I thrive on new experiences, sights, and sounds but when overwhelmed by stress my go-to move is holing up. Annnnnd when I stay in this place too long, I get stuck. This is very much a tendency of my personality type – and while knowing that helps a smidgen, it is a tough place to be. I thought I would share my process for getting unstuck in case you find yourself in a similar spot this season:
1) Journal. Stay with me here. In normal circumstances, I consider journaling an enjoyable task but when I am stuck, it is the last thing I want to do. Unfortunately, there is no way around it – journaling is the first and foremost step to getting unstuck. I highly recommend following Julia Cameron’s practice of writing three pages daily, even if this means destroying the pages after you have finished. Journaling in the morning allows me to start my day free of mental clutter but if you are not a morning person, do what works best for you! Create an environment that beckons, avoiding rooms that need cleaning (there’s nothing like obsessing about the mess you’re staring at while trying to journal). Sitting by a window brings me a lot of peace while I journal. Leave your phone in the kitchen, grab a cup of coffee, and plan on settling in for 20-30 minutes. Getting started is the hardest part, so try focusing in on senses first: What sounds do I hear? What does it feel like to sit in the chair? How does my coffee taste? If you remember a dream from the night before, try jotting down bits and pieces: What details stand out? How did it make me feel during the dream? What does the dream remind me of in real life? If random thoughts pops into your head, write those down too.
2) Strive for Balance. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and if not, examine why. Am I cultivating healthy habits? What has my caffeine intake been like lately? What am I doing at bedtime that may be impacting my sleep? Be intentional about exercise and physical activity. Be mindful about snacking. Keep screen time in check. How is my workload? Have I been giving myself downtime? Am I being wise in my spending? When feeling stuck, it could be there are areas in your life that need adjusting.
3) Be Kind to Yourself. Comparison and negative self-talk keep you stuck. No one has this thing all figured out! Be sure to extend grace to yourself.
4) Feelings Follow Action. If we wait for our feelings to change before doing the thing we need to do, nothing will ever change! When you are stuck, it is important to continue to do the next right thing, then the next, and so on. You might not feel like doing much of anything, but pressing forward is the only way through a difficult season. Keep showing up, keep taking that next step. If you struggle knowing what that is, Emily P. Freeman’s The Next Right Thing podcast is a great place to start.
5) Stay Connected. It is important (especially so during periods of “holing up”) to maintain connections with people in real life. Sharing ideas, stories, challenges, and joys with others can offer inspiration on so many levels. Meet a friend for lunch, invite friends over for dessert, or host a movie night with neighbors.
If you have tips or ideas to share, please add them as a comment to this post. Have a great week!