Well, folks – it’s January 31, and as the first month of 2018 comes to an end, I’m thinking about ways to regroup before the next one begins. For context, in the last two weeks alone, I fought a stomach bug, mourned the loss of yet another missed opportunity, and woke up to find my car missing after it had been wrongfully towed. (Yeah, I don’t know anymore . . . And these are just the highlights, people.)
Needless to say, my stress level has been on the rise, but with work and other responsibilities, I couldn’t afford to break down. Don’t get me wrong — I definitely had my moments, but somehow I managed to push through. Over the last two weekends, I gave myself time to acknowledge the hard stuff and rest; and at some point, I started to think about how to bounce back.
So, without further ado, here’s how I plan to hit refresh in February:
1. Cry It Out
Two questions for you: When everything feels hard, do you face your emotions head on or do you ball them up, check out, and redirect your thoughts elsewhere? More specifically, do you ever feel like crying is not an option?’ I’ve certainly been there before and back . . .
Right now, I can make a list of recent events that I hadn’t allowed myself to acknowledge and release by way of a good cry. This resulted in three instances of uncontrollable crying triggered by somewhat minor bumps in the road; and although I gave myself a hard time (like, a reeeally hard time) about being a bit of a mess in those moments, deep down, I know it’s what I needed.
No matter how honest I am about where I’m at, my pride wants me to maintain a tough exterior and appear to have it all together, but this is far from reality. At the end of the day, I’m reminded that my tears help me heal and that I shouldn’t suppress them out of a desire to appear strong or above anything (past or present) that might be troubling me. It’s okay to mourn; and my goal is to be more mindful of that as I approach the next month.
2. Refine Expectations
Let’s face it: I’m extremely impatient with myself. I want to skip all the necessary steps on the road to healing and get to a place where I’m virtually untouchable / unable to be shaken by people and circumstances that don’t work in my favor. But is that really the goal?
After talking with a friend, I was reminded that, like much of life, the road to healing is more about the journey; and the things I encounter on that journey will lead me to where I need to be, not to the idea of where I think I should be — both emotionally and spiritually. So I took a few steps back to refine my expectations in those departments . . . Mostly in the hopes of feelings less discouraged as I continue to work towards my goals.
It’s worth mentioning that at the close of last year, I fully recognized that there are some aspects of my current struggles that may be lifelong battles, so it’s important to: 1) extend grace to myself, 2) resist the urge to compare my journey to others’, and 3) strive to go at my own pace — whatever it may be. In that regard, perhaps the overall, more realistic goal is to become more aware of the day-to-day impacts of these battles and how to better cope with them.
3. Ask for Help
This point sort of goes hand-in-hand with the last. I’m really bad at asking for help as I don’t want to appear weak or too needy. Again, this is an issue of pride and it hasn’t served me well.
Without a doubt, it’s in my best interest to seek all the help I can get while navigating through major life decisions this year — particularly over the next few months. As I’m learning what it’s like to really prioritize needs that I’ve neglected, I’m remembering that this doesn’t come at the cost of including others in my life — especially the people who love and care about me.
That’s all I have tonight. Thanks for reading.