Putting Lessons to Good Use

I’ve been rather down lately. Not always and not dramatically – I’ve been through far worse. But I have noticed a continuing decline in my motivation, which is remarkably unhelpful right now. I am running two businesses, behind in what I need to do for both at the moment, behind in my volunteer work, my house needs a good clean…my laundry’s done and I had a full night’s sleep, that’s about all I’m caught up on. I’m still trying to get to my thesis, and several other summer projects. And I’m just…sluggish. It’s like being in drop sometimes. I know the cause, or at least some of the cause, and I made myself open up about that to the relevant parties and hopefully that will help.

But I also know that because my ‘to do’ list is so long that when I try to ‘big picture’ it and view everything, plan out my whole week, and then muck up one day, or even just try to get myself up and going because I have to get this stuff done today or the rest of my week will be rushed and awful…I overwhelm myself. Horribly. And then I want to crawl into bed and watch Breaking Bad and eat chips. Not good.

So after slipping into the indulgence cycle again, I’m pulling myself out of it. I made myself go for a walk last night, and that helped. I was tired when I got home and went to bed, and while I stayed in bed this morning too long, the full night’s sleep is a win. I prioritised Bible study better today, and I have got to start my day with that, my soul needs it, my mind needs it. I made sure I had coffee for work. And best of all, I have brought myself back to focusing on one thing at a time. That’s the whole point of a list, I don’t have to keep everything in my head, just the one thing I’m in the process of crossing off.

This has helped me feel less overwhelmed, and I am rewarding myself with reasonable rewards (not an entire season of Breaking Bad while eating chips and doing nothing else, for instance) whenever I finish one thing. And now I am cleaning my kitchen and going to bake up a storm. I have three recipes, minimum, I want to try to get done tonight. Four, if I can manage the freezer space. It’s part of my business, but it’s also a good stress release/meditation method for me. So my self-care currently looks like comfy clothes, several hours of baking, with 90s hits and a viewing of Space Jam – I don’t know why I am drawn to the 90s right now, but I’ve been craving it a fair bit lately. Might be a bit homesick, actually.

I need to do yoga today, I can feel my tension levels wreaking havoc on my back and shoulders (I actually experienced two back spasms this week, and that’s probably not a good sign). I need to eat real food, which is going to go in the oven while I mix up some cupcakes. I am in the process of drinking my water. And a shower. Heating up the apartment by having the oven on will actually help with that, because a cool shower afterward is wonderful.

I am attempting to achieve some balance. Last time I wrote, it was all about letting things go, and I swung that pendulum much too far and now need to get myself going properly. Another walk or something endorphin-inducing is probably in order too (not that, already tried that, to the point of making myself sore). I need to rearrange my priorities some too, I think. I’m struggling too much to get to what I need to do, and not getting to what I want to do long-term. So I’m making myself be accountable for my choices; choosing to lay in bed and watch TV is a choice, not that how I feel is not real or relevant, but I can watch TV and bake at the same time and actually take care of myself and cope with those emotions. I’ve also found that giving myself ‘a talking to’, scolding myself, reminding myself of everything I have to do, trying to essentially scare and/or stress myself into action is not helpful. I’ve been reading a bit on high-functioning anxiety, and while I don’t want to self-diagnose (read plenty on that too), I think I ought to at least heed some of the principles. Pressure, stress, fear…these things make me seek escape, usually in TV/movies or in naps, and it’s not a solution. So one thing at a time. Just that one. One step. Like Kimmy Schmidt says: “ten seconds at a time”.

I’ve been through worse, which means I can get through this. I can win this round. But I still have to give myself what I need to do it. And then actually do it. It still amazes me that there is this disconnect, and I see it in people I work with all the time, and at present quite vividly in myself. This disconnect where we seem to think that giving ourselves time means just chilling until we feel ready to do whatever needs doing. But that’s not entirely accurate. I have given myself time in some cases, but used that time to think something through, evaluate my emotions, allow my mind to adjust to the situation. I didn’t ignore the situation entirely and come back around when it felt ‘good’. It’s the same thing with playing piano – giving myself the time I need doesn’t mean not touching it ever, it means giving myself the practice time, so I can think, practice, explore, and learn. It’s the same thing here. I need time, but I need used time. I also need physical care, and to do the things that will help my mind, help me cope with the emotions rather than letting them dictate the rest of my life. My emotions are too easily influenced by circumstances to get to be in charge like that :/

Okay, enough rambling. I’ll just end with saying I hope everyone is well and that you all are giving yourselves what you need. You deserve it ❤

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