I’ve talked about how overwhelmed I get and my inability to focus when I was doing the podcast with Alex. There was even an episode where I said “I am either doing everything or nothing at all.” (To be fair, I’ve probably said the same thing verbatim a few times.) And while since then, I’ve been doing everything, I’ve been slowly running out of fuel and the following has happened.
I have lost my drive to do (and enjoy) my hobbies or what drives my hobbies; i.e: why I haven’t posted under my byline in over 3 weeks now.
I have lost my focus and am unable to stay present when I’m doing yoga and meditating
I have lost my commitment to self-care
Seems bleak, huh? The good news here is that when you lose something, chances are you’ll find it again if you look really hard. Or, you’ll allow something even better to find you.
So, here are a few ways I’ve been dealing with this exhausting time in my life. I hope that they help you as well if you need it.
Reading (well, listening.)
OK - so I’m usually reading about three books at a time, and listening to one on Audible. But our MLPC Book Club’s April book couldn’t have come at a better time - and yes, it’s the one I’m listening to. (To be honest, the book club books usually are) But Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project is an ideal “read” for me right now because it’s teaching me to introduce little things and make mindful choices in my everyday life that could lead to me feeling a bit better and finally relaxing enough to make it through an entire yoga class that isn’t barre or pilates. That’s something I haven’t been able to do since mid-February.
No, not appetizers! And not dating/social apps either. I’m talking about mindfulness and calming apps. In fact, I’m two-timing them at the moment, since I’m trying out both Calm and Headspace at the same time and can’t choose between them. It’s like a love triangle of calmness and serenity, but they’re both great. They help keep you focused and present when you’re out for walks if the outside world triggers you as much as it does me, and they have a whole library of guided meditations for those moments where you want a quickie first thing in the morning or right before bed and can’t access your MLPC archives so easily. They also help improve sleep quality with sleep meditations, soundscapes and bedtime stories.
Gratitude and Affirmations
When things get a bit overwhelming, I like to remind myself of everything good I have going on in my life. By repeating to myself that I am grateful for my brain, my ideas, all opportunities that come my way and of course the little (big) things I take for granted: the roof over my head, food in my fridge, working hands, legs, fingers, toes; security, a support system - the list goes on. When you practice gratitude, you by default tap into your true potential and worth. It’s a turn towards positivity that definitely works.
Legs up the wall (and other yogic moments)
OK - so I don’t do this as often as I should, but I will always sing its praises. Stretching before you go to bed and when you wake up is a great way to thank your body for all it’s done for you that day, and to prepare it for the events and movement to come. Additionally, Legs Up the Wall is the answer to relieving your most stressful moments. Like all other inversion postures, LUTW gives you instant calm thanks to the blood it sends back to your head from the soles of your feet. It’s extremely relaxing and can almost make you feel like you took a Xanax when you’re in the midst of a freakout.
This one is difficult, because like many others, I’m quick to punish myself when I feel like I’m not doing enough, but I mask that judgment with “I’m just being honest with myself” or “this is because I need to make a change”. If you keep telling yourself you need to do something, or that you have to do something, you’re automatically setting yourself up for judgment and disappointment if you don’t actually get it done. Talking to yourself with love and kindness and most of all, patience, is the best way to actually achieve your goals and calm the mind. This is also where affirmations can be valuable. Next time you’re overwhelmed, try gently repeating to yourself; “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.”
If you’re anything like me and have found yourself strapped for energy, in constant brain-fog and you’re always feeling frustrated, then consider the above. Don’t give up and don’t be hard on yourselves. We are living in heavy times right now, we just have to find what works for us without judgment or force.
Stay happy, stay healthy.