Well hey there! Indulge me a moment while I get personal…
Things have been a little quieter over here at TLS HQ for the past month or so. I have been in the process of coming off of my anti-depressant and anxiety medication so I’ve been taking a little bit of a breather while I’ve been reducing my meds and processing all the feels. #funtimes
As a result, I haven’t been posting as much as usual, but I’d like to take a moment to share (and expand upon) something I sent out to my mailing list at the start of the month which has got me thinking…
(Waaaait… What? You’re not on my list? That is soooo wrong, let me fix that right up…)
“I started taking anti-depressant medication about 2.5 years ago and wouldn’t have changed it for the world – it had become next to impossible to function and the decision to medicate changed SO much for me. The Life Spotters for one – my little corner of the internet simply wouldn’t have come into fruition if it weren’t for the clarity I gained when I decided to take my mental health seriously and get some help.
But just as that was absolutely the right thing for me then, now is absolutely the right time for me to stop. It’s been a mad 6 weeks of gradually reducing my dose, with some extreme highs and lows, but I’m through it and now medication free! (insert celebratory toots and whistles of your choice here…)
That’s the thing, isn’t it? Different times of life call for different kinds of self-care. Different coping mechanisms, different ways of approaching things. It’s part of the process of learning and growing. I’ve learnt to see the importance of stopping every now and then to take a break and look at where I am and how things are going.
What old patterns and behaviours are you holding onto currently? Is there anything you are carrying that no longer serves you? Is there a way you could switch things up and change things around to facilitate living a life that brings you joy?
I am feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude right now I feel like I could burst. Maybe it’s just a mad rush of suppressed feeling that has been in hiding for the past 2 and a half years, but I don’t know… I just feel different. Like it’s time to DANCE!
Fittingly, did you know that July is No-Boredom-Month? Now THAT is something I can get behind!
So here are some ideas for things you could try this July to help you shake things up a little:
- Get a new look. I bring this up because I had a moment of madness last week involving a DIY hair-trim and the clippers… to cut a long story short, I am now the proud owner of a very fetching wig (to hide the edgy and oh-so-exciting bald head I seem to have found myself in possession of…) BUT it certainly wasn’t a boring day, and to be honest, I’m loving the wig, and am even starting to embrace the tiny hair beneath it… Sometimes switching up your physical appearance can have a huge impact on how you interact with the world – think of it like when superheroes ditch their glasses and office wear to don their tights and capes. BOOM. Invincible.
- Get outdoors. Are lockdown restrictions lifting in your part of the world? Make the most of it and reconnect with nature. Being in contact with nature and natural surroundings is imperative for your mental and physical health. Personally, we are still maintaining social distancing and trying to avoid busy areas, but just being able to venture out to the woods or quiet beaches has had SUCH an effect. It’s truly breathtaking.
- Create a thing. Take on a project, big or small. It could be a DIY project, it could be doing a painting or writing a poem, it might be baking a cake or preparing a 3 course meal, or creating an awesome vision board with pictures of all the things you want to do/have/achieve. Consider doing something that is perhaps a teensy bit challenging – enough to push you and give you a feeling of achievement, but not enough to put you off getting started.
- Change one thing. What is the one thing you could do which would make the biggest difference to your life right now? Do it this month. In fact, do it this week, today even! Make the difference, be the change.
- Try something new. Get out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve never done before. You never know, a simple shift could send your whole life in a new direction! “
A simple shift
Why am sharing this with you? Well, these ideas and this new phase of my life have got me thinking about all the things that make us feel alive.
Really alive y’know?
Each of the things I suggested doing for anti-boredom month were simple ideas. Just small things that could shake you up a bit and get you moving.
Nothing grand or impressive there; Try something new. Create. Connect.
But isn’t that always the way?
Overcomplicating your situation
I think we are so often guilty of overcomplicating things… We put off doing the big things because they seem so overwhelming. You want change, you want to make a difference, but it seems so very daunting. So you hold back, you wait, you defer.
But I tell ya, most of the time, a simple shift will do.
Small changes can have a big impact. Forming small habits that build upon each other can be the catalyst for huge change in your life.
What makes you feel alive?
I’d like you to take a moment to think of all the big things you want to change. All the things you’d like to achieve but haven’t. All the ‘out-there’ dreams that seem so far away.
What is holding you back? Why aren’t you pursuing them?
Is there a tiny change, a simple shift that you could instigate to make a difference?
Sometimes it’s the little things that make you feel the most alive. Swimming in the sea. A really open and honest conversation. Real side-holding, guttural belly laughs.
These are the things that put us in touch with ourselves and the moment. And this is when we function best.
So much of what we want boils down to mindset. And sometimes the only thing that is standing in our way is ourselves.
Suggesting a makeover or a new look doesn’t seem like a big deal, but so often it’s the first thing we do when confronted with change. Why is that?
My mum asked me recently whether I thought my radical new pixie cut was a response to coming off my medication, and I, of course, said “noooooo way, it’s totally unrelated…” and then promptly realised that the haircutting incident came the day after I took my last pill. So there’s that. I think on some level maybe I was declaring change, a new phase, a shedding of my old story… and hair.
It’s a simple thing, but sometimes these small changes make all the difference. Not because they change us in any way, not because they make us smarter, or better, or invincible – but because they signal to something inside of us that we are ready for change.
And if you can change your mindset, you can change your life.
Trying something new
Now, I’m not suggesting that having a makeover can actually land you your dream job or help you win the lottery, but if you can start to see the connection between tiny shifts and how they make you feel, and then how your mood can impact your choices, it becomes easier to see how simple things can have a knock-on effect in other areas of your life.
We get so very, very stuck in our ways, and one thing is for sure, you can’t expect to see a change if you don’t make one. However small.
So, if you are struggling to see the wood for the trees, change one small thing. Do one thing differently, decide that this is it. Even if it only a small step, it is a step in the right direction and that is one step closer to your end goal.
And if it makes you feel alive in the process – well, what else really is there?