I don’t know about you, but I feel like so much has been out of our control over the last two years while we have lived through this global pandemic.
Wait, scratch that. Those who have been around the blog for a while know that I have felt this disorderly feeling for about ten years now! If you’re newer, this post should catch you up with enough of our backstory.
I am no stranger to living in a place and time in life that feels out of my control. If I had to sum it up in a sentence or two, let’s just say that any plans my husband or I made for our future over the past several years have dramatically changed and swerved due to unforeseen circumstances. Where we were settling down, when we would start a family and even our career paths have shifted. But, we’ve both learned a lot about ourselves and each other through the journey.
Is it easy to live in a state of question marks all the time? Definitely not. It’s not always a bad place to be, either.
If you’re currently frustrated about feeling out of control about something or many things in your life, you’re not alone. I’ve totally been there, and I know that a lot of us can relate right now as we are still navigating life through a pandemic.
So, we’re acknowledging that, but today we’re choosing to focus on other things and talking about how to channel that frustrated energy into better landing places. This list could go on, but here are are ten things you can focus on when you feel like you’re anything but in control!
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you challenge and overcome negative thoughts. They can even help you overcome self-sabotaging, which is something that’s easy to experience when you feel out of control. And, when you repeat them often, you start to believe them and are more apt to make positive changes in your life. You really have nothing to lose!
Your movement and activities
Unless you’re recovering from an injury or just not able to move, most of us have the option to schedule workouts or regular movement into our days. This can be huge for mental and physical gains, so don’t discredit that. Whether you sign up for a gym membership, invest in a new workout program at home or simply go for a long daily walk after dinner, think about what type of activities you would like to see in your days and start making time for them.
New (or old) hobbies that fill your cup
Is there something you’ve been wanting to try or something else you wish you got around to practicing or doing more? Channel your frustrations into positive energy by choosing something that makes you smile. Go to a dance class, read a book, dive into a course you’ve been interested in, learn a new recipe, whatever.
A lot of us invested in taking better care of our skin during the pandemic, and that is a perfect example of doing something great for yourself every single day. Self-care can be anything from a quiet night in to a fun night out. It’s taking a hot bath, going out for a run, meeting friends over a meal for kid-free conversations or snuggling up with a magazine. Self-care can even include saying “no” to things that you’re just not interested in attending, and saying “yes” to things that you really want to do. Whatever your preference of self-care may be, even ten minutes to recharge your batteries every day does wonders.
It can be a challenge for adults to get the suggested 7-9 hours of sleep per night. It definitely is for me, and this was especially hard when I was raising a newborn or working full-time shifts as early as 4:45 a.m. I get it. If sleep has been hard to focus on in the past, it might be time to get into a routine and stick to it. Try turning off electronics and screens at least an hour before you want to fall asleep and let your body and mind turn off, too.
It’s not always fun to go to bed early, but the tradeoff could be an early morning sunrise or more quiet time to yourself on the other side. (Worth it!)
New projects or things you’ve been putting off
It’s easy to put things that you have every intention of “getting to” on the back-burner over and over again. I am definitely guilty of this, and I think we all have at least one area of the home where things just go to exist until further notice. (This is our bedroom for us, and I hate it. Staying organized without extra storage space or a garage is hard!)
Well, any time I clear that space or cross something off from my ideal to-do list, it’s a liberating feeling. Just think how great it will feel to focus on those things instead of getting stuck on something you really can’t to anything about.
Being a kind, genuine person
This one may sound silly, but it certainly deserves a spot on this list. Think about it … are you letting the stress of the unknown take over your mood every day? How about your actions, or how you treat your loved ones? I’ll be the first to admit that I get testy when I’m feeling blue about things that I can’t change, no matter how much I want them to.
We all have our moments (and this is allowed, we are human), but try to start from an outside perspective sometimes. Would you want to hang around the person you are today? If not, focus on things you can do to be a more thoughtful person that others want to know, love and be around.
Are you replaying situations from the past and wishing the outcome would change? If so, you’re literally wasting time that could be spent doing just about anything else. You can’t change the past, you can’t fast forward to the future, so you might as well get cozy and start living for today. There is beauty in the grey areas of life, as this is where the most growth happens.
When was the last time you played tourist in your area? Living in New York City gives me the opportunity to constantly get out and see something new, and I take up the offer when I need a little pick-me-up. If you’re in a funk, get out and try to appreciate something new-to-you in your city like a restaurant, park, shop or even tourist destination. And if you’ve really seen it all, take a day trip somewhere close by!
Gratitude is attitude. Seriously. With gratitude at the forefront, you learn to acknowledge the good in your life and leave less room to dwell on the bad. Simply taking a few minutes of every day to think about what you’re thankful or grateful for can create the positive mindset you need to tackle the day and take actions that will help your tomorrow. It can help reduce stress, improve your health and increase your overall happiness, too!
At the end of the day, nothing is really in our control. And that’s okay.
We don’t need answers – especially not the ones that we plan for ourselves – in front of us in order to live out our dreams. Something powerful happens when we shift our mindset from searching for the why towards living for each day for the gift that it is. And that’s just another thing to add to the list.
If you found this post helpful, let me know and share it with someone you think might appreciate the encouragement. Thank you for being here, and remember that you’re not alone in the struggle over control. <3
You might also like:
- Why You Should Unplug Regularly, and When To Do It
- Tips On How To Celebrate Small Wins Every Day
- My Tips 10 Years Into the “Season of the Unknown”
- Tips On Increasing Your Productivity
[Photo Credit: Jason Roth Photography]