Just surviving is a state many of us find ourselves in. We can call it a funk, in the shit, groundhog day – whatever you call it you know what I mean.
It’s the state where we get through the day only to go through it all again tomorrow. Just keeping it all together.
This isn’t where happiness flourishes, and when I talk about creating more happy you may be shaking your head because it’s hard to create more of something you don’t have much of to begin with.
Often in this state we feel like we are at capacity and can’t fit another thing in – especially nothing as self involved as self care. We are at capacity physically, mentally or emotionally and doing anything that requires you to deviate from the narrow path you find yourself treading each day feels too much.
Ever wonder how we get in this position?
A little thing called ‘life’, and the stresses it contains is usually at play here. Stress itself is not a bad thing. It helps keep us on our toes, alert and life exciting. It helps us grow and develop as a person. The problem happens when we experience stress over a long period of time. Not only that but we also experience more than one stressful event at a time. They can layer themselves like blankets on a bed. One blanket, we can manage, ten blankets are too hot and suffocating.
There are 4 things that I find are fundamental for our wellbeing. When it comes to us we begin to be able to deal with challenges or stress. They are not binge Netflix, withdraw, wine and chocolate, although many of us turn to these are coping mechanisms.
They are: move, nourish, sleep and still.
- MOVE: No need to be running a marathon or swimming the English channel but moving our body is a great way to break patterns of stress. It enables us to experience more helpful hormones like dopamine and endorphins. It clears the head and gives us an energy boost.
- NOURISH: This is food my friends. Are you eating things that gives your body what it needs. Often when we are in a rut so is our eating. I’m not suggesting changing everything overnight but you may like to add in something that is helpful for your lovely body.
- SLEEP: Do you and sleep have a good relationship? If not this could be part of your ‘just surviving’ feeling. Sleep hygiene and routines can play a big part in getting a successful night sleep so you wake feeling rested and ready for the challenges of the day. Taking electronics out of the bedroom is one thing you could begin with. Reducing the impact of devices as we prepare for sleep is going to help, as well as not being able to reach for it if you wake in the night to check what’s happening on social media.
- STILL: I think this one is the most overlooked when it comes to foundational pieces for our well being. Our ability to switch off and just be helps with our sleep at night, decision making capacity through the day and reduces our stress hormones. It promotes emotional health as we can deal with anxiety and worry better. Finding times to be still during the day can be seen as unproductive but it’s vital for our sanity.
So what next?
Do not try to improve all 4 areas at once.
That would be the easiest path to total burn out. Be kind to yourself and pick the lowest hanging fruit first. You know you, so pick the one that you can create change with more easily.
Move, nourish, sleep and still.
These 4 foundations will help you then take the next steps to deal with life’s challenges and create more happy in your days.
And lastly, share how you are feeling with a trusted friend or professional. You don’t need to do this alone.