I’ve had multiple days I’ve fallen down into a dark hole of anger. Lately the news has been on most of the day in my house. We went from rarely watching the news, to having it on for many hours. This is not good for my psyche as I end up angry and feel stabby at society when I listen to the ugly non-stop. It’s really not good for hubby as he needs to take his mind off the covid when he’s not at work.
Add in my being glued to Facebook like an addict and it has been a recipe for disaster too many days.
We’ve been on an unhealthy path and I had to have a conversation about how we are both contributing to it. Sucking in all that negative is leaving me less and less room to let the good stuff in. I’ve been getting on the roller coaster even though I knew the ride was going to suck.
Yeah, that visual about sums up how I felt Monday night before talking to my beachie buddy Christina from Multimedia Content Solutions. She reminded me to go do one thing on my list and to get the hell off FB. Nothing like a good buddy to save you from yourself.
I want more positive in my life and that means I need to take control of things I can. I have to take control of how much negative I’m allowing in. Here are 3 changes I put in place right away to control what I’m taking in.
- We’ll be limiting the news and I’ve asked that we have days it doesn’t even get turned on.
- I set a 30 minute time for Facebook each day. It’s hard to stick to, but I’m determined. Nothing good happens when I’m on it longer. I also took it off my phone which has me twitching.
- I need to virtually step back from conversations when I feel myself getting angry. It’s ok for me to say that I can’t continue the conversation about a topic. It’s much better than getting angry and having hurt feelings.
Setting those boundaries leaves me more room for positives. Instead of just giving you my next steps, I asked my super smart and fun friends to add more ideas and answer the question…
How Are You Purposefully Fitting In More Positive?
To bring more positive into my life right now, I’m shutting off the negative.
I limit my news intake and I definitely do NOT read headlines or watch news before bed.
I have left quite a few Facebook groups due to negativity. I took Facebook off my phone so I’m not scrolling aimlessly and getting sucked into political commentary.
I’m also dedicating one day of the weekend to being completely unplugged – from email, work, and social media. It can all wait until the following day while I recharge my brain and relax with my family.
Shutting off the negative has allowed some extra time for other small but joyous things, like an evening board game with the family, more frequent talks with my teen, or long walks with our 4-month old puppy.
I am also making a concerted effort to check in with friends and family daily. I personally feel better when I get a whitty good morning text, so I try to do the same. It’s not much but I think we all feel better knowing someone is thinking about us.
The silver lining in all of this chaos is that we, inside our little bubble, are healthy and relatively happy. And that’s all I could ask for.
I got sick and tired of feeling like a victim of this stuff and I am over the fear. Period. Done.
That doesn’t mean that I’m going to leave the house other than for essentials. I’m being smart and am self-isolating as much as possible to keep others safe. #flattenthecurve Heck, I work from home, so there’s really no reason for me to be leaving my home other than for groceries, right?
What happened is this.
I sat myself down and realized that I had two choices over the course of the next few months.
- I could close down. Feel small and scared. Slow business as usual. Be timid. Let depression roll over me and crawl into bed.
- I could decide to challenge myself to having huge and massive growth and impact in the next few weeks, personally and professionally.
Victim? Or empowered?
Which would my future self wish that I’d done?
I’m guessing that Future Nik (my future self) would rather I get my ass out of bed and do something awesome. Right?
So what are some things I am choosing to do to keep this a period of potential rather than sinking into despair?
Before I tell you that, let me preface this by saying I’m no Polyanna. In fact, I’ve suffered from extreme depression and anxiety for decades. So I say this will all respect. These are my tools. Some will work for you. Some may not. But they are all offerings for what I personally do.
1. I am feeding my brain good stuff.
I have amazing audio books on audible. I’m soaking in courses that I’ve always wanted to take. I’m reading books that are inspiring and good for my brain.
2. Limiting social media and news and yucky stuff.
There’s a line between being informed and making yourself crazy. And… all I can do is all I can do. I’m not a doctor. I can’t DO much of anything other than keep my butt home and look after the people near me (neighbors, friends.) Reading the news (other than checking in daily) is not helpful to me, personally, at this point in time. I also found that I was holding my breath when I was on FB so I went off it for a week. I have a much more positive feed on Insta so if I wanted to feel connected, I went there. I also limit negative TV and movies right now.
