Some of the things I do for self-care:
Spend time in nature
Try to connect with friends
Love on my pet kitty, Pookie
Complete the Five-Minute Journal daily
Ingest wonderful supplements
The list goes on and on….
Yet, despite all these wonderful practices, I found myself in an old, familiar place this past January. A place I have not visited in quite a long time.
I was driving home early one morning in the dark after working out and noticed my persistent internal state of what I can only describe as “The Grumpies.” I am not sure how this awareness came to my consciousness as I sat at a traffic light. It felt like there was a slow, steady decline in my daily joy. All the rain and darkness of winter really hit me hard, despite all my best efforts to keep Seasonal Affective Disorder at bay.
Out of nowhere, other life events seemed to heap on top of my already fragile internal world. Using my negative eyeglasses to peer out into the world led to decreased concentration. I became more disorganized than normal and felt as though I was drowning in minutiae. It seemed like I was not able to keep up with all my responsibilities. I was moving at a snail’s pace.
As this reality began to hit me hard, I began to tell a few friends what was happening. It was important to me to be honest and transparent. My friends really appreciated me sharing what was happening to me. I learned that I was not alone. Others around me have experienced similar things. Their encouragement gave me a little hope.
As spring began to burst forth with the colors of pink, yellow, and white, I told myself that I would naturally begin to feel better. Then one day recently, although the Red Bud trees were vibrantly waving their branches, I fell apart crying more out of frustration than anything else. A request requiring immediate action was sitting on my computer for more than six weeks. It was in a state of incompletion primarily because I was stuck. I did not have clarity to see how to get to the other side.
At that moment, Samantha Robbins, a vital member of DCA Virtual Business Support, was reaching out regarding a creative project that her team was working on on my behalf. It seemed like only ten seconds went by and she was able to resolve the issue in a flash. No more being stuck! I am grateful that she was able to support me in completing this request that has caused me so much anxiety and lost sleep. She was so kind. We even got to the creative project I had not reviewed during the last several weeks.
Then just this morning, I ran smack dab into another place of breaking down and feeling overwhelmed. I became so frustrated. This time it was Cory Worf, owner of CrossFit Weddington, who came along beside me. He saw me struggling and gave me such encouraging words. Cory told me, “It is ok to have a Good Bad Day. We all have them.” In an instant I understood what his message meant.
I gained clarity in two important truths this past winter and early spring:
First, no matter how bad I feel, I keep doing my self-care. It brings the “Good” to the “Bad” on those days that I am not at my best. It might be just as simple as focusing on my breath with gratitude. Even for only one breath.
I am alive and that is something.
Second, until my Grumpies leave for vacation, I will continue to be open to the surprising ways people show up just at the right moment. This reinforces the belief that I am not alone. There is support for me in wonderfully unexpectant ways.
I share my experience in hopes you may be reminded of all those who have encouraged you as well. To initiate a cycle of gratitude to fill your inner world reminding you of the hope that you are not alone.
Although it may rain or be cloudy and cold outside at times this spring, I will hold onto other people’s hearts that bring sunshine into my life.
Thank you for sharing your heart with me. May the sunshine of my heart shine on you as well.
*Other friends who have supported me this year hold a dear place in my heart: Tina, Rhonda, Deb, Laurene, Laura and Rebecca, Tracy, Melanie, Mavis, and of course, my kitty Pookie.