Digging Deep – The Driving Force for Change
Waking up and feeling unmotivated? Feeling like you are struggling with getting started?
Some of us might be going to bed with great intentions, but when you wake, you are just sighing and thinking that this is just like groundhog day and here is another day of this crap? How will I fill my day? How can I shift this feeling that I constantly have?
You are not alone. We are in week 7 of Lockdown and there are many people who are feeling this way. I was one of them. I too have struggled to find the motivation to get up some days and have pressed pause not only on my alarm, but on my life. I found myself getting grumpy and frustrated and not liking the feeling. It was affecting how i was responding to situations and decisions i made.
Whilst I mulled around, eating chocolate, and plenty of unhealthy foods, i was in shock at what was happening in our world. I was trying hard to balance the demands in my life, whilst provide love, care and security to my husband and children. I found that i wanted more than ever to find a space to be myself and to get a bit of me back. I was craving looking after me, but felt selfish asking for this time. I also felt at times i was becoming bogged down by the media, and the negativity. Ever heard the saying “If youre ok, then everything else will be ok?” I never used to get this until a few years ago, I never truly understood the definition of self care and what It meant to really look after myself.
My understanding of self care was running a bubble bath and getting my nails done, which may I add are self care methods, but they don’t dig deep. When I say digging deep, I mean another level far from superficial. Its fab having a makeover, its great getting new clothes and having nights out and social events, all part of who we are, and as a society how we at times function. But………. These don’t last long. Everytime you have a self care bath or you paint your nails or get the lashes in, the feeling doesn’t last long. These are all external factors that you are relying on to feel better, to bring you happiness and it might, but for a very short period.
When we rely on external factors or other people to make or help us feel better, we are ultimately handing over our power to someone or something else. We may often hear ourselves say “ ill be happy when I get that wage, Ill be happy when I pass this course, ill be happy when I buy the house, ill be happy when….. and the list goes on. You are ultimately always waiting to be happy. Allowing other factors to bring you happiness. Why would you want to hand over your power or happiness to anyone else?
What is happiness?? It’s a feeling. Its an emotion. We have all felt happiness at times in our lives. Ive felt happy opening many a bag of haribos, then felt deflated later after eating them all. But that’s not true happiness….and we have all felt happy when its sunny, or happy that we got paid. I mean a deep elevation of feelings and emotions. When we can literally feel ourselves rising with the emotion. It comes from within, from our minds and from our hearts.
So, I hear you ask. Where does digging deep and self care come into this? Well, they are connected. When we look after ourselves, our mindset can change, our perceptions change, and our life perspective can change. We know how to take care of ourselves, by knowing and being in tune with how we are feeling. We can recognise when we are feeling low, grumpy and unmotivated, we can recognise and acknowledge these feelings. When we are not in a good place mentally, it can affect our responses to situations and how we manage day to day life. We can change our lives, and we can light our lives up. It is then, we can then light the lives of others!
What If you could change your mood gradually and how you feel in general by changing the way that you live, by changing your mindset and changing perception? What If you were to say YES to looking after YOU!!!! Well, I’m here to tell you that you can! You are the driving force for Change. This is Your change and your mindset.
Self care starts with you. It starts when you make a promise to yourself that you are important, worthy and deserving. It starts when you get so sick of hearing the same record that you play to yourself about how you are going to make changes and start taking care of yourself. Its when you get rid of your own bullshit that stands in your way! It is when you prioritise YOU. Do you want to look after yourself? Everyone when they start to dig deep, does! It becomes a priority. YOU become a priority.
Here are 10 practices of Self Care that I have used and implement into my life on a regular basis. Everyone is unique, and what works for me, may not work for you. These are just suggestions. Once you start to use a self care strategy, you will know whether its something that you enjoy and want to continue.
1. Drop Expectations – we all have different expectations, and we will never match another. It is when we realise this that we can make huge changes to our mindsets and our mental health. If we always expect others to make us happy, or to deliver what we have in our own heads, then we will always feel disappointed. Ultimately, we can lower our own expectations of others, they too have different levels. Disappointment can lead to a feeling of overwhelm, burn out and exhaustion. By dropping them, we can be hopeful and we can feel less disappointment. Equally drop the expectations you place on yourself.
2. Implementing Boundaries and Saying No – We can all become overwhelmed with the demands of others and we can find ourselves struggling to say no to loved ones and friends. Only do what you can and only do what you want to do. You do not have to do anything that you do not want to do, especially if afterwards, it will leave you feeling exhausted, emotionally drained and frustrated. Say No to others and Say YES to yourself.
3. Exercise – exercise is an amazing tool to keep you not only physically well, but mentally well. Exercise has to work for you. The runner may not like Yoga, and the Yogi may not like Running. Pick something that you enjoy. Walking is a great exercise and anything outdoors is always a bonus. ( again if its what you like)
4. Nourish Your Body – You would never get in a car without fuelling it, and that is the same for our bodies. They need water, and nourishment. When we eat well, we feel better. When we feel better, we are more likely to want to take part In life and do things with enjoyment. All part of keeping mentally well. Sleep has a huge impact on our mood and motivation, try and get some decent shut eye to help you tackle each day. It also regenerates the body and allows for time to recover.
5. Meditation – When your mind is clear, then you are calm. When you are free of worries, you can enjoy the moment that you are in. Whilst we are in the past or the future, we are not in the moment. When we are not In the moment, we can be anxious about the past or worrying about the future. Meditation is a great technique to use to not stop the thoughts, but be aware of what the thoughts you are having. It has countless health benefits also.
6. Express Gratitude – Whilst we feel grateful we wont worry or stress. I appreciate that everyone’s situation is different. But if you can find one or a few things to be grateful for in your life, then you are changing your perspective. Yes your dishes may be piling up, but you have dishes and you have eaten 😊 And remember the weather is just weather, it is our opinion or thoughts that make it something else.
7. Affirmations & Love Yourself – Everyone is good at something. Whether it be cooking, or being a parent, or driving, or drawing. There will be something If you can dig deep. Remind yourself daily of all the good attributes you have and all the things that you are good at. This increases our self esteem. Remind yourself that you are worthy, deserving and loveable. Most of all, Love Yourself and all your uniqueness!
8. Unplug from the world – When we are distracted, when we are busy, we are caught up in the future or the past. Social media and Tv have a huge impact on our moods and perceptions of the world. Especially if everyone looks like they have it together. Unplug from it, have dinner together as a family and enjoy the moment without phones, ipads and any distractions. Be present. If you are out walking or watching your children play, lean into that moment. Unplug your phone, and don’t feel you have to take pictures. Look through your eye lense not the superficial one. Create the memory. Create some head space for yourself.
9. Do something you love – Do you love to dance? Sing? Draw? Whatever it is, you enjoy doing that helps you feel elated, then you can do this. It is often when we are in creative parts of our minds that great ideas are born. Who knows, your hobby may take off into a business.
10. Create Space – When we are connected all the time, we can feel that we have no space to think or to just be. I appreciate it is a difficult time, but creating space or asking your family for an hour a week to do something you want to do. Just having that dedicated time to look after you. After all, you may look after others a lot. And one hour a week isn’t a lot. Remember you are important.
Remember you are important. You are the one listening to yourself all day long. You have to live with the decisions you make and the actions you take. Incorporating small changes to how you look after yourself, will reap long term rewards, and will have you feeling like you can cope. When you are in a better head space and you are not tired or stressed, you can see things differently and make better decisions. Live the Life you Dream of. Make you a priority and above all, Take Care of You. You have a great Driving Force within you to change how you feel, and change who you are. Realise your potential. You can do this.