I’m always covered in bruises or running into things. I have bad balance. I’m not a good person to have on a boat.
Unfortunately for me, the past year or so has been a lot like being on a boat (a metaphor I’ve drawn before x). Everything about my life has changed dramatically several times and every time I feel like I have found my footing the ground pitches and I have to fight to regain my balance all over again. I feel like I’m always sort of tilted in one direction – too much work, too much time alone, too much socializing – and am struggling to find my equilibrium. I was almost there, then I got sent home from Sri Lanka. Then I was just about getting back, but I chose to drop out of grad school. Most recently, I was finally in a rhythm and content and the colleges went on strike for 5 weeks and I lost my momentum and found myself lying on my side on the floor trying to figure out if I was going to be able to get back up.
That’s where I’m writing this from (not literally). Here I am again, and on days when I’m in a bad mood I feel like I’m back to square one. But I’m not, because every time I fall I’m a bit better prepared to stand up. Lately, I’ve been practicing mindfulness to center myself. Here are a few of my favourite practices:
- Drowning in Problems (x): a simple game that presents problems and solutions as simple as a click of a button
- Every Noise at Once (x): all sorts of music, in genres I’ve never heard of. Good for discovering new things and taking some time to breathe.
- Passion Planner (x)*: EVERYTHING goes into this book. Deadlines, work schedule, volunteer responsibilities, chores, goals, dreams, aspirations. Having things written down gives me peace of mind and the format of this particular book helps me break down my obligations into manageable steps. I fill mine out every day before I go to bed, and check in with myself and what I need to do the next day.
- Aromatherapy: I keep lavender in my room, and start every morning with some essential oils on my wrists and neck. I have this set from Saje that I use all the time: (x)*. The stress release on long days, peppermint halo or immune on days when I wake up feeling like garbage, eater’s digest when my allergies flare up again, pain release after a long shift. A deep breath and I’m good.
I’m certainly not an expert in anything, but this is what has proven to work for me in the past. My sea legs, if you will. I hope that if some of you are in the same boat as me, these tools help you to stand tall.