Okay, so we have accepted that it’s okay not to be okay…but how do we know when we
are not okay? Many of us are so caught up in the day-to-day shuffle of life, especially if
we are parents and caring for children, that the last thing we think of is checking in with
ourselves to see just how much we have left to give. You can’t pour from an empty
bucket, and many times, we don’t even know our bucket is empty!!
It’s important not only to know what the signs are that something is off for you, but also
what are the things that get you back on track. We need to understand where our
docking station is when we need a reset so that being “a little off” doesn’t turn into a
major mental health issue. Here are a few thing to help you take a deeper look at where
you are and what you need emotionally.
First, respect the rest. Until we stop, breathe and sit with ourselves, we can’t know what
it is that we are really feeling. Rest tends to get a bad rap as a waste of time, but it is
one of the best ways to be intentional about the life you are living and how you are
taking care of yourself. Find something that quiets your mind like prayer, meditation or a
nature walk. Connect with you and really listen to what your soul is telling you it needs.
Next, take an inventory of the things in your life that bring you joy. When is the last time
you felt joy and are the things that usually fill your soul still having the same effect? For
me, one of the first signs that I am veering off course is losing my desire to take my
morning walks. These walks are an essential part of me feeling grounded and at peace,
and have become one of the best parts of my day. When it feels nearly impossible to
drag myself out of bed to go on these walks or I find myself making up an excuse as to
why I don’t have time for a walk today, that is a huge red flag for me. Take some time
to think about what feels really good for you, be it as simple as a perfectly decorated
cupcake, an afternoon by the ocean listening to the waves, or a trip to your favorite amusement park. Those things that make you happy, like really happy…do more of those!
We know what makes us feel better, what pulls us out of the shadows. Ask yourself, are
those things still working? What does your soul need to feel at peace? As the ultimate
extrovert, I need connection, face to face time with the people who make my heart
happy. When I don’t get that regularly, I can feel the unease in my spirit. I also know
that I need quiet time and to give myself the grace to do whatever feels good in that
moment, no matter if it seems crazy or indulgent. Cake for breakfast, followed by a
massage and a Netflix binge-a-thon. Yes, sometimes that’s exactly what I need!! The
ability to unapologetically allow yourself to do what soothes your soul is one of the
highest forms of self love.
So take the time to not be okay. Then take the time to remember the things that are
essential parts of your peace and make sure you are carving out time for them. It won’t
fix everything, but it is a fantastic step in the right direction.