A couple weeks ago I asked you on IG stories to comment how you’re feeling in one word. I received hundreds of replies with the following words:
It’s no secret that life is a little unstable right now. I think a lot of us are starting another climb on this rollercoaster of a year with a lot of uncertainty for what lies ahead. When I think about my emotions over the past 5 months going from concern to complete isolation to feeling a little crazy to feeling hopeful about slowly reopening to finding a new normal and back to uncertainty and nervousness for what lies ahead; holy rollercoaster! There are a lot of opinions, a lot of people making you feel like you’re doing something wrong, a lot of questioning and judgement and it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed. I have had to dive deep into myself to build up some tough layers during the past few months to get through this shit storm. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel these things! It’s good to feel these things. And in the end, we are all going to be okay (and better for it).
So today I’m going to share 4 ways to feel better!
- Disconnect. This probably seems obvious but social media is basically one big sea of opinions right now and can sometimes make it easy to feel like whatever you’re doing is wrong. Don’t let the noise drown out your own thoughts and feelings. You should be making choices and decisions based on what you want to do and what is best for you and your family. I know this is hard to do for some but I promise you’re not missing anything. Instead, turn off the screen and read a book, take a walk, listen to music, get outside, do something creative.
- Breathe. I am a huge fan of separating myself from a situation (even if that situation is my screaming children) and taking some deep breaths. Headspace is one of my favorite apps for guided meditation and is a great way to learn where you hold tension in your body and de-stress. It’s amazing what 10 deep breaths or even 10 minutes of getting out of your own head and creating space for other stuff can do for your mental wellbeing. Mindset is everything and I’ve learned that breathing helps me clear away the crap and open up space for the things that I want to occupy my mind.
- Change your environment. I think this is especially important given the circumstances we are in and sometimes that means getting creative. Whether you’re working from home, balancing parenting, living alone or just needing a mental break – changing my environment is HUGE for my energy, motivation and just overall outlook. I find that unless I push myself, I am very comfortable in my comfort zone. I feel safe at home, working from my dining room table or my bed or relaxing on the couch. But I think comfort can also create isolation, loneliness, resentment and a general lack of true content. Even if that means taking my computer outside, turning off the TV and laying barefoot in the grass for 30 minutes while my kids nap or grabbing an iced tea and working from a park. These small changes that get me out of my bubble end up bringing me so much joy! They break me from my pattern and help me walk back into my house (where chores live, dirty dishes, laundry, allll the things) with a different mindset. On a larger scale, rent a house in the woods, take a road trip or find some outdoor space to inspire you.
- Problem or POSSIBILITY. I spoke about this on IG stories and so many of you loved hearing this comparison! My friend Jackie voiced this to me last week and it was very eyeopening. She told me that instead of looking at things as a problem, turn them into a possibility! I am so guilty of dwelling on problems – “my house is a mess, I don’t have enough time to work, my kids are always interrupting me, I have no personal space, I’m tired, I miss my routine” – blah blah blah. I mean if these are my actual problems then I have a problem. Only we have the power to change the way we look at things. Instead of saying “I don’t have enough time to work,” then maybe I use my voice to say “hey Dave, I need a break” OR have our neighbors daughter come over to play with my kids for a couple hours so I can get some work done. Excuses, excuses – be stronger than your excuses. Turn your problems into possibilities! We are debating something that could be a really exciting change for our family and I go back and forth on making excuses for why it may not work when really, they are just excuses. What I’m making a potential problem with the change is actually so much exciting possibility! It’s a really eye opening way to look at things.
I wanted this post to be a reminder that it’s okay to feel all of the things I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I think addressing it, feeling it and letting yourself be sad and have bad days is so important. But I know it’s not something we all want to sit in day after day. These are 4 ways that I help to control the way that I feel and make a conscious effort to feel better.
*I want to note that if you are battling mental health issues, I know that these efforts may not apply to you or you may not feel like these help you. I want to share a few resources that may hopefully help: