slowing down to pick myself up

I’m turning inward today! I hope that’s okay.

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When I’m stuck in a rut I easily become overwhelmed – with my to-do list, my relationships, my life. I’m currently at this point.

I truly believe I should be able to fix this problem and have attempted all my life to do so. I’ve written posts about this subject here, here, and here. I’m always able to stay on top of things for a couple weeks but then I get to busy, stressed and everything goes out the window.

I’m so very tired of this vicious cycle.

I watched a documentary on Friday night called Happy. It’s about people and what makes them truly happy.

That night I was up at 3:30 thinking about it. I panicked during this bout of insomnia, feeling overwhelmed about failing to be happy.

After a few hours, my mind started to settle and clear. I began to try and figure out what I could do to fix my problem.

I’ve had a couple nights like this in the past few weeks. They remind me of one night of insomnia last year when I realized I wanted to quit my old job (and career) that I went to school for so long for. Now I’m at a completely new job and loving it so I’m thinking I’m at the cusp of another step in the right direction.

Thank goodness.

When I’m overwhelmed I usually find something to escape my feelings. My go-to options are TV, the Internet, food, and my dogs. I think spending time with my dogs does help me feel better and more present but the other stuff really doesn’t. I feel lazy and stressed once I finally decide to get my butt off of the couch. I’m also usually doing a combination of TV, Internet, and food so I’m even more removed from ‘real’ life! Not good.

I know that it’s definitely healthy to escape the hustle and bustle of real life sometimes but lately for me it’s getting in the way of living that life.

My epiphany on Saturday night/morning was something that I already know but have a hard time doing.

To really try to become happier, I’ve got to take it slow. I’m going to focus on fixing one poor habit at a time. Anything else I do that might not be considered healthy doesn’t matter for now. I just have one thing to do. That’s it. That should keep me from getting worked up.

I’m thinking I’ll start with no TV. Without TV I’d have soooo much more time to do things that I really love like gardening, reading, art, even chores! If I’m successful… wait… when I’m successful, I’ll be able to replace one bad habit with tons of other good options. Perfect.

I’m sure there are other people out there like me but man does it feel like I’m the only person sometimes with these silly struggles.

I hope to update you on my progress next week. This should hold me accountable!

Who’s overwhelmed? Who’s with me? Who has some words of wisdom for all of us? 

#mmm

I have a problem. No, not my candy problem, another one!

It’s very difficult for me to stay on top of tasks. I’m talking about anything – projects, to do lists, whatever. I get overwhelmed by the large amount of projects so instead of getting up off my butt and taking action, I turn the TV on (or anything else besides what I should be doing) and escape.

To give myself a little boost, I started a hashtag on twitter called #mmm or ‘Moments, Mornings & Mondays‘. If you haven’t read it yet, that post is about making positive choices and how they can have a snowball effect on your life. If you make just one healthy choice, you’re more likely to make another.

Frequently when I do something good, I’ll tweet about it with that hashtag. This gives me a little virtual pat on the back and the motivation to keep up the good work. My love language is ‘Words of Affirmation’ so it works great! <- That book’s a winner and everyone should read it.

Being productive right after we moved in and cleaning the nastiest shower I have ever seen. Note the zip tie holding my hair up. I was sweaty and struggling.

Today started off on the wrong foot because of poor choices last night. I didn’t get out of bed until 7:30 (I wanted to get up at 6:10). I stayed up too late last night watching a movie and so I was still super tired when the alarm went off. Oh but I did floss! That’s a plus. Anyways, I should have started the movie earlier or watched it this weekend but that didn’t happen.

I think the point of that last paragraph is to explain why I’m writing this post. I couldn’t figure out what to write this morning, again, because I was too tired. When I first got up I dreaded writing and now I’ve taken all day to do it just because I was crabby from lack of sleep.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE writing and blogging but when things get out of whack I tend to loathe even the smallest task. Eh, that makes me sound horribly dramatic! Oh well, it’s the truth!

Maybe I knew I was going to have trouble this morning because last night I found myself reading posts from Joshua Fields Millburn. He’s one of the authors from the blog The Minimalists. They left high-paying corporate jobs for more simple, fulfilling lives and careers. I don’t want to go as far as them and be minimalists but along with acknowledging my positive habits I think cutting back on things like TV and the internet would really help me stay focused. Here’s a little article they did on that. I actually got rid of cable when my husband was deployed and I stayed on top of my tasks MUCH more than I do now. Now that he’s back I won’t be able to get rid of it again but I should be able to muster up the willpower to leave the TV room and use the time in a more productive way.

