Last month I experienced my first dose of PMS since pre-pregnancy life and it was insane, you guys. I literally thought I was going mad. I was completely fine and then randomly my hubby asked me what I wanted for dinner and I started spazzing out. I just had this uncontrollable rage inside of me about how few choices there were in the fridge and I wanted so desperately to laugh about how I felt, but I was just too angry to laugh. My husband wasn’t sure how to handle me, and when he isn’t sure what’s going on, he usually just bites his tongue & slips into his silent world. That only enraged me more. I wanted him to talk to me. I wanted him to ask me what’s wrong. I wanted him to console me. One minute I’m a raging bull and the next I’m a blubbering whale, bawling my eyes out. I was literally lying in bed crying and this was how the conversation was going…
Me: “I just need someone to talk to me…” (hysterical crying)
Levi: “I am talking to you honey, what do you want to talk about??”
Me: “UH! YOU JUST DONT GET IT. YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO TALK ABOUT. WHY DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT??” (continual sobbing)
Levi: “Honey I’m just really confused.. how can I help you? I’m sorry. I’m here for you.”
Me: “THIS IS THE WORST. I’M SO ALONE.” (hahahah, true story.)
Long story short, I was such a mess and I couldn’t figure out why I felt so much anxiety and anger and sadness and loneliness all at the same time. The lightbulb finally came on in my head…”Oh, PMS…you son of a witch.”
Needless to say, I’ve been in need of a huge mood booster. And it hasn’t just been the PMS, I just have not been “motivated,” whatever that means, since moving to AZ. I mean, if I could name one animal that describes me these days it would be a sloth. And that is saying a lot to admit that because I think sloths are the creepiest animals. They seriously look like weird little humans with wolverine-like claws, but it is sadly true. I have been a sloth these days and how fitting because there are sloths here in AZ. There is literally a Sloth Rescue Center in Flagstaff. Someone rescue me for pity sakes, but anyway.
I decided today that the lack of motivation had to stop. Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with feeling sad and unmotivated. Feel what you need to feel, but there comes a time when you need to pick up your body and just LIVE and feel the happiness that God intends you to feel. I’ve been really missing that happiness and enlightenment and joy that I could have in my life. As I took a step back and recognized how I was using my time, I realized that if I just changed a few things during the day it could make a HUGE difference in how I felt mentally and emotionally about my life.
Now, I’m not saying that these 5 simple things are like a magic to-do list that will make all of your problems go away. It’s not the list that’s magic, its the principle behind the list that is magical. The principle is simply that as we ACT, we will feel fulfillment and happiness in our lives. These tasks are the way that I choose to act so that I am starting to feel motivation, inspiration and happiness in our lives. My goal with this list is to help you to get an idea of things that you can do every day so that you are choosing to ACT instead of being ACTED UPON.
P O D C A S T S
Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom and haven’t had as much intellectual engagement with other human beings as I would like, podcasts are the next best intellectual engagement I have found, plus they are super convenient. Unlike human interaction, you can pause them and play them when you are ready to listen to them. If you aren’t feeling it, you can turn it off and try again later. I typically listen to them in the car or to help me get going on the cleaning checklist. There is just something super inspiring about hearing another person’s story, their struggles, their inspirations, their goals. I have had so many thoughts come to mind of things I can do or change in my life while listening to podcasts. The amazing thing about podcasts is that there are so many different genres of podcasts-literally anything you are interested about, there will be a podcast about it. I stick to podcasts that are mostly centered around motherhood, entrepreneurship, happiness, lifestyle, home inspiration, ideas for a better life, motivation, humor. You get the gist. I read a blog post on The Alison Show that helped me to find some good places to start with podcasts that you can find here.
Light it Up, Babe
No, I’m not referring to what you are thinking, although I hear that does calm the nerves (haha). I am referring to CANDLES, actually! You guys, have you ever realized how lighting candles can change the entire ambiance of your house?? Therefore, changing your entire ambiance? It is the the greatest miracle. I’ve always been a huge candle sniffer. You know, a person who sniff’s all the candles at the store, that’s totally me. I justify spending way too much money on candles because I truly do believe in the effects they have on the home and individuals. Psychologically I feel like choosing what scent you choose to smell is controlling the controllable. It’s like saying to yourself, “I can’t control the circumstance that I am in, but I can control what I am smelling while in the circumstance.” Does that sound completely silly? For me, it just emotionally helps me to feel like I am in control over my life. Also, smells just tend to bring you places, ya know? It’s like every time I smell pumpkin I am immediately brought back to Fall, crunchy leaves, Thanksgiving, Halloween, hot cocoa, my mom’s chili etc.. Smells have a power to do that. When I am feeling down in the dumps, a good candle can usually do the trick. I also love have a wax warmer in my kitchen that I am obsessed with. My favorite wax has been coconut, it smells so heavenly. If you don’t believe me, try it. I guarantee lighting up a candle will rock your world and lift your spirits.
