Happy Monday, my friends!
I hope your weekend has been a good one, and if you live somewhere cold you have stayed warm. I’m definitely thinking of any of you that live in Texas, what a crazy week!
Saturday was my daughter’s 13th birthday and I cannot believe how fast these years have gone by. She has been a joy from day one (and a challenge lol) and honestly? I love this age so much. We chat, we laugh, we share meme’s, and it has been really good. She is growing into herself and is really an amazing person. I’m so lucky to be her mom.
Let’s get into 3 things to think about this week! I wanted to share a few more things that I do when I am not feeling myself, in particular, when I am anxious and feeling very blah. (Which has been this week! I’m feeling all the things and my body is letting me know that I need to RELAX. I am working on listening;)
1) I tend to notice I am having overly anxious thoughts when my body sends me certain signals. I get dizzy and staring at a screen or reading bothers my eyes. I also start to lose sleep, either I can’t fall asleep or I wake up too early with my mind racing. Then I notice my thoughts are stuck on one particular subject. This week I was thinking a lot about two conversations I had with people that circled back to me obsessing over how “messed up/lacking” I am or how I feel like everything is wrong in my life. It feels overwhelming and I try to hide or make the feelings go away by ‘buffering’ (online shopping, wasting time on the internet, procrastinating projects, etc.) The more I do these things the more bad I feel, and it starts to snowball.
So how do I fix this? I start by reaching for the thing that will make me feel a ‘tiny but better.’ The other day I was sitting on the couch and decided I wanted to get dressed out of the sweats I had slept in. That thought felt a ‘tiny bit better,’ so I did that. Then what? I decided to have lunch because I was hungry, even though it was only 10:30am. SO I did that. Then what? A cup of coffee and filling my diffuser sounded good, so I did that.
Do you see? You never have to decide all of it at once when you feel off, just ask, what would make me feel a tiny bit better? Follow the breadcrumbs and eventually you might feel even a little bit better. We aren’t meant to feel good all of the time, that is the joy of life. We experience contrast because that is the full human experience, to feel. So I feel the feelings and honor them, and pick things that will feel good in the long run. I listen to my intuition and it will lead me to feel just a tiny bit better. It is also deciding to STOP the things don’t make me feel better in the long run. To stop reading that trashy gossip site that feels yucky when I am done, to stop losing hours on online browsing. To stop racing forward to complete a to do list when I am feeling overwhelmed. What can you choose to do that will make you feel a tiny bit better?
2) Something that has helped me as a woman and has been a gamechanger, is to track my cycle with an app and to write down my moods in my calendar on a particular day. I typically just write one word in my calendar on my desk, ‘happy, energetic, tired, anxious, sad, etc.” I’ll just notice it and write it down, and after a few months you might be able to see a correlation between your cycle and your moods. Seriously, I am 40 years old and still surprise sometimes each month when I feel a certain way and just not connecting the dots till later. I find it helpful to see that I almost always feel low energy during a certain week or that I feel better this week and not this week. It makes me feel more in tune with myself and to often have a reason for feeling anxious or sad. As women, we have bodies that work in a cyclical nature with so many things that change from day to day. Not many of us learn how to work with our bodies and honor our feelings during the month. By looking at my calendar I can start to notice that I am always a bit more tender and anxious and needy and it isn’t me being extra sensitive or weird, it’s hormones and normal. It helps me give myself a little grace and look to see how I can support myself better.
3) Something I have learned over the past two years is to allow uncomfortable feelings to be here. They don’t have to be “fixed” or changed, they just need to sit a bit and they will move on. But only IF we deal with them. If we continually push them down and ignore them, they will cause major problems in the future (mainly in our bodies and through sickness.) For years I saw negative feelings as failure and ignored them. I found ways to push through, to pretend all was fine and keep going. I refused to let them “win.” I was like one of those pictures of icebergs that you see, calm on the surface and raging underneath. I projected happiness and perfection, and was a mess underneath.
When I talk about “allowing” all feelings, it means just noticing them when they pop up. When you feel something, ask, “why do I feel like this? What is it telling me?” Our bodies are amazing, and they guide us where we need to go. Our brains hate pain and being uncomfortable and can lead us astray. Just notice and name the feeling.
For instance, if I am feeling bad about my body, my brain might tell me to look at old pictures of myself and make a plan to eat less and work out more and create that body again (which is not healthy for me.) It might feel uncomfortable and tell me to hide behind damaging behaviors that make me not be able to feel bad in the short term (online shop, have more wine than is good for me, waste time online and read judgy websites.) All of these things make me feel BAD long term. They might take the pressure off right this second and feel good in the minute, but afterwards I haven’t dealt with the feelings and I have only ignored them.
My inner self, my body knows what to do. I will hear the thoughts and gently tell myself, “No, that it not true. You are enough as is. You are okay.” My brain will tell me this hurts too much that I should do something NOW to feel better, anything, but I know better. Like I mentioned above, I’ll reach for something that makes me feel a tiny but better. If I listen to my gut, it knows certain things (online shopping) won’t feel better, but getting dressed will. Writing my book will. Journaling will. You will find these things that make you feel better and you’ll notice them and write them down, so that the next time you feel this way you have a plan. I know reading inspiring books helps. Writing my feelings in my journal helps. Visiting a friend helps. Watching a favorite movie helps.
Little by little, I start to feel better. Maybe the next day, or next week. I feel it lift. I can look and see how all feelings (good and bad) pass. This is life. I have always loved the phrase, ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn.” I used to repeat this when I would feel like I was the only one awake at 3am with a new baby. Feelings pass, bad days pass, difficult times pass. Taking deep breathes and repeating mantras and just saying,
“I feel (insert feeling) and I am okay.“
I promise, all feelings, good and bad, will pass if we allow them to sit with us. Observe why they are there, what they are teleing you, and listen to the answers. I promise, it is truly lifechanging.
I hope you all have an amazing week!