Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt lost within your own life? Or maybe not “lost” but at least “off”? That’s been me for the past few weeks. Thankfully I’m starting to feel like myself again, but I was definitely in a funk. But now that I’m on the other side of my fog I wanted to write about it because I think the lessons I’ve learned from all previous stints are worth sharing, now that I can identify what throws me off and what helps me come of it!
At the end of every month I like to reflect on how those 30/31 days went and prepare for the upcoming ones. For July, all I had to say was that it went by so fast. Up until July, I tried to intentionally live out each day and be purposeful with my time and energy. But I couldn’t recall much of what I did in July and realized that I let myself get stressed, overworked, and ultimately I neglected myself.I was moody, irritable, short, and impatient before it dawned me that I wasn’t “myself.” I didn’t participate in any self-care experiences, I wasn’t working out consistently, I let my mind get caught up in my body image, and I was so stressed that I would wake-up in the middle of the night thinking of things I needed to do the next day. Looking back on that season now, it seems so obvious that something was wrong, but when you’re in it you don’t see things as clearly. And it’s difficult to accept that something needs to change because once we know it, it means we have to work on that change.
And to anyone in a phase/hump/season/stage of life, we all know there isn’t a magic answer to get us out. There’s a lot of work that needs to be put into the transition, both mentally and physically. No one can do it for you, it has to come from you. And in so many instances we just waste time over-analyzing instead of intentionally thinking of ways to feel better. When we focus on what went wrong and analyze the shit out of it, we waste time and energy that could be spent actioning out changes to help us feel better. And sometimes that’s all we know to do because we don’t even know where to start! I’ve asked myself “where do I start?” so many times when I felt hopeless. So hopefully the suggestions below are helpful for you as they’ve been to me in the past!
Where do I start?
- Ask yourself “when was the last time I felt ‘like me’?” and use your answers as a baseline.
- Once most people truly think about it, they know. They’re with certain people, in a specific place, doing a certain thing, etc. Take some time and REALLY think about this. Jot down what you come up and see if there’s a trend or anything.
- If you’ve got that down, make of list of things you can do now to recreate those experiences.
- Do you take a trip to see those friends? Do you explore your own city to make it feel “new” again if you leave? Maybe you try a new restaurant with friends?
- I actually did this for about 2 years with my best friend. We both wanted to get out of Dallas but “had to stay” to finish our Masters. So we made a “bucket list” of things we wanted to do and took it around with us every weekend to see how much we could cross off. It made for some GREAT stories and irreplaceable memories.
- Give yourself time.
- You won’t get the answer right away and you definitely can’t force anything to happen.
- Be compassionate towards yourself that you need time to figure out your life. I think one of the reasons why these funks suck so bad is because we’re so hard on ourselves. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay but it’s also great to be okay!
- Love on you!
- Do you have any self-care practices?
- Maybe it’s working out, getting a manicure/pedicure, or a reading. Whatever it is that recharges you, do more of that.
- As I’ve gotten older, I’d classify myself as an introverted extrovert. I’ve always loved going out and being social, but I appreciate me time now. I know when I need to say “no” to things or spend some time alone so that I can feel better and be present when I’m with others.
- Do you have any self-care practices?
Being able to identify and even share these steps is amazing in my mind. I’ve spent many hours being stuck and feeling like I could never get out. I used to tell my therapist that I felt like I was stuck in a maze and knew there was a way out but had no idea what direction to go in because I didn’t know where the beginning or end were. So I can 100% relate to those of you who feel the same. I’ve gone through those practices listed above so many times because you never just have one foggy phase. But it’s definitely worth the work. And with the work, each time you feel lost you’ll find it easier to find yourself again. This time around, once I realized what all I was neglecting (self-care and not living with purpose day by day) it was so easy to get back to the practices the truly fulfilled me (cooking, taking baths, working out, time away from tech, etc.).
So cut yourself some slack and try maybe some of these tips. We’re setup to live through so many seasons of life and not every one is going to be smooth sailing so we have to learn how to navigate those waters successfully. Ultimately I hope this post inspires you and brings you a little clarity. It might not be the big movement you’re hoping for, but it’s a step in the direction towards the end of the maze.
Featured Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash