If you’re anything like me, this is the time of year where you’re just kind of over it all.
Blame it on post-holiday/post-resolution blahs, weather, seasonal affective disorder, et cetera et cetera. All of those elements combined make me an absolutely miserable human being, like clockwork, starting right about now. Factor in the current political climate, biting social media posts, and a less-than-stellar couple of weeks at work, and I’m pretty sure I’m not doing anyone any favors with my presence.
So a few nights ago, when a general sense of dread and anxiety kept me awake way past my bedtime, I started thinking about ways that I could completely flip the script and start LOVING my life again.
I came up with five general ideas, and I’m challenging myself to take some time to deliberately live my life by these guidelines this month. I’d love it if you join me!
Part of the beauty of being human is that we have feelings. We have the ability to feel joy, sorrow, anger, empathy, outrage…and you know what? In my book, feelings are totally allowed. Encouraged, in fact. When you stop feeling, you should be concerned. I’ve always found that for me, it’s best to acknowledge my feelings. When I bottle up negative emotions, they become toxic. And sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with emotion (negative or positive), that I end up exhausted. So I’ve tried to enact a little exercise that goes something like this:
- Identify the emotions I’m feeling.
- Ask myself where these emotions are truly coming from. Did I have a long day? Did I get enough sleep? Am I really, truly upset/overjoyed/etc. about the subject at hand?
- Talk to someone (usually my mom or hubby) about what I’m feeling.
- Decide whether or not a course of action is necessary (Do I need to complete a task? Write something down? Take a deep breath? Go for a walk? Speak my mind?)
- Verbalize the process, either to myself or someone else: “I felt ______, so I ______.”
- Let it goooooo to the best of my ability for a particular situation.
Usually, when I have ALL the feelings, this Type A girl feels like she’s downward spiraling. The process I laid out above allows me to feel like I’m regaining control.
Self-love takes different forms for everyone. Maybe you enjoy reading a good book. Maybe you need to work out every day to feel your best. Maybe you love relaxing with a bubble bath. You know what I did this afternoon? I skipped my workout and spent three hours at the salon, getting my hair colored. For me, that’s self-love.
Self-love means carving time out of your schedule, no matter how busy, to do something for you. Recharge. Renew. Watch an hour or two of a Housewives show. Listen to a podcast or two. Sip your morning cup of coffee just a little bit more slowly. Take a nap. Treat yo’self. You’ll be amazed at what it will do for your attitude.
Ohhhh, internet. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Taking a social media breather, even if it’s just for twenty minutes, can do wonders to clear your head. I’m not saying you should go throw your phone in a lake or anything. Trust me, I LOVE social media, and I also believe that staying informed is not only important, but it’s my duty as a teacher and citizen of the U.S. and the world.
I’ve started a before-bed detox. I’m a chronic in-bed phone-checker. I open apps rapid-fire, without even knowing what I’m doing half of the time that I’m doing it. So I’ve tried to be better about staying off my phone/iPad/computer for at least 30 minutes before bed. It’s helped me get to sleep more quickly, and believe it or not, I wake up with a clearer mind. I’ve also made a conscious effort to stay off my phone when my husband and I eat dinner. Oh, and I generally try to stay off the comment sections of social media posts if I know that they’ll send me into a tizzy.
It is SO easy to fall into the habit of seeing things from a negative perspective. Misery absolutely loves company, even if it’s within your own mind. Sometimes it’s hard work to seek out the positive in our daily grind, but man, is it ever necessary if you want to survive a case of the doldrums. Every day, I come home bogged down with a work bag, a gym bag, my lunch bag, a pair of shoes, the mail, and what feels like about 25 other things on any given day that make my trip from my car, through the basement door, up the stairs, and into my kitchen seem like a huge effort. But as soon as I open that kitchen door, I drop everything and make a big deal about my two kitties who greet me with meows. They love it; I love it. We all win. It’s one of my favorite parts of my day.
Acknowledge the storm clouds, but dwell on the silver linings. You can train your brain to seek out the positive in just about any situation. Eventually, you’ll be Debbie Downer’s arch nemesis.
Once you’ve trained yourself to see the good in those around you, spreading that positivity becomes second-nature. Just as misery builds on itself, a positive attitude can also have exponential effects. A smile, a random act of kindness, or a simple compliment can turn someone’s day around. Added bonus? It always feels good to make others feel good. Be deliberate about the goodness that you’re putting out into the world, and it will resonate.
Acknowledge the negative, but seek out and encourage the positive. Be intentional with your thoughts and actions, and you’ll start to think positively about yourself, those around you, and life in general.
I hope you’ll join me in flipping the script and getting rid of these winter blahs! I’d love it if you subscribed to my blog via Bloglovin or followed with your email address so that we can keep up with each other! You can also drop me a comment to let me know if you’ve tried any of these tactics, or if you have any others you’d like to add to the list!
Here’s to a day, week, month, year, and life worth loving!