I find that I’m more mentally solid when I’m creating. Whether that’s a fun meal a drawing or a piece of content, I am more balanced and grounded when I create.
I am making sure to meditate daily. I had let the habit slip when this all started and I realized that I need that time to reboot my brain every day.
5. Eat healthy.
My mood is directly tied to my diet. I have no restaurants to tempt me. I don’t need to be running to the store to get wine. So, I took this as an opportunity to clean up my diet and boost my immune system. My mental health and perspective have already shifted.
6. Get fresh air every day.
Fresh air is life. I need it. I crave it. Even if I just make a point to walk outside and take a few deep breaths a few times a day, it keeps me sane.
7. Practice compassion.
And, the most important after getting fresh air, is practicing compassion. If I choose to look at our fellow humans as “stupid” and “idiots” then I can not settle into what I need to do at this juncture. I choose to focus on the best of the best during this time by following Upworthy on Insta and others like it. And, I try to understand that fear and uncertainty can make people do things they would not otherwise do, in the name of protecting their families (ie. the toilet paper hoarders). They aren’t a-holes. Well, at least most of them aren’t. 😉 They are reacting from their own sense of fear. Controlling what they can when things feel out of control. Is it frustrating? Yes. But is holding anger helping me? Probably not right now. I’m personally trying to understand that everyone is going through this differently. And, I’m trying very hard to remember that these are people who I normally love and would consider friends. And, most importantly, I know that fear and anger can’t co-exist with love so I choose to send them love.
Focusing on these every day is helping tremendously. Stay safe everyone. <3
Lady Rayven Monique
So, I gotta admit – I had my moment of freak-out (Ok, my two weeks of freak-out) about this whole new world we’re moving into. It seemed for a bit like some of my biggest plans and hardest work was falling apart at the seams (spoiler – it wasn’t). I ate all the carbs and chocolate in the house. I added Irish cream to my coffee. I binge watch Tiger King (I actually recommend you do that one.) And I gained 5-lbs.
And then one morning, I was sick and tired of it. And so, I looked at what was going on in my life and asked myself, “Am I creating what I want in my life right now?” As you can probably imagine, I got a clear “hell no!” to that one. And so I gave thought to each part of my life that was not working – not just now, in the last few weeks, but the bigger picture. I think we’ve all been given the opportunity to push pause on our lives and get super clear on what it is that we want.
In the last couple weeks, I’ve gotten back to eating healthy, to doing yoga everyday even if it’s participating in a class online. To meditating, and now I do it outside in the sunshine. To taking time for myself to watch that crazy dramamentary or read a book. And most especially, I’ve spend a bunch more time connecting with others via zoom. That last one, connecting online, it’s been a real eyeopener for me. I thought that I was connecting with those I value online before, but never anything like this. I’ve spent more time in zoom rooms in the last month than I have the last year combined, and I love it! What a blessing!
So here’s what I say: get clear on what you really want and take steps towards living that life. Now is the absolute best time to do it.
I’ve always been a pretty positive person, and that’s been a blessing for me the last couple of weeks. As for purposely fitting more positive into my life right now, I’m giving my gratitude journal a real workout, noticing all the things that are going right in my life at the moment in spite of the chaos. One of the things I’m doing is arranging a few live chats with some of my online friends so that we can spread positive thoughts and energy through our community.
This week I started a new habit of time tracking and it’s been a gift to me personally as well as in my business. I’ve started each day with great intention. First up I watch a lesson in a 30 day self development course. Then if I have space before something on my calendar calls me to work, I also watch a Tedx Talk on YouTube. When I finally head to my inbox, my mindset is primed for the positive.
Somewhere in my day I take a break for meditation. 15-20 minutes of being completely relaxed, the world is tuned out and I’m noticing only what’s going on in me.
Personal connection is something else I seek to plant in the day. I write a message to a friend, call my step-dad, jump into someone’s Zoom Room to meet new people. I wrote a handful of notecards and put them in the mail two weeks ago just as this all started up. In spite of having all of my spring travel plans cancelled, I’m feeling wonderfully engaged with friends and family.
