A few days ago I shared a post on Instagram, in hopes to rid myself of the negative energy I was feeling. I believe that writing and sharing things out loud can help tremendously with internal conflict. In that post, I briefly opened up my heart about feeling completely cluttered lately and finally realizing what I had been doing to myself for several months. I had been living day to day with a "to do" mentality, allowing myself to become consumed with work, future projects, current things on the table and so on. I was not really living in the moment, more so only getting through the moment as fast as possible so I could tackle the next task. That, coupled with stress that inevitably happens in our lives, left me completely drained, stressed and overwhelmed.
During a conversation with Steve about this, I finally realized that I had left my creative child - the inner creator that seeks no bounds - behind for too long. I had been neglecting myself in this and other ways, I had stopped doing the things that serve my well being. I tend to care, sometimes a bit too much, about the things that I am involved with, I take things to heart and I'm emotional about them. I don't ever go into any project with anything less than 110%, it's just how I do things. This is both great because I love what I do, but it can also mean that for my own sanity, energy needs to be saved in situations I cannot control. Of course, things get intense when you get busy, we all have a lot on our plate and it seems like we must always be ON, and on the go to create success.
This mentality has been pushed onto us so much, specially in the last few years. It's coming from all aspects of life, work, family, relationships. The idea that we must always be available, always on, always working is not the reality I believe in. I too bit into the bullshit there for quite sometime. This is not to say that you don't have to put in work to create success, you do, A LOT of hours, quite a few tears and a list of failures should be on your ledger if you're headed to the top. You must work your ass off, but at the same time, you have to take care of yourself, your body and your mind. It's not a cliche, it is a necessity. For me, I need to let my mind be free to create and do what it wants, I need to feel things with my soul and feed the desire that drives my passion for life. Routine slowly suffocates my spirit, I'm simply not made for monotony.
I recently realized that I had taken the "hamster on the wheel" role, something that left me drained, over stressed and not feeling very groovy, so I wanted to share this with you guys, and tell you a few things that have since helped me feel a little bit more in tune with myself and my sanity, haha. These are things that can hopefully make you feel better too if you're experiencing stress and want to break the wheel as well.
STOP, YES STOP
Literally, stop what you're doing, unless you're driving, if so get off your phone and come back here later! Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and open up the mind for a little assessment. The truth is, when we are stressed, everything seems a lot worse than it actually is. A few minutes to reconnect, breathe and let the negative energy flow out of your body can help reduce the intensity of how you're feeling and allow you to think more clearly. Steve helps me with this when I'm really stressed, he's so good at bringing me back to the moment when I need it.
Think of your favorite place, imagine the last time you were there, let your mind take you back to that moment where you were ridiculously excited and happy about something, anything. It works! You know what else works like a charm? Try this, think of yourself in a photograph or a memory when you were laughing so hard that your cheeks hurt, you will inevitably start to smile remembering the moment. Let that moment carry on to right now, laugh! Do it! It works, a little 10 second laugh, and your mood completely shifts.
CHANGE THINGS UP
Take yourself out of the situation that is causing you stress, this is only difficult if you think of it in broad terms but what you can do is come up with small little changes that will help make a big difference. Switch up your routine a little, go to a different coffee shop, tackle emails at a different time of day. You could also take the scenic route to work or plan to see a friend instead of heading home when you leave the office, the scenarios are endless. Simple things that break up your routine can be of tremendous help.
Guys, this is so very important, not only for creatives like myself but for everyone else too. This is your time to let your mind run free, your time to do something for the sheer love of it. Wether it's working on a photo project, a home remodel, a DIY project, drawing a picture or cooking a lovely meal. Creativity manifests in many different ways, letting that creative inner child run free can be so therapeutic. Try it, start that passion project you've had on the shelf, or grab a little piece of paper and doodle, then run with it.
I have a tremendous love for travel, it feeds my soul and makes me feel incredible, it's one of the things I like to do to recharge. I understand that traveling is not something everyone is able to do, for various reasons but from experience, I have to recommend it because it completely works for me every time. Traveling doesn't have to be a trip around the world or somewhere far that breaks the bank, it can mean removing yourself from the daily tasks in your life and giving yourself time to explore and relax a bit. You could book a spontaneous trip to a bucket list destination or do a little staycation in town, perhaps check out a place in your state that you've never visited. Whatever it is, make sure you remove the stressors, take the time for you to recharge and fully commit.
In times like these, a little rough, a little unbalanced, we can't always do it alone, nor should we have to. It's okay to ask for help, it's okay to phone a friend and say "hey, I need a you" it doesn't make you weak, it doesn't mean anything more than what it is. Your significant other, your best friend, your parents, sometimes they are able to see the bigger picture. It is like that for me, Steve tends to make sense of things when I am feeling intense, he puts things in perspective and takes my metaphorical blindfold off, suddenly I realize I am not standing in a flooded room. Duh. So please, if you need to, lean on your support system, the people that love you don't want you to do it alone.
You'd be surprised how much of our stress and uneasy feelings are self inflicted. I do it, you probably do it too. It's so important to stay in tune with your needs, physical, mental, emotional needs. I know what I need to do to perform at my very best, I touch on that here. Once you figure out your system, you'll notice that if you're not consistent and nurturing with that system, you will start to feel off immediately, this will inherently lead to stress. Even though I am totally guilty of falling off my system of self care, I know that this is probably the most important thing on this list. We are imperfect beings, but the beauty is that all you need to do is start again, whatever your groove for feeling super awesome is, do it, start again.
There you have it! A few key elements that have helped me deal with stress lately. I tend to give into it too easily, this is great accountability for me to deter from doing that and lead a healthier life, in all aspects! I hope that these things are helpful for you as well, feel free to drop me a line if you need a little push. Thanks so much for reading, I will see you on the next post!