For many years now my life has kind of ebbed and flowed. The time period involved varies a little bit but the pattern is the same. I’ll have weeks where I am just on top of everything, I’ll be working out regularly, reading and writing daily, meditating, and killing it at work. I’ll also be drinking less, eating properly, and not blowing money. But, eventually, it comes crashing down and I seem to destroy all my progress. This pattern feels inevitable and I can already feel myself coming to the end of a high period.
Since about the first week of February I’ve been really progressing along the life path that I want but in the last few days I feel the downturn coming sharply. My mood is turning negative, I feel frustrated and anxious, I lack the self-control to not order pizza and drink beer, and I have very little motivation for reading, writing, or exercising. In the past, these downturns have been miserable and I’ve done all I can to fight them but this time I’m going to try something new.
First, I’m not going to fight it, I’m going to accept it. Instead of beating myself up for making mistakes and not being 100% productive I’m going to accept that I need some down and dirty time where I am less than ideal. Instead of hating myself for drinking and eating I’m going to accept that it is what I need right now and enjoy the down time.
Second, I’m going to stop with the fully scheduled days and high goals. Those work great when I am riding the highs of my cycle but they lead to guilt and anxiety when I’m on the lows. So, I’m going to lower my expectations to something that feels more manageable. Currently, I want to read one book every two weeks (instead of four), write three blog posts a week (instead of one daily) and exercise three times a week (instead of daily). If I still find myself dreading or unable to accomplish this then I’m going to reduce the goals a little bit to find what will work.
Third, I know that human contact really helps during this time. I’m going to make an effort to reach out to local friends and stay active. I’d also love to chat more via email or text with anyone reading this blog post, so feel free to reach out. Ironically, it is usually more difficult for me to initiate contact during this time because my anxiety and introversion powers up.
Lastly, I’m going to try and implement the tools I’m learning from “The Feeling Good Handbook”. This book was recommended to me by my therapist as a way to start using CBT tools in my daily life. So far, I’ve really enjoyed the book and found the tools valuable. I think if I can implement these tools just once or twice then it will be an improvement over the status quo.
My hope is that these actions will reduce the severity and the length of my downturn. But, if it doesn’t, I’ll be okay. So, we will see how it goes.
Wanna stay in touch? Got a question for me? Want to tell me why I’m wrong and are curious how I got everything so backward? Have an idea for a blog post? Drunk and wanna send me a snapchat? Wanna become penpals and send each other letters in the mail about life in general?
Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions: pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”