If you’re currently feeling in the thick of it, that’s tough. I get it. I’ve been there. Not knowing what to do and what you want or which action to take can feel incredibly disorientating, especially if you feel your demands affect those close to you. And especially if you feel like you didn’t chose the current situation in.
What could you do?
Get curious and check-in with all parts of you. Do this for 15-20 mins every day for the next month.
Just 20 mins is 1.39% of your day.
This suggestion is low risk and resource. It has the potential for high reward.
If you do, you'll gain:
Insights into yourself that can help you make decisions that are better for you.
Evidence that you are worth focussing on and prioritising.
This is useful if you're feeling like...
You don’t see a clear path through it can help to focus on and get curious about yourself. Sometimes the answers aren’t obvious because we don’t fully understand ourselves. If we’ve ended-up feeling like we’re constantly dodging whirlwinds then it might be because up until now you’ve been making changes that only benefit one part of you - e.g. "it was the rational thing to do" and the decision played into your belief that you're a logical and rationale person.
How to Get Curious...
So with that said, the first step is to set the time you plan to do this.
Yes, it’s obvious. Yes, you’ve probably thought of doing this before. BUT. If you’re here reading this blog then something has stopped you.
So, right now I want you to block out 20 minutes in your calendar every day. Set an alarm if you want. Set a specific place which is easy to get to as well.
Be intentional with this. Commit to 15-20 mins before you make your morning coffee or maybe 20 mins after the kids have gone to bed.
The key is consistency. You need to commit to this every day.
Alright..I've set time aside, now what?
This is a space to just be. For the first five minutes or so of your time out you're going to check-in with yourself .
In this time-out, I want you to start to get curious about what you’re feeling.
No phone. No communication with others. This is your sitting on your own.
Meditation/Breathing/Stopping Y0ur Mind for a Second
Get comfortable (sitting upright!) and close your eyes. Pick some relaxing music to put on if that helps.
Take four or five slow breaths making sure you’re activating your diaphragm. The usual in for four seconds and out for four seconds.
Then (while still breathing obviously) ask yourself:
How am I feeling?
What sensations are in my body? Where do I feel tight? When do I feel the energy in my body?
Then ask yourself how you’re feeling emotionally. How old do you feel right now? What colour would you current emotional state look like?
No judgement, just acceptance and curiousness for this bit!
Now ask yourself what your head is mulling over? Is there something in particular it is focussed on? Just accept it without trying to solve whatever it is.
Now drop into your gut and recall a time when you’ve felt your most authentic and content.
Remember what it feels like to be this version of you person. Breathe into it and feel present in the moment. What would this version of you tell you right now if they had to tell you something?
Take a few deep breaths and open your eyes! Focus on feeling as present as possible.
After the Meditation Bit..
Now… I want you to grab a pen and paper and just write. Write, write, write. Free flow. Write out everything you’re thinking and feeling. EVERYTHING. No judgement or self censoring. It could be just a bunch of words that make no sense. Maybe you end-up scribbling. I don’t mind. Whatever you do, move the pen. Let whatever is going on out onto the page. Then when you’ve done that for a 10 mins or so (assuming you have that long) take a few deep breaths and check-in with yourself.
After the writing bit...
If you wrote a load of stuff on the page that had negative energy maybe go and cathartically tear it up or scribble across it.
If it was really positive and joyful maybe underline the bits you particularly loved.
Now, reflect on the fact you did it. You took 15-20 minutes out for yourself!! YOU DID IT. Tomorrow could you take a little more?
If you can make this a bit of a ritual or moment of celebration then great! DO IT.
Maybe buy a special notebook or have a specific mug that you love and make a warming drink before.
Find a specific place where you feel you'll have limited distractions.
Select one thing that you enjoyed about taking time out today. Maybe you learnt something. Maybe you enjoyed just being present.
Take it slow, stay consistent and keep your commitment to do the following exercise for around a month (if you can!).
If you're feeling like what I'm saying is a load of s***
No. I’m not suggesting that a cup of tea makes everything better. Nor a notebook. What this does do if you do it every day (yes, EVERY DAY ) is get you in the practice of taking time-out to learn about and spend time on you, without judgement. It's helping to build your emotional resilience and ability to feel your negative emotions. It’s allowing you to start setting a practice that helps you feel like you are in control of the only thing you can really control and that’s you - your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions.
So if you feel any resistance to what I'm saying, what's stopping you from feeling into that during a time-out? What's stopping you from taking less than 1.5% of your day to sit with yourself as you are?
Go on, have a go.