We all have strategies that you use unconsciously to cope with life.
In the last week and today I have had several epiphanies about myself.
I have been using several strategies to avoid feeling my emotions and they have snuck up on me over the last few months.
Now I have never proclaimed to have all of the answers and I recognise that I am a continuously evolving work in progress.
What I do know however is that as I learn and discover more about myself I feel inspired to share them with you in the hope that you too might learn more about yourself and what makes you tick.
For the last four months every time that my husband has gone off for work my lower back has gone on me.
This always coincided with me doing hours of driving as I still travel to Churchill every fortnight to see clients and run classes. So I have put it down to driving in the car.
When my hubby is home my back is fine, when he goes my lower back goes.
A week ago when my hubby headed off to work for a new job and a new rotation of three weeks – my lower back went again.
It has taken me months to finally have the ‘ah ha’ moment that my back has nothing to do with driving and everything to do with him going away.
Yes, I am a huge Lousie Hay fan and have followed her work for more than 20 years. And yet I still missed the signs.
Each time that my hubby goes away unconsciously I feel unsupported.
As well as this, I have recently started watching a series on Netflix, this is a new habit for me and a new way of numbing my emotions, and again this has taken me a little time to recognise my addictive pattern of avoiding my emotions.
Each time that he would go, it went a little like this.
I would grab some food, some good and some not so good and start watching my show. I would tell myself that I would just watch one episode, then of course this would lead to another episode, then that would lead to some more food and then just one more episode until I am so tired I crawl into bed.
I have also realised that I am avoiding going to bed.
I justified this by saying to myself – I am eating my emotions right now and thats ok because I am consciously aware of it.
Total BS I know and this is how good our mind is at helping us to justify our behaviours.
Our patterns, the habits or strategies that we have for avoiding what is really going on in our lives can come in so many forms.
Some of them may be retail therapy, some of them are eating food even when we know we are not hungry, some are the games you play on your phone, some are the endless scrolling though Facebook, some are YouTube and Netflix and some of them are perpetual busyness and the list goes on.
So what are my strategies for helping me overcome this now that I have REALLY identified what is going on?
1. Sit quietly with the uncomfortable feeling of emotion in my belly and let it be heard.
By giving this my fullest attention, breathing into it, allowing my tears to fall and honouring how I am feeling, I am allowing the emotion to have a voice and be heard.
2. Stop and ask myself – what am I really avoiding right now in this moment and be brutally honest.
Say it out loud.
Tell a friend.
3. If I really want to watch an episode of my show watch only one.
As soon as my one episode is finished shut down computer.
4. Set an intended bed time and honour it.
By doing this I am resetting my sleep body clock and creating a new healthy routine.
5. Do not beat myself up for taking so long to recognise my patterns.
Awareness is power and empowering so instead of getting annoyed or disappointed, see this for what it is.
Another opportunity to learn and grow.
6. Introduce new strategies that are healthy and empowering.
Here are just a few that I am working on right now to create new healthy patterns for my day.
1. Earlier bed time
Get back into my nightly routine half an hour before my intended sleep time. Eg: Face routine
Read an empowering book for 30 minutes
2. Get up when my alarm goes off and not hit the snooze button.
Leave phone in Kitchen and use an old fashioned alarm clock.
3. I will not get up and get my phone until I have finished my morning meditation and journalling.
4. Set aside half an hour a day to walk.
It’s so easy for all of us to get caught up in the busyness of life and if we are truly honest with ourselves those “things” that we think are so incredibly important aren’t really that important.
All they do is take us away from the things that we know in our hearts that we should be doing to assist us in our own wellbeing and peace of mind.
2019 has been such a big year for so many people, myself included.
I have kept myself so busy and distracted the last 4 months simply to avoid facing all of the changes that have happened in my life and of course those beautiful emotions.
I am sharing this with you in the hope that you too might recognise some familiar patterns in your own life and some of my strategies might just help you take back control of your life too.