Yesterday I spent yet another Sunday crying for what seemed nothing at all. Two weeks before that I was spending my Sunday doing the same thing. As I let the tears out and listened to sad music while also journaling or trying to journal what I was feeling (because even finding motivation to do that was tough).
And since I couldn’t meditate or find the strength to do something that would help me like say, go to that lunch I had been invited to that afternoon, I decided to give myself this day. This one day to just do what depressed people do and what I hardly ever let myself do. Watch Netflix all day, eat an entire pack of oreos and buy new clothes online. The moment I gave myself “permission” to have one day to be unhealthy, to spend money unwisely, and to binge on a Netflix show as opposed to going out and doing what would be healthy for me, ideas started to spontaneously come to my head. Ideas on why I could be feeling this way and what I could do to help myself. Starting tomorrow of course, after I would get all the bad stuff out of my system.
Some ideas were about big things that could be bothering me like old wounds from the past creeping up, feeling like I don’t have a real plan that will help me achieve my goals, feeling completely stuck and powerless. Others were about small things involving more day to day stuff like not getting any exercise (I’ve been unable to workout due to a physical thing that the doc said required physical rest for a couple of weeks), the food I was eating (carbs, carbs, carbs), and overall not doing much of what I love or enjoy on a daily basis. Most of this has been due to the toll of the confinement creeping up on me. A lot of the restrictions on my environment due to the pandemic.
So after I spent the entire day allowing myself to be depressed, I wrote down a small list of things to do for the next day that would help me get out of this mental space. Here is what I wrote down:
Organize my office. (decluttering and organizing your workspace and living space helps big time because it creates a new clean environment for you. It’s always done magic for me and I’ve been working in my bedroom for a while now because my office has been messy and uninspiring)
Read. (Reading always helps me because I am learning new things that inspire my work on the podcast or my blog and overall nurtures and stimulates me mentally)
Go for a walk. (Even if it’s 5 minutes)
Yoga. (Even if it’s 5 minutes)
Meditate, manifest, practice gratitude, set intention. (As soon as I wake up, close my eyes, breathe for a while, and then visualize what I want and feel what it would be like to have it, then feel grateful for it as if it already happened and think of the things I am grateful for in my current reality, and then I finish off setting an intention for the day like “Starting today, I will start feeling motivated and joyful.)
NOTE: I am very anxious and I have other things to do other than this list so I do want to mention that I had to give myself a pep talk here and remind myself that it’s okay if I don’t get all of these things done in one day. Because of my anxiety around productivity and lack of patience on not being fully “recovered”. I gave myself the pep talk that it would be small steps and to take it easy. So no pressure if I don’t manage to do it all in one day. Especially the bigger task which is to organize my office space.
This plan was great and helped me to wake up feeling motivated now that I had some sort of “plan” to start improving my mental and emotional state. But aside from how helpful it could be to do all of these external things to help me feel better internally, I realized something. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt “trapped” or unsatisfied by my environment. I’ve felt this before. In fact, I don’t think there hasn’t been a time where I didn’t feel this way. I felt it when I moved to Canada in both cities I was in, I felt it for a brief moment in the four months I spent in Southeast Asia, and I’ve been feeling it the past couple of years here in Venezuela. There was a pattern here. So what gives?
Today it all made sense when I read a chapter of How to Break the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza where he mentions how often we look to our external environment to escape our negative emotions. We buy stuff (guilty), change our environment (guity), starting a relationship (guilty), socializing (guilty), or do anything different in order to help us feel something more pleasant. But the moment those feelings of joy pass and they always do, we’re back to what we're feeling. This is called hedonic adaptation. You get used to the pleasure of something new and it stops being excited. So we become dependent on external factors to feel good. I was telling my therapist just last week how I was starting to lose motivation to do anything and how that probably had to do with the monotony of my days due to the confinement keeping so many places closed including places of nature like parks and the beach.
Could it be that all these years, I keep feeling depressed because there is something within me that has to change, that I keep distracting myself from by making crazy life changes? Well, I suspect that yes, there definitely is. When the excitement of the new things I start wear off, I feel sad and unmotivated again, and it’s time I look within and stop seeing external factors as the problem and solution to how I feel inside.
And this is when my perception shifts into a positive one. What an amazing opportunity I have to do this now that there is so little I can depend on externally which is why I have been so damn frustrated. What can I enjoy? What is in my control? What can I actually be grateful for? How amazing would it be if I could find a way to stay motivated and joyful in this shitty reality so that I can then be happy no matter where I am? Maybe once I achieve this, I will start attracting the realities I do want!
So do I know what I have to “fix” within me to achieve this? Okay, not really. But I can start with small things like for instance, accepting where I am and what’s going on around me. Instead of complaining about all the things that are shitty, finding other things that I can do which are always there but it’s up to me to see them. Instead of complaining that I don’t have a place of my own where I can have privacy and be more productive, enjoy the time I have with my family and spend more time with them. That’s one example. And there are many other things I am going to have to start working on accepting and then turning my perspective to gratitude. This will help me enter a state of mind of abundance rather than lack.
That’s all I know for now. All I know is that I’ve decided to change my state of being. I will find a balance between making a plan to achieve my goals and also accepting the things that I am just going to have to let flow and come to me. But if I am not in a positive state of being, I can forget about attracting anything positive in my life.
I am grateful that today, I made a plan to start feeling better and thanks to that plan I came to the realization of something I need to change in order to get out of this recurring emotional state. I am grateful that I realized that it’s not anything else’s fault than my own and that my reality is in my control. I am grateful that I allowed myself to feel depressed and get it out of my system but that I gave myself a limit which was one day. I am also grateful that I now realize that it’s okay to feel sad, to lose motivation, and to feel powerless - so long as you give yourself a limit and then get back on your feet again through small steps.
I can’t wait to get the point where I don’t need something new in my environment to feel joyful and content. How exactly I will achieve this, I’m not exactly sure but I know I am on my way. So wish me luck on this path that never ends, for life is a constant journey.