I suffered from withdrawal symptoms. No it wasn’t drugs, thankfully.
Abrupt routines, obsessive house cleaning and laundry, overworking to lazy browsing, hiding under the duvet for hours, over-sleeping to insomnia, skipping meals to stuffing my face with sugary treats, binge watching tele, self doubting, then re-energising, focusing then losing focus.
Whenever I felt robbed of something or my purpose was lost I spiralled down that road. I understand that you can’t always have control over the curve balls life throws at you. It’s only human to react.
I’ve gone through it several times in my life. Teenage rebellion phase, or when I left my family and came to UK for my MBA, when I had my first ectopic, and the second ectopic losing twin pregnancies, when career blocks came in forms of racist or sexist management, when I lost loved ones, when I chose to walk out on paid employment, when I had health scares, when my daughter was diagnosed with a heart condition, and the latest is my daughter going to school and me having nothing to do.
One thing that has whipped me back in line is my mindset. I have had to dig deep at times to find energy to get through from one day to another. Sometimes, just having a stern word with myself did the trick.
Sharing 3 things I rely on for getting be back in shape.
- Finding your purpose - What is that makes you want to get out of bed? Work, family, business, money. Find the reason and make it your charging station. NOT your energy. When we make our purpose our source of energy we are lost and deflated when the purpose is lost.
We spend so much time fulfilling other people's goals in life that we start defining ourselves by them. Or we focus all our efforts into one outcome and when it doesn't go our way we are frustrated and angered by it.
Find a way to compartmentalise your passion. Be it work or baking the most scrumptious cake. If you dedicate your time and energy in an organised manner and remember to balance your priorities, you will find yourself putting less emphasis on the materialistic or temporary gains. Your aim shouldn't be solely to achieve materialistic success, it should be to attain content from the tasks you perform along the journey to reach the goal.
When you focus just on outcomes, you forget to enjoy the small wins along the way. You ignore the happiness from the intangible success. That happens when your purpose is your source of energy, so when that's lost we fail ourselves.
However, when we find a purpose which helps us charge our emotions and be resourceful we no longer rely on the failure or success of the outcome. It is what we do in that moment that makes you happy and fulfilled.
- Indulge in positivity - Look for sources of positive mental wellbeing. Spending time with family, nature, books, podcasts, whatever gives you the mindset to keep moving forward.
Rick Carson explains this approach best in his book Taming your Gremlin. He suggests, "Notice the experience of choice and of choosing. Then, with conscious self-respect, self-love, and a clear intention to feel good, experiment with reducing time spent in mourning and increasing time spent enjoying the here and now and in creating a fulfilling future for yourself and the living loves of your life."
Get rid of people that make you feel worthless. Surround yourself with love, love for life, for food, for your passion, for anything other than negativity. Being happy is within you. Sadness is inflicted, but happiness can be nurtured. Be incharge of those happy chemicals in your brain cells.
- Pay it forward - Keep giving back to the society, add value to your community and build meaningful relationships. Invest your time in giving back to your society, we need do gooders, eventually it will come back to you.
There is an unspoken satisfaction you feel when you are able to make things better for someone else. When you give without expectation, you tend you attract the forces of nature and kindness work their way to you. Try it!
Get involved in whatever form of charitable/pro bono/voluntary work you can and observe the pure emotions you feel when you have done something for another human or animal selflessly. You will be surprised how acts of generosity can impact your social state of mind. It's only a matter of time before the universe reciprocates the kindness back to you.
To conclude in the words of Richard Bach,
Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah.