It’s time to find what works for you, and work it into your life
Do you feel stressed out?
Do you feel like each day you find yourself rushing to work, just to get hit with wave after wave of expectations? At the end of it all, do you find yourself trudging home defeated, drained and without the drive to make a change for the better? Does it feel like all you do is work, and then go home?
If you answered yes to the above, you know that things need to change. You want it. You can feel yourself just going through the motions, waiting for things to improve. You may have lost the joy in your day to day. You might feel numb to it all, just too tired to do anything except accept your circumstance. You feel as though you don’t even know where to begin, but you know that something has to give.
You might wonder, “What’s wrong with me?” Try not to be so hard on yourself. Your feelings are normal. You are allowed to feel the stress of the day. Accept them, for the warning sign that they are.
This is your mind, trying to tell you that you need a change.
When we have a highly physical job, it’s expected that we make sure that our bodies are trained to do the work. Think of a police officer, or a firefighter. They are put through extensive training to get them to the condition their field requires. They continue to maintain that condition to ensure that they are capable of doing their duty at any time.
We should apply this kind of discipline to our minds as well. A mind is not meant to be exposed to only the same experiences over and over again. If you are just going through the motions and doing the same thing every single day, you start to become numb. It’s time to break the cycle. Begin with small changes. Wake yourself a few minutes early, and have a breakfast that looks and feels good. A few berries, some fruit, a special spread that you love for your toast. Put on some music, and focus on the rhythm. Allow yourself a few minutes to really experience it. Take stock of a few things in your life that you are lucky to have.
Find something you want in life; something that will give you true joy – and then make a plan for how you will get it. You don’t have to get there all in one day. However, you NEED to allow yourself to set goals. Believe in your ability to make a change in your circumstance. Realistically create a timeline for how long you need to go about it, then sit down and plan out your first step.
When you feel lost, or numb, or overwhelmed with your job or your relationships in life; call up these goals. Remind yourself what step you are on in your path. Reflect on how far you have come. Allow yourself pride for everything you are, and everything you have achieved so far. You deserve that. You have earned that recognition. Always; it is important to remember that a single misstep off of your path in life does not erase how far you have come.
Appreciate the fortune you have in your life. We aren’t all so lucky to have a yacht, a summer house or an escape plan. You don’t need to be a millionaire or a heart surgeon to be allowed happiness and contentment in your life. You simply have to allow yourself to feel pride in what you do have. Some days I just appreciate my collection of eclectic coffee mugs, and remember when or where I picked out the one I get to drink from that day. Other days I remind myself how lucky I am to live in an area with wide open green spaces and a clear view to the horizon. There are days where my only goal is to find time to curl up with a good book and some peace and quiet, and that’s enough for me.
We train ourselves to look for the vital things, the ones that will get us through the day. In the space of a whole house we skim past all the comforts in a frantic search for a set of keys, a lost shoe. When you spend your time each day only thinking of what must be done, what isn’t done – you train your mind to look for these things. You dull your ability to find joy in the little things. Remember, you find what you are looking for in life. If you wake each day expecting to find stress and disorder, you will find those things everywhere you look.
We need to immerse ourselves back into our lives.
Think of the things you truly enjoy. Or; if you don’t have hobbies yet, think of things that catch your interest. Read, write, play music, garden, sing in the shower, and visit new places. Make time to sit, and visit with your family or friends. Make a new friend, and take an hour a week to just enjoy time together outside of your life. The beauty in friendship is that you don’t need anything from your true friends, and they need nothing from you. You simply choose to give them time, and they make the choice to be a part of your life.
In the transition from school to full time employment it is so easy to feel lost and alone. Years of being in close quarters with an array of people to share your thoughts with condition us to crave that closeness. In entering your career you are faced with a small group of people with like mindsets and skills who have a vast variety of backgrounds and methods of coping with their life. We find ourselves with less and less time for those outside of our field, as people filter into their scheduled lives and just aren’t available as much anymore. It is because of this lack of contact that we start to expect our jobs to fulfill all of those needs. We’re around people all the time, why would we want to go out and surround ourselves with that potential stress in our free time?
The truth is that in your adulthood, friendships and new experiences are just as vital as they are in youth. The pressure is greater now, the burden on your shoulders ever present. We shift from a world of dreams to a life of expectations and reality. The only way to survive the weight of the world is to arm yourself with as much positivity as possible. Fill your free time with things you truly enjoy, that serve no purpose other than to bring you joy. Make time to appreciate the life you have built around you, and how every detail speaks to your unique perspective in life.
It’s so easy to get caught up in waiting. Waiting for a friend to call, or the time to go on a break, or for the weather to clear. Life happens when you MAKE it happen. You have to create time for your life. Call your friends first. Set the date. Plan a day trip for the weekend.
Don’t chastise yourself for feeling negative, or having a rough week. Don’t hide from your hard feelings or push them away. Just take a few moments in the low times to reflect on all the progress you have made, through everything you have endured.
When we accept ourselves; we set out on our path in life with the knowledge that both good and bad things will cross that path. We will have days that are hard, when parts of our life feel as though they are falling apart. These times make us strong, not weak. Surviving the rough days shows us the wonder in our better days. Every bad day will strengthen you for the next day, if you use it as a lesson in dealing with life. An opportunity to master your coping strategy.
Always remind yourself of your strength for coming this far.
I want you to take ten minutes at the end of your day, before you sleep. In this time, reflect. Think of something you have learned. Something that made you feel proud. Finally, think of something you achieved. They don’t have to be monumental to make an impression on your state of mind. Allow yourself to revel in the small joys.
You have truly earned it.