How to Re-Combobulate

snow tubingIs it just me, or is everyone poking their heads out into the bright light of post-holiday life and blinking, slightly stupefied, like naked mole rats emerging from a hole in the ground?

There’s a general sense of discombobulation: I’ve noticed strange traffic patterns, as if people had forgotten how to get to work and school. And unusual emotional outbursts, like when my son came into the bathroom this morning while I was drying my hair with tears in his eyes, “Mommmmeeee, I m-m-m-miss New Hampshire!!!” (where we spent the weekend, skiing and—our favorite—snow tubing!).

I am right there with you—this work year got off to an out-of-the-norm start: I spent yesterday at a “Create Your 2015 Profit Plan” seminar led by the amazing and inspiring Dana D’Orsi, a business coach I am so happy to have connected with right here in my home state of Rhode Island. Then this morning I rolled up bright and early at our local morning news program, “The Rhode Show” to share tips on how busy women can take more time for themselves (you can see the clip here!). As awesome as both of those events were, I found myself feeling scattered on the drive home—excited by the adrenaline rush of being on TV and around like-minded people, a little wistful because I’m missing the kids and our fun family times over the holiday break, and craving some alone time to do things like sit here at my desk and write to you.

Here are the simple ways I’ll be grounding myself and settling back into a rhythm that feels good and that is headed in a direction I’m excited about:

Give props to the fact that you’re in transition. And so are your kids, and pretty much everyone else in the country. Don’t expect 100% from anyone at the moment—emails will take longer to get answered, keys will be forgotten, little people won’t want to fall asleep or wake up. Now’s the time for back to basics – good sleep, energizing food, stretches before bed to help you settle into sleep, fresh air (yes, even if it’s cold—it’s a full moon tonight, step outside and bask in the moonlight for five minutes, it will do you right!)

Know that you are capable of feeling multiple big feelings at once. You don’t have to be only one way—sad, or excited, or what have you. You can be both, or even more. Acknowledging that you have the space to contain everything you’re feeling will make those emotions have to compete less to get your attention. If you’re feeling sad or anxious, look for the other emotions that are underneath it, such as anticipation or contentment. Give them all a seat at the table. You’re not crazy for feeling more than one way; you’re human.

Focus on the stuff that feels good.  I’ve said this before, but your number one priority is to do the things that feel good to you, that are calling you forward in a way that’s energizing. For me, that means I’m prioritizing walks (ahhh, the fresh air, you simply can’t beat it), meditating and streamlining my stuff and my systems. They don’t all happen every day, but I do at least one every day. When you do things that raise your energy, everything else is easier and more effective.  I know what you might be thinking, if I take time to do the stuff that feels good, I won’t have enough time to do the things that have to get done. <insert loud buzzer noise here.> It’s just not true—that’s just your little voice, the ego voice, chiming in to keep you sticking to the same old same old where it perceives you to be ‘safe.’ I still hear that voice too—it never really goes away—but I’ve learned to ignore it. When you get a few instances of doing what’s calling you FIRST, before you start tackling the to-dos, you’ll realize that the increase in efficiency and happiness is palpable, and you’ll be able to start ignoring it more too.

Wishing you grace through this, and every subsequent, transition.

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