Happy April! Spring is in the air and I have a new spring in my step. I’m optimistic because I feel like I’ve finally regained some control of life. As I shared in this post, I’ve been able to jump over some of the physical challenges I’ve been experiencing. My energy has returned. I’ve been able to manage my back and knee pain and I just feel so much better. So good that I was able to take a 20-minute walk around my neighborhood this morning. Getting back out there is something I’ve been dreaming about doing for months. I made the commitment to hit the pavement today and I accomplished what I set out to do. Today I scored a win!
My goal is to do it again tomorrow and each day this month with the sole purpose of simply showing up. My plan is to walk slow, just as I did today and to walk for 20 minutes and that’s it! No tracking my miles. No tracking my steps. No busting a sweat. None of that! Just keep my commitment to show up…walk and go home. Eventually I will work my way up to walking faster and running again, but for now, my goal is to just get out there. I win each time I’m consistent with doing what I’ve set out to do.
My approach to putting my life back together has been to make small doable changes and to focus on doing the things that I know will help me to be a better me. I’ve already shared my physical transformation in this post. Today I want to share my mental transformation, but before I do so, here is a glimpse into what my thinking patterns were like prior to making some changes.
- I had a bad attitude – about everything
- I complained constantly
- I was easily distracted and couldn’t stay focused
- I struggled to complete projects both at home and at work
- I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back I now realize I was mildly depressed
One thing about me is that I can’t stay in a funk for too long. At some point, I have to get out. Fortunately, I know what to do to get myself back on track. Following is what I did and what I continue to do to keep myself mentally clear, focused and on track when it comes to my mental well-being.
I’ve Turned Off The TV
It was exactly a month ago today that I decided to stop watching TV. I was in the habit of turning it on because it was there. I would spend more time channel surfing than actually watching something. I had also become obsessed with the news and sheer insanity of the new president and his administration. I found myself feeling anxious and angry all the time and it was then that I realized I had to turn it off. It served more as a distraction than anything else, and I knew that if I were to just stop watching it, I would get more done. Mission accomplished!
I Practice Gratitude
As I sat in church one Sunday complaining silently about almost everything, it hit me that I was ungrateful. The very things I had been complaining about (not just at church that day but on a daily basis) were the blessings in my life. I complained about my health, my job, my finances…you name it I complained about it. I’ve always detested listening to others complain because to me, it was the evidence of an ungrateful spirit…and here I was doing it…constantly. I decided I was going to start practicing being grateful for my blessings. Each morning I write down 3 things that I’m grateful for. This practice has really helped me to stop complaining and wallowing in self-pity, which I absolutely abhor.
I Journal Daily
I have quiet time every morning before preparing for work. This one practice I believe has saved my life. It may sound like an exaggeration, but being able to spend time alone each morning to take hold of my day and my thoughts before anything or anyone else has a chance to get at me has made a huge difference in how I show up in the world. One of the things I do during my quiet time is journal. I pour out my thoughts, feelings, plans, etc. I process and work through my problems and concerns. It allows me to dump my brain so I’m not carrying all that junk around with me.
I Feed My Mind With Things That Build Me Up
Now that I have all this extra time on my hand from not watching TV, I have more time to read and listen to podcasts, which I love. I will share all of the podcasts that I listen to in a future post, but for now here are three of my favorites:
- For Business: Amy Porterfield and the Wellpreneur Podcast
- For Fat Loss Motivation: Primal Potential
- For Productivity: The Productive Woman Podcast
Currently, I am reading “Rising Strong” by Brene’ Brown. Love her! I will be sharing some insights I am gleaning from the book in a future post as well.
The point I want to make clear here is that I decide what I allow into my consciousness. I am careful about what I read and listen to. I’m careful to surround myself with people who are positive and uplifting. I spend my time taking in information that will build me up and fortify me and that has had a huge impact on my way of thinking. It’s a blessing to have choices and the choices I am making are leading to positive changes!
I Do My Weekly Planning
If you have ever read any of my posts you know that I am a planner by nature. It’s what I do for a living and it’s something that comes very natural to me. But for some reason, I had gotten away from the practice and I had begun to go about my days in a very haphazard manner. No order, no direction, no plan. I am now more purposeful about what I do and the things I choose to spend my time on. Because I have a lot on my plate, planning is imperative if I want to get it all done. Sunday is my weekly planning day. I sit down with my “Happy Planner” and I do what I like to call my “weekly reset”.
I write down all of the things that have to get done and all of the things I’d like to do that week. Then I use my planner to schedule each item. If it’s not scheduled it won’t get done! This practice has helped me to regain my focus and helps me to be way more productive. This has definitely brought more order and sanity to my life.
Together all of these practices keep me on track, keep me calm and stress-free. Stress-free is for me! And in addition to that I find that because I’m no longer living and out of control life, I’m also not eating like an out of control crazy person. With less stress, I am more in control of my life and my eating.
These are small doable changes that I have made in my life but I am telling you they have had a huge impact on my mental well-being, which has spilled over into my physical well being. It truly does all work together.
Your Turn To Share
What do you do to bring yourself out of a funk? Share some of your strategies for maintaining your mental wellbeing.