode I could find. Did I like what all of them had to say? Absolutely not. Did I stop? That’s also a no. I really started paying attention to the fragments of information that could be applied to my current life and tossing out the rest. I wasn’t about to drink the cool aid, but I was opening up to some important ideas I had previously dismissed altogether. “You are the average of the top 5 people you spend the most time with” (Jim Rohn) Friends, this applies to the type of noise you allow in your space. Cat videos are great, but not for 4 hours. The radio has been playing the same song every 15 minutes. Did you even notice? Or are you so wrapped up in your negative thoughts to care? Start learning about new things. Pick a topic you’ve always wanted to learn more about and google it. Dig into something. Give it some real effort. This is about finding yourself again. This is a start to a fresh journey and you get the opportunity to explore things outside of your comfort zone. Be open to all the things!
My favorite thing was the “I’m too busy” card. I wore it like a badge of honor. In my mind if I had free time to spare, I should have already filled it with something to do. I needed to hustle, give, do all of the things all of the time. And if I didn’t? The world would explode. Like for real. But where do I find the time? Do you need to start with 5 month long retreat from life? Well if you have a toddler you…. Just kidding. Truth is an hour would be great, but getting up a half an hour early or the few minute you have alone in your car before work is a perfect time. A hot shower turned into “me time”. At this point I was also formulating recipes for The Roan Cow and I had like 50 bars of soap in the shower. I’d be so worked up from the day’s drama all I could do was stare at the tile running up the wall, clinching a bar like it was trying to get away. And then I would start to notice how it felt in my hands. How smooth it felt. How bright and sparkly the colors where under the water. The fragrance would strike a memory and I would find myself smiling. I felt better and my anxiety was buried by a bar of soap.
Making a plan
With the strong suggestion from my therapist, I started mindfulness meditation. I’m not going to lie and be all cute. We’re friends here. This part sucked for me. I was a fidgety mess. I wasn’t a rockstar at it. I was not overly impressed with that part. My mind would wonder around like a lost basset hound and never come home. But I desperate for relief and stuck it out. To my total shock the world did not explode. The dry grass by the diary didn’t even catch on fire. And being quite got a whole lot better. It’s not going to hurt to try. Even something you find silly at first. Try just about anything. But, like don’t try cocaine ok? Try coloring (seriously) or yoga (more on this later) or screaming in your car. Just make a simple plan and stick with it until you see some change.
There will be no one size fits all for your journey. It’s kind of a path you need to blaze a bit on your own. The goal is to feel better. To be better and who better to tell you how it needs to be then yourself. Every day you will be looking to collect tools for your box. Tools to help bring down the anxiety and restore some peace when things get out of hand. Just trust it won’t fall into place all at once or even on its own. Great things are worth working for and I personally think you’re pretty fabulous!