I’ve had so many clients tell me recently that they “just don’t know how they got off course” or that they feel like they’ve “somehow totally lost control of their lives.” Of course these feelings extend far beyond having a cluttered or disorganized home.
I’ve also had this feeling of being “off track” pop up more than a few times in my life. I’ve learned it can be triggered not only by significant life events – like losing my father unexpectedly – but also seemingly minor hiccups, like losing my voice for a few weeks or even just waking up and feeling like something’s out of whack.
I’ve found a few tools that have proven helpful, and of course I wanted to share them with you:
Sometimes when I’m feeling off it is because there’s so much noise in my head it’s hard to think straight. It helps to make space for myself and find pockets of quiet. I recommend a ten-minute walk to reflect or a five-minute meditation to help quiet your mind and slow down your racing brain. I particularly love the five to ten-minute meditations on the Rituals app.
There’s nothing like resisting emotion to make negative feelings drag on even longer. My tendency is always to push against any kind of negativity that crops up, but I’ve learned that as soon as I surrender things shift, sometimes instantly. Practice paying attention to how you feel like an outside observer. Write down all of your thoughts and feelings and don’t judge them. Maybe you feel totally overwhelmed in every area of your life? Maybe you feel ashamed of the state of your home? All of it is fine. This is where you are, and it’s ok.
Connect with People Who Get You
Sometimes, when I feel like I’m so off track I can’t even remember who I am or what I care about, I connect with someone who does. A call to your mom, a session with a therapist, life coach, or teacher who knows you, or lunch with an old friend can help you feel more connected, and integrated, in your life.
Practice Doing Things You Enjoy
Whenever I’m in a rut or feel disconnected from myself, I make sure to start practicing things that I love. Take a yoga or dance class, dig into a good book, take a writing class, or meet a good friend for dinner. Sometimes you have to “fake it until you make it,” but taking these actions can help propel you forward and will certainly feel better than sitting around feeling sorry for yourself.
Create a Daily Routine
I remember when I broke my foot and couldn’t workout or see clients for weeks. I felt not only frustrated, but totally disconnected from my life. What helped the most was establishing a daily routine I could practice even with my given circumstances. No matter what you’re going through, you can still schedule meals, social outings, and create space for activities you enjoy.
Whether you want to lose weight, declutter your home, get a new job, or start a relationship, it’s always best to start with one small step at a time. When we feel overwhelmed it’s almost impossible to take action. Think of one tiny thing you can do to move towards your vision or goals. Focus only on completing that one micro-action so you can experience a little victory. Ignore the rest. Momentum will follow.
If you’re working your way through a difficult time, I hope you will try some of these techniques and let me know how it goes for you. If you have others to add to the list, please share in the comments below or DM me.
Images: Vivian Johnson Photo