Make a Deliberate Playlist
When it comes to listening to music, I think it is much to easy to listen to music that doesn’t uplift, inspire and enlighten. Not to say that is the purpose of listening to music, I’m guilty of listening to many breakup playlists in my day, but I do think there is something empowering about choosing the type of music and lyrics that we allow into your heart and mind for the day. Generally speaking, I think we are much too passive when it comes to listening to music and whether you choose to believe it or not, music does influence our thoughts, feelings and actions. As I have decided to make a deliberate playlist, meaning I am really listening to the lyrics and listening to how the music makes me feel, I have come to realize that music is an incredible tool for inspiration. I’m a huge music lover and making a good playlist is already a hobby for me so I found it really enjoyable to sit down and make a deliberate playlist, but I encourage you to try this at home. Sit down and really find those songs that uplift and inspire. I’m not saying that the same music that uplifts and inspires me is the same music that uplifts and inspires you. I’m also not saying that uplifting and inspiration music has to be upbeat and talking about sunshine. All I am saying is-don’t let yourself be acted upon by the mainstream music industry. Do your homework! Research your favorite artists and find other artists that are similar. Figure out what artistic style is inspiring to you and figure out why it is inspiring to you. I promise you that there is Gold in them Hills (a great song to add to the playlist & pick the Chris Martin version) for the hardworking playlist makers. Novo Amor is an amazing artist to start with.
Eat Some Lucky Charms
I have always had a pretty big sweet tooth. Back in Junior High, I literally ate a Hersey’s Cookies & Cream bar with Pink Lemonade every single day for lunch. I would also eat an entire Ben & Jerry’s container of ice cream at every sleepover. I have an addiction to sugar, it’s bad. I do pretty good now that I’m an adult and need to be healthy or whatever, but I have found that when I am just having a rough time a good bowl of my favorite cereal does the trick. Our bodies are going through a lot as women & during our PMS hours, a little TLC to our bodies gives the message that we still love them, even though what they are doing to us sucks. Now, regardless if you are having PMS or if it’s just a regular day, I absolutely love the principle behind choosing to eat a favorite food. For some reason food can sometimes become this restricting and binding thing for me where I limit myself to what foods I will eat or “should eat.” I will go to the grocery store and just buy the same things over and over again because that’s the routine and that’s what cheapest or whatever, but what if you decided to buy foods that were more expensive but SO good. What if you decided to make an amazing healthy meal that you loved even though the ingredients cost a boat-load of money? What if you just ate 3 bowls of ice cream because you loved that ice cream. I guess what I’m trying to get at, is to not let food control you. Don’t let eating become a restrictive thing. Just eat. Enjoy food! Cook, bake, explore new tastes and foods. I have found that as I try new recipes and buy new veggies & fruits that I’ve never cooked with, I feel free and inspired again. If that food is Lucky Charms for you, go and buy Lucky Charms. Eat it and enjoy it.
I have found that when my body is out of whack, my house is completely in sync with my body. There are so many projects that have just been sitting & waiting for the “motivation” to kick in, but I’m here to declare that motivation seriously doesn’t exist. I am trying to kick the belief that I have to be motivated before I act because that belief is completely wrong. If we wait around to be motivated before we act, we are going to be stagnant our entire lives. Acting is what gives us motivation. Acting is what gives us fulfillment. Acting really is what gives us the most peace and contentment in our lives. When we choose to get up and act, there really is a power that comes into our lives and THAT is when the motivation, inspiration or whatever you want to call it, comes into our lives. So get up and clean your room! Put away that crap on your dresser. Throw away the junk in your closet that you never use. Donate those clothes that you’ve been holding on to because they are a Nordstrom brand but you secretly don’t even like them (I’m totally guilty of that). The more room you free up in your house, the more creative room you will have in your lives.
Take a Step Back & Evaluate
Long story short, if you are feeling “unmotivated” in your life, I think it is wise to maybe step back and evaluate your beliefs. If you have the belief that you need to feel some sort of motivating feeling before acting, that belief is probably going to result in feeling a lack of motivation and thus a lack of acting which ultimately leads to unhappiness. Believe me, I would know. Happiness always come when we choose to act, even when we don’t feel like acting. And yes, I am the worst person to be giving this advice right now because I haven’t been the best at acting. I have been the best person at NOT acting and excusing myself for my behavior. I have let myself off the hook for not exercising because its “too hot” outside to exercise and I don’t have the money to buy a gym pass. I have excused myself from developing new relationships because I “don’t have a car” and “Clair’s schedule complicates things” etc… Not to say that these things aren’t true because YES it is too hot outside and YES Clair’s schedule does complicate things, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t try to act. That doesn’t mean that I have an excuse to mope around the house and to feel unhappy. Those things just mean that I need to work harder and be more creative in how to make things work.
I hope this post was helpful in some way. I know that I have needed to write these things just to give myself a little bit of a kick in the rear end to take a step in the right direction. Again, like I said at the beginning of this post, these 5 things are placed in my daily routine to give a sign to my body that I am going to act today, that I am not going to be acted upon, that I am going to be working towards the goals that I want, that I have control over myself and my happiness. I have found that as I include these things in my daily routine, I end up doing may productive & creative things throughout the day. It really is magic. So, my challenge to you is to come up with your list of 5 things you will do each day to signal to your body that you choose to act and choose to be in control. As always, I would love to hear your comments and ideas!