Most of my days are spent sitting at a desk wishing that I could be anywhere else. My mind wanders to impossible lives and futures that are within my control, but then I get pulled back to reality feeling stuck. It’s almost as if it’s like all the things I dream for my life are not going to happen. Part of it is the pressure to have it all figured out that I feel like I am getting from a variety of sources: myself, looking to other people, parents, and society. Another part of it is some anxiety- when I have downtime I am my most anxious. There’s too much to do but not enough time to do it so I stay stagnant.
Graduating from college was the best thing to happen to me. It felt like a culmination of all of my hard work had paid off and I could finally take a moment to breathe. But then I got a bit too much time on my hands, a job that feels like it fluctuates in activity, and a restless soul that is just waiting for the next thing to come. In the midst of all of this, I realized that my life is my story and that I no longer have a set plan for my life. I’ve gone through the starter program of that all children are subscribed to since birth and left at a fork in the road.
Of course, there’s the temptation to get every aspect of my life together all at one time. Which can be helpful sometimes to just cut things out and start fresh without looking back. But in my experience, that only leads to beating yourself up after one little mistake. Which can snowball into more things dropping off the to-do list of living your best life or into continuously beating yourself up. Both of which are almost inevitable.
Little changes in your life have the opportunity to set themselves as a routine when they are given a bit of time. Earlier this March, I found a Pinterest image with a skin care routine that looked doable. So I hunkered down and I bought a few things I didn’t have and set to work on making sure that I took the time to care for my skin. While I was shopping for skin care products, I thought that if I am able to take care of my skin then I should be able to take care of my body. I immediately wanted to dive off the board and into the health and wellness endeavor again, but I had to stop myself. I asked myself to focus on my skin first and then I would find a way to implement eating well and exercising into my life. And now, I happy to report that my skincare habit has stuck. On to the next one!
The Bare (self-care) Necessities
After graduation, I took a lot of time with doing self-care. I would do the things I wanted to do, eat what I wanted to eat, and let myself be a little lazy…which turned into being a lot lazier. I, like most people, thought self-care was all face masks and bubble baths. I was trying so hard for the “Instagram Worthy” version of self-care, that I wasn’t really taking part in self-care at all.
Taking a step back at the mass-produced version of self-care that is sold to us every day, I needed to go back to basics. When I got Pepper, I was using self-care as an excuse to eat poorly, sit on the couch, and just continue to foster bad habits. Then when my anxiety got to it’s worst, I took action to find what I need in a day in order to be okay.
Cut to starting to get into running again and eating well, I notice a significant difference in my day. I choose to run every morning because I feel a lot more balanced than if I don’t. I make sure to eat according to the meal plan I set for myself or I feel kinda gross. Self-care is no longer all about doing nice things for my self every once and a while (it is still part of it but not totally), it has become about doing things within my day or week that make me feel my best.
Trying to Enjoy, but Still Get Stuff Done
In this transitional time, I’ve come to accept that it’s okay to not know exactly what is coming next. It’s scary but necessary. All I can do is continue to make an effort to tick off little boxes that don’t consume my life. Or just focusing on not allowing my life to be consumed by making sure that everything works out according to what I think it should be. One of the things I’ve noticed about manifesting or the Law of Attraction (if you don’t believe in it or are skeptical that’s cool too), is that we have to let go in order for things to work themselves out.
Much like we would when meditating, we should be envisioning this great life that we have in whatever time period you want. It could be a month or a year or ten years from now. But that thing you are chasing needs to be released. There is no point in worrying about the outcome or the journey. If you asked God or the Universe or whomever you believe in for something, let it go. Trust is such an important part of the way we live life. So in order for things to come our way, we need to remember to ask, let go, trust, and to keep living. Once you complete your tasks, don’t look for more work. Call it a day and move on.
Life always moves forward and rarely looks back at the things that happened in the past. There will always be things to do and the expectations and responsibilities that we have, but this moment is the only one that we get. Take a moment to relish in the time that you are in. It’s okay. That thing you’re stressing about can be taken care of tomorrow. Ask yourself if you’ve done everything that you need in order to feel okay. Take a drive anywhere your heart desires, pick up a class on something just for fun, find a good book and hunker down, but most importantly just live.