Have you ever found yourself with the rug pulled from underneath your feet when you thought everything was «just fine»? Well, you think, it wasn’t all great, but I had no major issues. And then came a shock, a change, a revelation to make you wonder and doubt. And maybe realise «just fine» wasn’t good enough. You fell in the rut trap and somehow lost bits of yourself, your drive, your passion, your power. Gave up on parts that made you you.
Fear not, because a rut is not inescapable and the realization you are in one can be an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Am I an expert, thriving and living my very best life, equipped with impeccable advice? Nope. Far from that, just on my own path of dealing with this exact situation, wondering where it will end up. Here are the things I’m giving a try.
Appreciate the little things.
Yes, the sun is shining out of my window and, even though my cynical self raises an eyebrow, I will appreciate the bright light that fills my house. And the delicious coffee I can enjoy, since my IBS is in remission. And the good book I just finished reading in the subway this morning or the improptu meeting for drinks with my girlfriends the other day. Big adventures and rare experiences may up our adrenaline, but it’s true that the little everyday joys can add up and make life better. Note to self: don’t take them for granted.
5-a-day self care
In fact, not only should you appreciate the little things, but also write them down. Probably another cliche, BUT I have made it a habit to note down (at least) five things that I mindfully (key-word) chose to do to care for myself. Be it a movie I watched, a face mask or intimate time with my boyfriend, simple things matter and make it to the daily list, leaving me feel a little hint of accomplishment on the not-so-great-days.
Stop procrastinating/putting things off
I don’t mean obligations and oh-so-boring chores and errands. I’m talking life plans and dreams and things you’ve always wanted to try but somehow constantly leave for another time. I want to try scuba-diving, always have. I’ve also had many opportunities to give it a shot, but didn’t. Next time… I also want to see my friends more often, but, given the chance, I somehow seem to opt for lazy afternoons with Netflix instead. This needs to change and, trust me, once you begin being bold and active, it’s hard to go back to routine!
The Treasures’ List
This is a remedy for self-doubt and motivation for when you are in a rut or disoriented and don’t know where to start. I didn’t come up with it, of course. Write down a full list of your good traits and make sure to thoroughly include every detail. (Beautiful smile? Hard-working? Ambitious? Loving to your family? Awesome butt? All in!) Aim for 70, 90, or even 100! Read the list every morning and/or every night before you go to bed. What a better way to start and/or end your day than reminding yourself of how amazing and worthy you are. How much shit will you be willing to take after this? 😉
In order to reinvent yourself, you need to go back and remember what part of it you want to reconnect with. Sociability, sexuality, art? Maybe you want to rekindle the passion in a romantic relationship and wonder where that insatiable past self has gone to. What was different then that drove you? What has changed since? How can you incorporate some of your old flame into the current you? An inspiration board could maybe help – literal or figurative or electronic. Explore with open curiosity, experiment, examine the boundaries that the mind has -possibly arbitrarily- set. No one and nothing can define you.
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