Over the last month or so, I've had *several* things going on that require a
lot of my time and effort and energy and that will also result in huge
changes for me. All good things, mind you, but holy goodness, I have been
beyond overwhelmed. And I kind of feel like that ^^
Think a couple of breakdowns here and a couple of breakdowns there...add in
one nasty sickness to it all and it hasn't really been fun. It didn't
really occur to me that I wasn't doing anything to handle said stress until
I was speaking with my mentor (seriously, God blessed me by bringing her
into my life).
It also didn't really occur to me that I was leaning back on my
perfectionist ways...I was trying to do it all, be it all, give it all...to
everyone and anyone! I had to stop saying yes!! I was digging myself into a
hole I couldn't get out of.
And thankfully, my mentor was able to throw me a ladder and help me get
myself out of that hole!! She also helped remind me of how I normally deal
with this kind of stress and that it's okay to give myself a break every now
and again!! I don't have to be on the go-go-go all the time!!
It was like such a huge weight lifted off my shoulders (it's funny how we
often need someone else to point these things out, huh?).
I started making more time for MYSELF and recognized that burning myself out
and running myself into the ground wasn't helping anyone...especially me!!
More importantly, I started **GASP** asking for help!!! What?! Me? Asking
for help?! Crazy, right?
I will be the first to tell you that I don't like asking for help...I don't
like looking like I can't do it all. And you know what that results in?
Unhappiness, stress, misery, anger, spite...you name it, I was there. And you
know what happened when I started asking for help? I got HELP!! Shocking how that
works! I also got more peace and clarity with the things I needed to do.
It's funny how we put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything, yet we
don't expect that from anyone else (at least, I don't). I really had to take
the time to step back and remind myself that it's okay to NOT DO EVERYTHING.
And that everything will still get done (even without me!!).
So I went back to the basics...things that I have previously done and had fallen
to the wayside (you know...when all my time was being eaten up by other
things). I started journaling and meditating again. I started stretching,
every night. I started reading at least 10 pages (but usually one chapter)
in a book every night...one that has helped me changed my perspective and grow
into a better Whitney!!
It's amazing how the smallest changes can often bring us the most clarity.
Journaling is something I don't really know how to explain, but I know it
helps me tremendously. I sit down with a pen and a notebook and just start
writing. To anyone else, it is complete rambling and often all over the
place. But to me, it is a space where I can let all those thoughts in my
head go! They are now written down and not floating around in my head,
causing me anxiety and stress. A lot of times, those ramblings help me come
up with my greatest ideas!!
And don't even get me started on meditating. Even just 10 minutes a day
helps calm and settle me more than anything else I've ever tried. I used to
use apps (which are still great because they tell you exactly what to do and
how to breathe), but I've recently started doing it in complete silence. I
set my alarm on my phone and turn every distraction off. I usually lay back
with my feet up a wall for more relaxation and benefits and pray. I let
thoughts wander in and out of my head as I breathe deeply and I ask God for
guidance. It honestly is one of my favorite times of the day.
Stretching has helped me slow down and take time to be in the moment (much
like yoga). It's also helped me tremendously with recovery from the gym and
overall just feeling better. My boyfriend and I like to stretch together in
the evenings before bed. He says I'm trying to kill him...hmmmm :)
And the whole reading thing...I have so many books I bought for
self-advancement and learning and they were just sitting there, gathering
dust. It wasn't until I took the time to start reading every day, even just a
chapter a day, that I realized what I was missing. It's helped open my eyes
and learn so much about myself and the world around me. They weren't kidding
when they said to never stop learning (whoever *they* are, LOL).
Getting back to the basics has really helped calm me down and alleviate a
lot of my stress. I won't say that I am 100% zen, but I am definitely way
better than I was before I added back in these things. Being in limbo always
stresses me out...but I know that I have the support of an amazing man and an
even more amazing God. I am really learning to let go and let God, because I
know with Him, I can achieve anything!
What are your favorite relaxation techniques? I'd love to hear about them in
the comments! Any additional ideas would be awesome!
With love and wellness,