BY ROSIE WITTLEDER, GRACE ATTENDER
In the last article, we talked about what it means to be in the weeds, how we might have gotten there, and what we can do to get out of them. Mainly, we talked about the importance of simplifying your life, as stress and busyness are the enemies to getting well. (You can check out that article here.) This article will talk about some life-giving practices you can incorporate on a daily basis, especially when you’re in the weeds.
Develop A Daily Routine
When we are in the weeds, it can feel like the bottom is falling out from under us. We feel like we don’t have any say in how we feel or our situation. We feel powerless. We get carried away in the happenings of life. We feel like victims when we give our power over to circumstances, which change constantly. These feelings of powerlessness can quickly move to despair--we feel like there is nothing we can do to change a situation.
How do you we address feelings of powerlessness? Well, we have to look at what we actually do have control over. What would that be? Ourselves. It’s vital that we redirect our energy to the only thing we can actually change. There is a direct correlation between how much peace we experience, and our belief system about what is ours to control.
Our internal world doesn’t have to change with our circumstances. Our internal world is created by what we choose to do in our daily living. We can create rhythms that keep us grounded in the midst of our troubles. There is something very comforting about sticking to our daily rhythms. And comfort is something that is desperately needed when you’re in the weeds. So directing our energy to create healthy rhythms is central to moving out of the weeds.
5 Practices You Can Start Doing Today
What are some of these daily rhythms? There’s no perfect answer, and everyone’s routine will differ. We are each unique in what we need. What’s important, though, is that you come up with your daily rhythms and start living them. Try it on, see if it fits, and change it if you need to. It’s a work in progress. And what you need in one season may not be what you need in another.
So let’s talk specifics. Here are some practices I have incorporated into my daily routine. These five practices help me feel centered and help me cope with whatever circumstances are making life difficult.
Each morning, I do some form of checking in with how I’m feeling or what I’m experiencing inside. This doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Just five to ten minutes of daily journaling can carry big impact. So much suffering happens as a result of not being aware of what is bothering us and how it is impacting our world.
This involves taking the time to sit, be still, and take deep breaths while I center my mind on a truth, a poem, the lyrics of a song, a prayer, a psalm or a daily inspiration. I usually do this right after journaling, so both things happen in one sitting.
I suggest starting small. Maybe just a few minutes. You can always add more time as it gets easier. Just sitting in a chair and taking ten deep breaths can help you re-center your mind in the midst of hard. Years ago, when I was having a hard time at work, I used to do this during bathroom breaks. You can incorporate this throughout your day.
Yoga also helps slow down the mind and practice living in the present moment with your body. Just like anything, it requires practice to center our minds in order to experience the peace we desperately need.
This doesn’t have to be intense. Even if it’s just a 15 or 20 minute walk over a lunch break. There is so much research that links exercise with our peace of mind. Going outside while doing so? Even more effective. I often have those much-needed moments of clarity during my workout time. Life always feels more manageable after a heathy dose of endorphins have been released in my body.
Jogging on the beach is my favorite form of exercise
Creative Outlet (Writing)
What is something you enjoy doing that recharges your batteries or energizes you? Unlocking our creative juices can bring so much hope and create a bright spot when we feel overwhelmed. Gardening, photography, knitting, painting, mechanical projects, crafting, organizing spaces, woodworking, making jewelry, music, art, etc. When I take the time to write, I am always amazed at the amount of life and energy that enters my body. This is vital when you feel drained, down or anxious.
This may sound silly or obvious, but sleeps needs to be a top priority. Seven to nine hours of sleep needs to be the norm. Come up with a bedtime routine to help you, and do your best to stick to it. Everything in life is 10x harder when you’re tired, so good sleep is central.
Obviously, when you have a new baby or you’re taking care of someone who is chronically ill, this is nearly impossible. But do whatever you can to get those hours in, even if they are broken up for the time being. With my baby, if she started her night at 7pm, I would go start my night then too. Of course, that meant other things didn’t get done.
Getting good sleep, and the other four practices I mentioned, have literally changed my life. You might be wondering how to incorporate all of these things into your day. See the first article: Simply your life. The truth is, you can’t do this within the structure of your existing life, most likely. Which is why a major overhaul of our priorities often needs to happen in order to get out of the weeds. You have to make room in your days before you can engage in your new routines.
Questions to Consider:
What is something you could add this week to your daily routine that would help you experience more peace?
Who could you ask to help you figure out and implement your new daily rhythms?
If you had more time in your day, what is one thing you would love to do?
What is one step you could take today to help you do something new or different tomorrow?
See more from Rosie at sugarfreewritings.com/my-blog.