Do you ever feel just a little off? Like, maybe you’re hungry or thirsty? Or maybe you need a nap? Or maybe a good cry would fix it? Or maybe the constant cloud cover is the culprit? Like you’ve gotten swept under the waves and aren’t sure which way is up?
Yeah, me too.
I’m not sure what my deal is. Maybe it’s a vacation hangover. Or maybe I’m overwhelmed with life after a week off with so much relaxing.
I tell myself I shouldn’t be tired after reading by the pool for most of last week. I tell myself I should feel ready to conquer the world. But I don’t feel that way. And filling my brain and heart with “shoulds” isn’t helping.
I’m just a little off. Enough to make me feel uncomfortable. Or more like I’m walking in a fog. Like my brain is in a cloud and things aren’t coming through very clearly.
It’s hard to work when I feel like this. It’s hard to sleep or eat or converse or think of the words I’m trying to say. A few nights ago I was ready to go to bed at 6:30. 6:30! I was completely and utterly exhausted.
I’m feeling anxious about Steve, our puppy. I know it will all work out fine once we get a trainer, but in the meantime, walking him is not fun. It’s stressful for both of us.
I’m feeling anxious about my book. Lots of doubts are creeping in… who do I think I am trying to write a book? Why would anyone read it? Do I even have enough to say to finish it?
I’m feeling anxious about work and family and friendships and life.
Yeah, I’m just a little off.
Caring for myself
But, I’ve done some things lately to help get me back on some more solid ground, a little more out of the clouds. First, I reached out to my therapist and I’ve got a standing appointment with her every other week. That required me asking my supervisors for an adjusted schedule. I wasn’t sure if that was the right thing to do, and then I remembered my mental health… so yes, it was the right thing to do.
I gave myself a vacation during Brad’s 10-day work trip. I knew that him being gone so long would not be easy, so I planned a trip with my mom. It was hard coming home without him there, but a few days was much easier than 10 days.
For once I’m actually appreciating a rest week during my book coaching process. I didn’t write a word for my book this week and that felt good. Instead I ran and went for walks and worked on a quilt. I journaled and watched TV. I ate meals with my husband. I reminded myself that I don’t have to write a book… that this is a choice I’ve made and I can set it down anytime I want.
Amazing and awful
I’ve learned to listen to my body — if my stomach isn’t happy, then I know there’s something deeper going on. If I’m overly tired, I might need more sleep, but likely I just need to rest my brain. So, when I start to feel a little off, I know it’s probably not hunger or thirst. It’s probably anxiety.
And, I don’t know how to fix anxiety. I can’t just make it go away. Often I have to wait for it to pass. Or maybe I do just need to cry. Or maybe it’s not something that needs to be fixed or pushed away.
The other day I shared this quote on Instagram:
Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living a heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, beautiful life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.— L.R. Knost
It’s true, isn’t it? Beautiful and awful. Glennon Doyle calls is brutiful (brutal and beautiful). Yes, it’s all those things. Our job is to learn to live in the tension.
Last week I was in a tropical paradise. Today I’m longing for that sunshine. It’s not awful necessarily, but it’s not beautiful either.
Every now and then I’m just a little off. I imagine we all are. Today I’ll take deeper breaths and talk with my therapist and hug my husband a little longer. I’m giving myself permission to not be okay… and that’s okay.