An easy way to simplify your life and get into the habit of doing things you care about is to create routines.
It could be a morning, evening or exercise routine.
Lets take the morning, start by thinking about what the best way to start your day would be.
In-fact make a list. Maybe you want to feel a certain way or you know that if you don’t do x, y, z your morning won’t run smoothly.
And so that might mean setting an earlier alarm so you have the time to fit in what you want to do, not watching YouTube or going on social media so you can start your day by just focusing on you or preparing things the night before.
Your morning could consist of a combination of things like: meditation, journaling, reading, stretching, Twitter, coffee, tea, Instagram, YouTube, exercise, visualisation, nature sounds, stretches, podcasts, praying, gratitude etc.
You don’t need to do what anyone else does, experiment and find a routine that works well for you.
After a difficult or challenging life experience whether mental or physical, you end up in a recovery period.
For example, imagine you fall off your bike and break your leg. Your recovery period would be the cast and crutches but eventually you’re walking again. Another example is a breakup, it could take a few weeks or even months to emotionally recover from a relationship ending.
The recovery net is where you end up when you’re not willing to let go of the comfort/safety of being in recovery.
If we go back to the bike story. Imagine, you’re at the point where your leg has healed and you no longer need the crutches but you can’t seem to let them go.
You’re physically ready to ride again but you keep making excuses because you need them when the truth is you’re scared without them. You’re scared of falling.
And with a relationship ending your recovery net might be never committing to one person so that when one situation ends you’ll always have someone else.
The recovery net is the method that we use to protect ourselves from things that brought us some form of harm/pain. Not because we’re in any danger but because the idea of the potential danger scares us so much that we aren’t really ready to make the true leap and risk being hurt again.
If only it was as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Something for you to refer back to when you need it.
Write down how you feel. Write until you have nothing left to write. Write without trying to be perfect, let it be messy and make no sense. The important part is getting it all out and down on paper. Sometimes our feelings of being overwhelmed are caused by a build up of feelings or words unspoken. Even though writing them out won’t directly change the situation often all you really need is to let it out.
Exercise and get your body moving. It could be skipping, a HIIT workout, dancing or whatever works for you. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good but the movement also allows you to dispel the heavy energy of a low mood. If you don’t feel like doing a proper workout, have a solo dance party instead.
Listen to music that will boost your mood. I’ve previously written about having a pick me up playlist, it’s so easy to create and it actually works. Once you get into associating certain songs with boosting your mood you’ll get to a point where just a few seconds of the intro will be enough to make you start to feel better.
Sometimes when it comes to doing what’s best for you, you don’t consider yourself to be important.
And so, instead of making a decision based on what’s best for you and your wellbeing you put other people first.
You make choices based on people pleasing and fear of letting people down or having them be disappointed.
When you do that continuously, you’re the one that ends up feeling disappointed. Meanwhile, everyone else is totally oblivious to the fact that you’re over extending and on the brink of being worn out.
You have to learn to set clear boundaries such as not over working yourself to please people and being okay with saying no when you know you don’t have the time or energy.
One of the triggers for anxiety is uncertainty.
It’s fair to say that uncertainty is a part of life. However, there are plenty of times in life where you can seek clarity to help fill in the gaps.
This can be done by asking more questions.
When would you like me to complete this?
What time do you want to meet?
How do you feel about this situation?
You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t have to wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and you don’t have to live life on someone else’s terms.
Asking questions might also make you feel anxious but maybe that bit of discomfort is worth it now if it means you won’t feel anxious later.
I think most people have a list of at least a few things that they can do to improve their days.
Some examples could be exercise, being out in nature, mediation, yoga, drinking water, herbal tea, solo dance party, listening to music, journaling or going for a walk.
None of those things necessarily take a lot of time but they’re things that you have to make time for. They require more effort than sitting on the sofa binging episodes of a show but they come with way more benefits.
So, when you feel like you can’t be bothered, keep that in mind.
Sometimes you reach a point in life where you need to make a sacrifice.
What are you willing to give up in order to reach your goal?
And are you willing to give up the right things?
Maybe you need more time to work on your book and so you decide to give up your 30 minutes of exercise a day. Yes, you’ve made a sacrifice but perhaps the right thing to give up would be 1.5 out of 2 hours you spend on social media each day.
The exercise positively contributes to your wellbeing but it’s unlikely you can say the same for social media.
And so when it comes to making a sacrifice in order to gain something, think about the things you currently do that benefit you the least.
Those are the things you should be willing to sacrifice.
Do you ever have those days when you feel stuck and even though you know exactly what you need to do to get unstuck, you still do nothing?
And what you need to do could be incredibly simple. It could be as simple as watching your favoutite Key and Peele sketch on youtube, listening to your favourite pick me up song or maybe a breathwork mediation.
You might feel like doing something simple won’t help or maybe you feel like you don’t have the time. But it’s important to make the time because the feeling of being stuck won’t go away unless you do something about it.
One of the best lessons to have learnt this year is how to make the best of challenging circumstances.
I’d be highly surprised to find that there is anyone who reads this blog that has not been affected by the pandemic.
People have lost their jobs, had family and friends pass, experienced financial difficulties, had holidays postponed, struggled to cope because they’re living alone, missed moments with the people they care about, had plans cancelled and so much more.
It’s easy to end up feeling as though life can be nothing more than bleak but it’s important to remember the joys of life.
No matter what is going on if you only focus on the ‘bad bits’ it will consume your whole outlook until you can’t see past it.
Of course you can’t ignore what is going on in the world but you can make time for things that bring you joy and make you feel good.
The answer is in the question.
The feeling of being overwhelmed often comes when we don’t allow ourselves to feel something and instead adopt a go, go, go mindset.
Instead taking care of yourself and working through your feelings, you fill your mind and time with 101 distractions that will eventually catch up to you.
Or maybe you’ve taken on too much, you have a lot going on and haven’t had enough time to rest to keep you going in a way that is healthy.
What ever the case may be, you can’t keep going.
When told to stop or even just slow down we often use the excuse that we can’t. Perhaps it is that people are relying on you or you think there’s too much to be done.
But as it is those things that are causing the overwhelm, it’s exactly what you need a break from.
So stop, even just for a few minutes, it will make more of a difference than you think.