Hey Party People!
This week is a re-post from my blog last November. Sometimes I do that, go back and browse old posts for some knowledge nuggets and to see how I've evolved. I hope you enjoy the read once again or for the first time if you are a new reader. :)
Who else out there has been in a slump? Maybe for a few days, maybe for a few weeks, a few months, or has it felt like this entire year? Regardless of the length of your slump you are definitely not alone. We are human and we can’t be at the top of our game all the time. Without the lows we wouldn’t appreciate the highs in the same way. Without challenge we would remain the same, not growing or changing, and who wants to stay the same their entire life?
I’ve been on the struggle bus for 6+ weeks now. It's been a mixture of things. I’ve not only been dumped, but work has been increasingly busy, stressful, and overwhelming, and I once again lost my outlet of running (you’d think I’m 80 with this hip of mine!). And to top it all off, we are in my hardest month of the year, November. I don’t know what it is, but November is and always has been hard for me, and it always feels increasingly hard after Daylight Savings Time (ends? Begins? I don’t know which one it is). The days are already getting shorter and shorter, and then we change our clocks and basically lost the light of our evenings. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that once the darkness creeps you, you kinda feel like the day is over. Well, that’s problematic when it's dark by 5pm.
And for me, my evenings have always been the hardest when it comes to my bad habits. I can crush a day, get up early, reach for joy and gratitude, but by the time the day comes to an end I’ve lost a lot of my strength and my resolve to fight through. And so I eat. Eating is one of my coping mechanisms, and you can believe me when I say I’m not eating spinach salad when I’m in the dumps. Week after week since September I’ve been in a battle to find my mojo and get back to the real me.
What I finally realized was that I am dang hard on myself you guys. This isn’t a new realization, I’ve always been hard on myself and expected a lot, but I was (I am) in a shame spiral, I was playing on repeat too often that I needed to get over it, move on, be stronger and be better than this. I wasn’t allowing myself to surrender to the feelings that were dragging me down. How many of you tell yourself to just get over it when you’re having a bad day? Well, as I’ve learned many times, and this time even more, is that you can’t ignore what you’re feeling. You can’t keep putting on a mask and sweeping it under the rug if you truly want to be happy.
What I’ve realized is that you have to LOVE. YOURSELF. FIRST.
In a time when we need compassion, self love, and kindness we’re often the hardest on ourselves. If a friend or loved one was going through what we were, or feeling what we were, there is NO WAY we would talk to them, the way we are talking to ourselves. And so we have to find a way to be kind to ourselves.
So here I was saying suck it up buttercup, your life isn’t so hard, and I noticed I had stopped sending love my way and it kept me stuck. And I am terrified of getting stuck in the suck you guys, so when people say sit in it, feel it all, dig into it. I don’t want to, so I can’t fully surrender. Because what if I get stuck there? What if I get stuck in those feelings of overwhelm? Those feelings of heartbreak? It feels crappy and even the smallest possibility of getting stuck, or staying there longer than I need to, is enough to not let it in at all. And so even though I know I won’t get stuck there forever, I’m afraid to let it all in.
When we resist feeling the suck, or really understanding the shitty feelings, we’re suppressing them, hiding them, pretending they’re not there. But they continue to live inside of us, and eventually they will bubble up…after a bottle of wine…at a Halloween party… no just me? Moving on…
When I realized I wasn’t loving myself anymore something shifted, in my head and in my heart. I stopped shaming and started loving. So I’m here to remind you this week to LOVE. YOURSELF. FIRST. So how the heck do you start doing that when you’re stuck in the crapshoot?
1. Tune into your feelings. Shift the feelings of overhwhelm, shame, or sadness, to acceptance. Take a deep breath when those emotions bubble up, remind yourself that its ok, you are ok, and that you are safe. Then just FEEL.
2. Try out affirmations. Below are a couple of my regulars. You can write them out, or say them out loud. You can repeat them on a walk, before you go to bed, with your morning tea/coffee, while you’re driving in your car. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. That is the key with affirmations.
I am enough. I am worthy of love. Is this true or a lie I am telling myself (this one is my fav when others actions trigger me)
3. Journal. Sit in the suck, sink into the feels and get it out. This might, no this will take more than one sit down, especially if you have multiple things going on like me. Ask questions, be kind, and just let the words flow. My coach calls it a brain dump, just write whatever it is you need to get off your heart. Write, write, write.
4. Reach out to those who fill you up. I realized last week just hearing my friends voice made me feel better. We weren’t even talking about the shitty stuff, but instead interviews and work stuff, and I swear you guys just the sound of her voice brought a little light into my heart. Spend time with your people, and the community who fills your cup.
5. Focus on the good moments. Notice how I didn’t say days. When you’re in the dumps there aren’t as many good things to hold onto, or it just feels hard to focus on them. That’s ok. But when you wake up one day feeling just a teensy bit better, be stoked about that! And then when you reach the end of your day and you sit down with that bag of chips, have a drag on that cigarette, or pour yourself that double whiskey, because you got nothing left, remember that morning you felt better, even if it was just for a moment. Baby steps are still steps.
All of these things will help you to LOVE YOURSELF FIRST. We all need to be a little more kind so why not start with being kind to yourself.
YOU ARE VALUED. YOU ARE ENOUGH. AND THIS WORLD NEEDS YOU.
Here’s your party jam for the week!.