About two months ago I realized I wasnt happy. I lived for others and (inadvertently) not for myself. My energy was exhausted on my kids, my clients, my responsibilities, my husband. I thought I did things for me but realisticly I was ticking off another “to do”. I wasnt being intentional with my self care efforts.
Then COVID19 happened and I found myself stuck in a constant state of anxiety. Cant catch your breath, impending doom type of thing. I wasnt sleeping. I wasnt eating regular meals. I felt stuck.
I knew if I didnt focus on my own mental wellness I was heading for trouble. For the past month or so I have been learning how to be happy. As silly as this concept is, it is hard work for a person in a caring profession (“fighting the big fight”), with unrealistic perceptions of what motherhood and adulthood should look like to intentionally focus on happiness.
Gratitude is something i completely overcomplicated for the most part of my adult life. I would plan to track my gratitude in my bullet journal or make a gratitude log. It just became another task that I wouldnt get to that would stress me out. I felt like I had to dream up this big meaningful moment of my day and write it down.
This is not gratitude– for me at least. Its a chore. I know how impactful tracking a practise can be and how you will be more likely to develop your practice into a habit through tracking. But for me it just became another “to do”.
Gratitude, for me, is taking a moment to intentionally center myself, quiet my mind and express an internal thanks without distraction. Some of the gratitude I intentionally practiced this week centered around substinance, solitude and collaboration. I just read a passage in a book about practicing gratitude while washing the dishes. Gratitude for running water, food to eat and dishes to wash. It can be that simple.
Savouring was my biggest lesson this week. Savouring is “the act of stepping outside of an experience to review and appreciate it”. Partners up well with gratitude, eh?!
This past week ~At 0400 my daughter came into my room. She woke me up. I felt frustrated but was committed to trying out this new practice. As she relaxed in the safeness of my arms and fell back to sleep, I stepped outside of the frustration of being woke up at 0400 and just held her in that moment. I savoured the privilidge to snuggle up with my daughter and be her safe haven. Before I even realized it I also fell asleep. With gratitude and calmness.
Also, this past week ~COVID19 has practically every nurse on edge. My workplace was no exception. We have been stressed and feeding off the negative vibes. I have chosen to savour the moments of laughter, comradary and collaboration this past week. Intentionally laughing. Intentionally getting fresh air on my lunch. I am happier. I am more relaxed. And as a leader, this unintentionally impacts my entire team (either negatively or positively). I choose the latter.
Writing is a solace for me. As I share my journey to happiness with you, I will share any practices or tips I learn along the way.
All my gratitude