As I’m writing this post I am realizing I have so much I want to share, so I am breaking it up into multiple posts. This first post is about motivation and how I am trying to create a routine to keep me motivated every day. But first, I have to share a little background info about how I became aware of patterns and cycles.
I started going to counseling about a year and a half ago when my life hit rock bottom. I thought I knew what I wanted and had my whole life planned out. When a wrench was thrown in my plans, I didn’t know how to deal. At the time, I was working in HR and luckily my employer had an EAP (Employee Assistance Program), which allowed me to meet with a counselor for four free sessions.
I used my four free sessions and was starting to feel better. I stopped going to counseling and continued to live my life. About three months later I had my first anxiety attack. I still remember that moment so clearly. I began counseling again and still go periodically to this day. I am sharing this with all of you because there is such a stigma around mental health and counseling and I just don’t understand it. If people aren’t well, why should they feel ashamed for getting help and trying to better themselves?
One of the topics my counselor and I discuss during almost every session is patterns and cycles. The pattern/cycle I’m going to share with you today is being extremely motivated and feeling like nothing can stop me, and the complete opposite, hardly being able to get out of bed each day. This is a pattern/cycle I experience frequently. It is so hard going from one extreme to another.
At one of our last sessions, I was struggling with some big decisions and not knowing which direction to go. We did long term goal planning and worked backwards to create some short-term goals. I am the type of person that needs to have something to work towards, otherwise I fall into the pit of not being motivated, which leads me to depression.
Launching this website and sharing my journey with all of you was one of my short-term goals. Since the launch, I have been so motivated, not only to continue working towards my goals but to better myself in any way that I can.
Besides having goals to work towards, I have made three major changes to my daily routine to keep me motivated.
- Limiting my alcohol intake: Moving to a new city and working at a bar made it far too easy to drink multiple days a week, and heavily. This was making me feel hazy and caused my anxiety and depression to spike.
- Sticking to my nightly routine: I was getting into the habit of falling asleep on the couch watching tv, and it always made me feel like crap the next day. Now I try to limit my screen time at night (tv and phone), spend a few minutes focusing on my breath, doing bed yoga or meditating and then reading until I am ready to fall asleep. I am sleeping so much better and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
- Creating a morning routine: I had a habit of rolling over and scrolling through all of my social media before doing anything else in the mornings. What you do first thing in the morning sets the tone for your entire day. If you see something that upsets you or if you start your day by comparing yourself to that “perfect” person, your day is likely to continue down a negative path. I am now challenging myself to not even look at my phone for the first 15-30 minutes I am awake. I turn on my favorite motivational song (see below) and sing it to myself or just listen and let it soak in. I have started doing “dump journal writing” (writing any thought that comes to my mind without thinking about it). My goal is to write three pages or until I feel like I’ve cleared my head.
Make a Change – Nahko & Medicine for the People (feat. Zella Day)
“I need a change, it’s evident. A transformation imminent. A chance for my souls intelligence to redefine lines of indifference.”
“And I oughta take myself more seriously. ‘Cause what comes through me, no it ain’t no trick. And I know that all of us are born with different gifts, so lift yourself from darkness, take a couple steps back.”
“I keep beating ‘round the bush instead of facing it. So I’m facing it, some gladiator shit.”
“I’ma do no harm, but I’ma take no shit. And I’ma build a bridge out of the emptiness. And then potentially, well, I’ma live to be the hardest working bear in the fucking industry.”
My friend, Ben, of Good Vibes Yoga played this song at the end of one of his classes and it really spoke to me. I listened to it more closely and felt like it was my anthem. Now I listen to it every day, sometimes multiple times a day.