Do you ever find yourself wondering "how did I end up here?" You look back at the zigs and zags of your life and wonder should I have stepped left when I stepped right? Should I have skipped a few steps (partners, jobs, ideas) entirely? Out of necessity we may find ourselves doing things we didn't plan. Or even losing sight of our hopes and dreams. That's reality.
But right at this moment, we've been given a gift. A gift for a "do-over." An opportunity to create a "new normal." What will yours look like?
Is this you?
- Staying "busy" so you don't have to deal with emotions or your situation.
- Working in a career that doesn't suit you.
- In a relationship (with a friend, partner or even co-worker) that's sucking the life out of you.
- Relentlessly pursuing a certain financial goal and spending everything you have to keep up with it.
- Attempting to control everyone and everything in your life.
I have been in every one of those situations. And I'm still making steps to overcome ingrained thought patterns that lead me in the wrong direction. If I've learned anything in my life, "It's never too late... to turn back, start over, press the reset button." And never say never.
It's never too late to be what you might have been. George Eliot
Today is the Day to Make Room in Your Life for Possibility
It may be easy to talk about change as a concept somewhere in the future. What's harder is coming up with a plan and making steps toward a change TODAY.
The first step to doing things differently is making room for possibility and opportunity by letting go. Letting go is an incredibly powerful practice.
Maybe the change you need is starting over. Take your dream and make it a reality. As complicated as changing directions in a career or as simple as changing your at home routine.
Or maybe the change you need is less of a beginning and more of an ending. Walking away from the job that drains you. Letting go of the friends who can't seem to stop tearing you down. Moving on from a relationship that is toxic.
Take the First Step
How have you adapted to time in in self-quarantine
- Review your new routine and habits.
- What would you like to take into the next stage of your life?
- Take stock of any lessons learned.
- If you've embraced a simpler way of living - is that something you can see yourself doing long term? Why of why not?
- Whatever else, don't allow yourself to be swept up into doing things the way you used to "just because."
- Be mindful of what you choose to take with you and what you choose to leave behind.
Take stock of where you are in life
- Make a list of finances, time commitments, friends who support you, your career and where it's taking you.
- Divide your list into columns. This is working. This is not. This is a maybe.
- Adjust or eliminate altogether as needed.
- This is the first step of letting go.
Let go of negative self-talk and any other behaviors that keep you stuck
- Ideally, schedule an appointment with a professional counselor.
- Choose a good friend who can give you perspective on your current state of thinking.
- Or write your thoughts in a journal. Revisit them and allow yourself to be open to your own feedback.
- Dive into the healing power of meditation, yoga, nature.
Where do you want to go
- Make a list of what brings you happiness and contentment - who, what, where.
- These are the things you move toward in your new normal.
- Another list of what causes you stress or anxiety - people, places, things.
- These are the things you move away from.
- What have you always wanted to do - but because of fear, finances or another reason - you've put off.
- These are possibilities.
- Picture yourself in your ideal "new normal."
- Make a reality based plan based on your current circumstances.
- Outline another "if I had all of the time and money in the world this is what I'd do" plan.
- Be willing to edit or modify your plans and dreams, but unwilling to give up.
Take baby steps
- Keep it simple.
- Don't plan a total life revamp for the next month.
- It can feel like two steps forward and three steps back. And that's ok.
- Sometimes the universe has other plans.
- When something's not working, don't force, take a moment to pause and reflect.
- Be willing to get out of your comfort zone.
- Pay attention to what your allowing to distract you from experiencing emotions.
- Set aside screen free time to focus on what YOU want.
As we get ready to step out into our collective new normal, make a vow to yourself. "This time things will be different. I will make time for what matters most to me. And I will take steps to eliminate things that detract from my happiness and well being." It really is that simple.
I'm right there along side of you and I'm looking forward to the possibilities we are creating.
This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988