The Things Saving My Life Right Now.
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
It would be naive of me to try and paint a picture about how so much of this year has brought up more stress, anxiety and hard seasons. The truth is - I would bet that you already know exactly what that feels like. You already know it’s freaking hard and if we could just be done with it all, we all would opt for that.
Whether you’re planning a wedding right now or, simply trying to survive, this year has made most things so much harder than any of us would choose. I’m not here to tell you, “The grass is greener on the other side!”, “There’s always a silver lining, just got to look for it.” “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”, or “It is what it is!”
I’m not going to say those because I’m not sure how much they actually help. In a lot of ways, blanket statements that are meant to encourage actually lead to feeling what you’re going through is minimized. If it was as simple as believing that the grass is greener or just brushing things off because it is what it is, we would all be okay.
Sometimes it’s good to sit in the suck. It’s okay to feel your feelings.
Frustrated? At your wits end?
That’s okay to feel those things, to identify them and validate that what you’re feeling is okay. And then, invite someone into it. You’re not meant to live this life alone. If you’re feeling at rock bottom, I encourage you to reach out to someone and talk. Verbal processor by nature or not, ONLY sitting with your feelings (especially negative ones), without processing them without inviting someone else in is hard.
Give yourself the grace, the permission, the kindness to acknowledge where you’re at.
In this season, I’ve had my waves of the hard, the defeated, the empowered, the motivated … and the NOT motivated. There have been a few things that have been healing + helpful for making it through. And not just making it through but, being my best self.
1. Quiet, still moments in the morning. I read my Bible, journal a lot, pray and read a book that has NOTHING to do with my responsibilities. Sometimes it’s a book meant for high schoolers, sometimes it’s an anti-diet book, sometimes it’s the story of historical figure. It changes. This time in the morning allows me to be reminded of what is True, what is Good, and that life is bigger than work. It’s bigger than what is stresing me out. It allows me to get grounded and calm before I step into my way.
2. Movement. Don’t get me started on how much I am pissed about how social constructed diet culture has stolen so much of the good out of exercise, making us believe that it is purely a means to lose weight/ tone/ fit the unhealthy mold we have been given by culture. We have been taught it’s just a means to “work off” our last meal or “earn” our next. The truth is - you have to do NOTHING to earn your meals. Being a human, with multiple systems, plenty of organs and complex needs is enough to deserve food for every meal + snacks.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me tell you about what Movement is on my list. I recently read a book about the stress cycle, called Burnout. (I could NOT recommend it enough! Top 5 favorite books!) and they dove in the science and research behind why movement and getting your heart rate up is so, so good for you. It allows you to complete the stress cycle, which has a waterfall of benefits. It allows your body to come back to a healthier equilibrium, it allows your body to recalibrate and get back to a more neutral state, and more. All of these benefits end up doing immeasurable good for your overall health and life. It’s been so good for me to be able to move my body and release so much of the pent up stress and energy from this season.
Here’s the thing though - sometimes, when you’re deep into restricting food, working out as a means to control, and other eating disorder tendencies that are perpetuated by “Wellness” culture, the healthiest thing you can do is NOT work out. Evaluate where YOU are at. I have done the work - gone through an eating disorder, recovered, and continue to work every day to maintain a healthy attitude and approach.
3. Chiropractor. For the longest time, I would get these headaches that would plague my day. I would wake up with a developing headache and by late morning, I couldn’t look at my computer screen or think straight. I was tired of popping advil + I had already instilled multiple layers of a lifestyle that is supportive of overall health, so I knew I needed to change something. My friend told me about the chiropractor and I could not be more grateful! It has truly changed how I get to move throughout my life + day. Headaches are far less frequent and when they do arise, I can tie it back to a high, high stress situation or other unique thing.
4. Treats. I’ve picked up backing a little bit more (mostly just making Restoring Radiance’s cookies -- HERE THEY ARE SO GOOD!) and it’s been a positive addition to life. There’s something simple about pausing and focusing on something like baking. Simple, clear and yet, refreshing. I’ve, also, been going to get special/ delicious coffee (to-go) throughout the week. It allows me to get out of the house, get out of my head + support some of my favorite local businesses. The drive to and from is almost as good for the soul as is the coffee. Driving in silence, usually. Driving while listening to a new audiobook, sometimes. These are little treats throughout the day that have been instrumental in bringing joy to the day-to-day.
5. Friend time. Sometimes it’s at a distance, sometimes is across a table over margs. Being with people brings life and reminds me that life is sweet, even when it sucks. Friends feel like one of the greatest gifts of my life - they are my safe place so often. Can’t imagine this season - or life - without them.
6. The beach. If you’re a buddy of mine on the ‘gram, you know that I have a fat crush on the ocean and one special little beach city near me. The sound of the ways, the careless people either getting a good tan or a gnarly sunburn, the soft sand, the warmth on my skin. It’s the greatest + it is truly my safe place. (Funny thing - as a kid, my dad would take us to the beach all the time and I actually didn’t like it. I was always like UUUUGH and now, it’s quite the opposite.) It’s my place to process, grieve, prepare, mourn, celebrate and work through what life has thrown.
That’s where I’m at. Those are my things. What are yours?
In all things, with grit and grace --