Working on a project to display my sister’s many scarves.

I’ve made multiple lists on this blog of things I want to do but for this post/topic I think I’ll just stick to the #mmm hashtag and also minimize my electronics use. While my husband was deployed I didn’t have TV (only Netflix) and I loved it. I was almost always on top of things and I often woke up before my alarm refreshed and ready to go! It’s been a while since I’ve felt that energy.

When I go back and read this post, it seems like it’ll be such an easy fix but I know better these days. Habits die hard. BUT I’ve conquered my candy habit so now it’s on to bigger things. I got this.

Maybe it’s a certain personality type or just the large amount of distractions but I have a feeling that many of us have trouble staying focused these days. So if you’re on twitter, please join me in tweeting about your moments, mornings, and Mondays! I don’t care if the only positive thing you did was do your laundry. High five! You checked something off your ‘to do’ list.

*Virtual pat on the back* or high five, whichever you prefer!

How in the world do you stay on top of your every growing ‘to do’ list?

moments, mornings, and mondays

Try going from a job where you sit for 8 hours all day to a job where you stand for 10. Holy moly. I’m LOVING my new job so far but I can’t wait until I build new stamina! My feet, back, and hips are dying over here.

I’m pooped but I must want to write.

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When we’re attempting to live a more fulfilling and positive life (as I am on the quest to do) it often seems overwhelming  – eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep and so on. I’ve found that it’s really the tiny moments and decisions that add up over time and help me achieve my goal of creating healthy habits.

With every moment I have the chance to choose between something positive or negative. These moments in life begin during my morning routine.

I wanted to start my Monday and week off right since it was my first week at my new job, so as soon as I woke up I sat on the floor beside my bed and meditated for 5 minutes. I think I focused on the words ‘confident’ and ‘calm’ to get me through the day. This tiny choice helped me keep my head clear and positive.

I also flossed and made the bed. These two things are just chores but also positive choices!

monday - like a boss!

I feel so much better if my morning starts off on the right foot. Case in point – Monday I did all three of those things and today I did not. Today I struggled to even get out of bed and I wasn’t as cheerful. If I had done what I was supposed to do I know I wouldn’t have hit the snooze, forcing myself to rush around, skipping a good breakfast habit, my ‘green’ smoothie (with fruit, protein, milk, and spinach).

tuesday - don't bother me

This leads to my realization that if I have a good morning then I’ll most likely have a healthy and happy day.

And then if I start my Mondays off right I’ll probably have a great week! Of course that isn’t always the case but there’s no need to beat yourself up about it. There’s always that next moment where you have the possibility of making a positive choice!

Every little bit counts!

Want to start a your day off right? Here’s how to mediate! You’ll feel like a goofball at first but it’s wonderful once you stop laughing at yourself.

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BTW, I’ve finally figured out my blogging schedule! Once my training is done next week, my cooking recipes, DIY projects, and everything else will become routine. I’m looking to blog at least Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. 🙂

ahh, yoga

I started practicing yoga about 3 years ago. I played sports all my life but yoga for me is about my mental state, the physical strength I gain is just a plus. Last new years (2010) I made a resolution to practice some sort of yoga/meditation/stretching 3 times a week. Sometimes it was only 5 minutes and sometimes it was an hour-long class. Either way I succeeded and it kept me in a present, happy state of mind (MOST of the time at least).

Even though I’ve kept up my resolution, I didn’t take any full classes in the past two weeks during my break from work. Combined with the amount of cookies I ate, it was not a great combo for my return back to the real world. Why oh why do I do this to myself? I tossed and turned for hours on end last night dreading the day.

As I lay there in bed I realized that I had run a 5k on Sunday but I hadn’t stretch since! My hips were killing me. With my husband snoring away next to me I maneuvered my way into a half-reclining hero pose (the pose below but with one leg out in front). I think I even laughed to myself because of how silly I felt but hey. I took the time to really breathe into the joints on each leg. It still took some more focused breathing and more time for me to fall asleep but man did my hips feel better!

Another plus – I came up with blog topics and found some great companies to follow on twitter which I just joined (@hippieitch). Good times.

Here’s to a good nights sleep tonight and some hatha yoga tomorrow!