This very well may be the most uncertain time in our life. We have no idea when life will "go back to normal" or it even will. We have no idea what the "new" normal will look like, like if we have to wear masks in every store for the next 5 years. Many of us have uncertainty in our financial situations and our jobs. Many of us have no idea if or when kids will go back to school. Like is just so up in the air right now, for many people it can feel debilitating. But it doesn't have to be.
This time in quarantine has really showed us we are not in control of anything outside of US. It can all be taken away in an instant. This is a huge revelation for a lot of people thinking everything in our life was in our control. But this in no way has to be a negative thing. So we are going to focus on the positive. We can control ourselves. We ARE in complete control of our mind set. If this is the only thing we have EVER been in control of, we should be giving it a lot more attention.
We can CHOOSE to wake up everyday happy and spread that to our families. We can choose to be productive in whatever way is possible for our mental health. We can choose to grow during this uncertain time by trying new things or mastering something else we have been working on. Even when all things seem lost, we still have choices that can better us. what are you choosing?
Are you choosing to sit on the couch and eat bags of potato chips? Have you chosen to not go outside AT ALL for some fresh air because it just seems like it's too much? Have you been choosing to stay wrapped up in the negative news that drives your fear, anxiety, or depression? Or are you choosing to wake up at a decent time each morning? Are you choosing to do activities and play with your kids? Are you choosing to continue to work your hardest at your job, or find a new one? There are so so many choices we can make right now.
The first step in this process, is realizing and accepting bad behaviors or habits. The next is to the decide you WANT to stop them, and then its time to create a goal or plan of action to get past them and out of this funk we have been in. I have been asking myself over and over, who do I want to be? Who do I want to be when the going gets tough? It is not enough for me to just be my best self when everything is right and easy. I have DECIDED the type of person I want to be, and that means doing it in the face of adversity, even when it is really hard.
Here is my how-to on taking action during uncertainty.
Re-evaluate your mind set: How is this time making you feel? If it is negative, turn it to think of anything and everything positive this pandemic has brought to your life, your families lives, or the world. Think about all the POSSIBILITIES you could do with this time. Ask yourself who you want to be. Do you want to be the same, better, or worse than you went into this quarantine? Do your actions match your answer to that question? Do you want more or better for yourself? Are you current habits and routines (or lack of) helping you reach your goal and who you want to be? My favorite question is here! What do you want to be known for? Are you working towards that every day? Write all of this down! It helps you connect the dots and plan it out so all these thoughts and feelings feel less overwhelming and sporadic.
Who is counting on you: Do you have kids who are looking to you, watching how you handle this? Do you have a spouse who is leaning on you for emotional support? Do you have elderly or ill family members who are afraid? Who is counting on you? Remember them!
Set out a goal: No matter how small it is! I don't care what it is. It could be to paint the most beautiful picture you have ever created. It could be to make the best peach cobbler in the world. It could be to spend 2 full hours a day playing one on one with your kids. It could be to exercise every day, or to stop or limit your alcohol intake. Think about it, and write it down!
Create a routine: Routines are VITAL to our mental health and daily life! It helps keep anxiety at bay and has been shown to help with depression. It helps us feel like WE are in control of ourselves and our decisions! It could look like this: 6am- wake up 7:30- coffee and breakfast 8:00- Go on a walk or exercise 9:00- Shower and get ready 10:00- Play with your kids or do some "me" time- read, write etc 11:00- Work or work towards personal goals 12:00- Lunch and/or meal prep 1:00- Get out of the house! In any way 2:00- Clean up or other productive activity 3:00- Downtime (nap, TV, meditate, etc) 4:00- More playtime with kids or work towards personal goals 5:00- Start Getting ready for dinner You get the picture. Plan it out! Or to make it simpler, just create a 1hr morning routine that gets you out of bed and in a good head space!
Read Your Goals Every Morning: This could easily (and should be) a part of your morning routine. Seeing your goals every morning keeps you driven and working towards them! It keeps them in the forefront of your mind to keep you going and less likely to think, "There is nothing to do" and wasting a whole day or week on the couch or in bed and feeling even more depressed and anxious.
Realize this too shall pass: However that is not an excuse to let yourself fall far behind. It is like my wagon analogy. Ill insert it here...
"FALLING OFF THE WAGON
We all “fall off the wagon” sometimes. Because we mess up. We fail. We are human.🤷🏼♀️first thing is first, the most important thing is we get back up. But what happens if we sit on the ground? -
For this metaphor, picture the following literally. You have fallen off your wagon. Instead of jumping back up and getting back on, you sit on the ground for a while. The longer you sit on the ground; the further the wagon travels away from you. If you sit for an hour, you have to literally run or walk to catch back up to the wagon to get back on. -
Life is a lot like this. It’s easier to get back on if you get up right when you mess up. The longer you wait to get back to your goals/habits/routines, the harder it is to start them again. The longer you put off getting back to what’s good for you, the harder it is to get back to it. -
When I mess up my diet one day, I can quickly get back to it the next. But when one day turns to 2 turns to 3, it’s harder to get back on it. So not only is it MORE difficult to get back to habits, I have to CATCH UP what I lost or back tracked during that time. -
So the next time you fall off, make it goal to LET IT GO! And get back on your wagon as quickly as possible! The more you do this, the less paralyzed you’ll feel when you do fall off. We all fall off. But we all don’t choose to get back on."
Don't let yourself fall off, get outside and get some sun light, drink your water, eat your veggies, and make a small step towards what ever goal you have every single day! For support, please always know my door is open!