I’m grateful to have been taught that circumstances don’t have to run me. It’s my choice where my attention goes and I focus on what I can do, not what I can’t.
I’m doing a bunch of fun things to connect up with others which is bringing me joy in different ways like:
I walked down to visit my grandkids (plus got some much needed exercise lol). They sat on the steps with the flowerbed between us to keep our social distance and we hung out while they sang and performed a play for me.
I set up a zoom room for the Sutherland family so we could hang out virtually. Some of my relatives haven’t seen each other for years and it’s super cool to see their smiles when they see each other on video after such a long time. We are working on putting together a Sutherland reunion virtually which sounds fun!
Every day after work I phone someone I know who is alone and who could probably use a call. I talk and catch up with them for half-hour or so while I’m cooking dinner.
Ironically, I’m in more touch now being in isolation than I have ever been. I love it! This quarantine has actually brought me out of the “hermit mode” I catch myself in now and then working from home. 😉
I am purposely fitting more positive into my life right now by
- Reducing my exposure to the negative – less scrolling, less compulsive news checking.
- Working in my garden – being outside, planting seeds, and seeing things grow brings me so much joy!
- Daily Yoga Nidra practice – it is so relaxing and helps me see the positive more easily.
This question couldn’t have come at a better time. With the pandemic we’re facing right now, it’s so easy to get sucked into feeling hopeless, fearful, and so many other emotions. I know for me personally, there was a two week span where I couldn’t pull myself away from Facebook (all the posts, news articles, etc.). And it wreaked massive havoc on me mentally. I was having panic attacks (something I haven’t had in probably 8 or 9 years) again my anxiety was so out of control, I was crying every single day, I couldn’t sleep at night, and I felt the most fearful I ever remember being in my life.
After a massive meltdown, one Wednesday morning, in my mastermind group I decided from that moment on, I had to do everything in my power to limit the anxiety and fear. So I headed out to the river with my pup and spent a few hours hiking and in nature. Talk about making a world of difference!
Since then I’ve been very intentional about choosing things to purposely make my days more positive. Here are three things that have been helping keep me sane lately…
- Music – I have always loved music so every day, throughout the day, I make myself open Spotify and blast some tunes. The genre of music I’m choosing right now ranges from praise & worship, to 80’s, to Pink, to Madonna, and so much more! The key is to only listen to stuff that makes me feel good.
- Going Outside – Every single day I make myself get up and go for a walk twice a day. Of course having a puppy makes this easier 😉 But being outside in nature boosts my mood so much! The fresh air clears my head and helps me feel energized too.
- Happy Mail – I’m sending cards to others. It’s a great way to put a smile on someone’s face and helps me stay connected and focused on others during this time.
- I’ve decided if we are going to be “stuck” at home then we will try multiple new recipes a week. So there has to be a plan in place for what we’re going to make instead of waiting until 5 and then making something we always have. This week we made cubanos and cedar planked salmon. My MIL must be of the same mind because we have been swapping recipes this week and I made the chicken chow mein she really liked. It was super good!
- Strangely I signed up for two magazines the beginning of the year even though I was determined not to have them in the house anymore. THESE ARE PERFECT RIGHT NOW! I’m taking the time to flip through them and just chill when they come in the mail. No setting them aside. One is All Recipes, so that will also serve my #1 of new recipes to try 😉 I love that website.
- I’ve taught hubby the art of binge watching tv. Although we don’t sit for a full day because I think that would break him lol First up was something I knew he’d like. I chose all the Rambo movies. Then we binge watched Tiger King (don’t bother, yuck, not a positive thing at all, stay away). I have to figure out what our next one will be. It’s not easy to come up with things he’d want to watch all the way through as well. lol I really have to brainstorm for the next one and that becomes part of the fun.
- Walking around planning garden and landscaping. It’s our first spring in this house so we wander around the yard and come up with new ideas we could try. This isn’t meant to be our forever house so it’s brainstorming and big ideas with the twist that it has to bring a return on investment. I guess you could say we are doing that inside as well.
- Ordering out. We’re committing to ordering out at one of our little restaurants each week. We finally did this last week and it felt so wonderfully normal not to cook dinner. Plus it makes us feel good that we can support others while we are still working.
Anything you are doing in your house to bring in more positive? I’d love to hear them!