how to stop complaining
Let's face it, most of us have experienced burnout to some degree, so it's a common thing to bond over. We've all been there, you're commiserating with your gfs and before you know it, it's become a contest of whose life is harder.
Although complaining feels like a release in the moment, it's completely unproductive. It makes burnout worse because complaining leads to more complaining, making it easier to get overwhelmed with negative thoughts and feelings of scarcity and fear. It tends to trigger anxiety or depression because it focuses on something negative in the past or future.
The next time you are with someone and the conversation turns towards complaining, stay in the present and try these three things:
speak in the positive
I don't mean act like everything is OK or deny your feelings, I mean literally re-arrange the words in your sentences to be in the grammatically positive state. Think "It would be helpful if he..." instead of "Why can't he..."
don't speak in absolutes
Stay far away from words like "always," "never," "worst" "everything" and describe the degree of the behavior accurately.
have empathy and humility
Think of how the person you're complaining about feels, and if there is anything you're doing to contribute to the problem.
why am I losing patience?
Impatience is fueled by anxiety; and anxiety stems from fear. What if we miss the deadline? What if the person never changes? What if we can't get a Covid vaccine soon?
Each day this week, when you feel yourself losing patience, ask yourself, "what am I afraid of?"
For example, I often lose patience with my youngest daughter who takes half a day to eat her dinner. What am I afraid of? Losing the family time we all enjoy after dinner. What's the harm in letting her eat at her own pace, and starting family time (which is almost always at the dinner table anyway) while she finishes up? See what I mean?
When we lose patience and become frustrated, it means we're focusing on the problem. If we stop, breathe, and identify the root cause (fear) behind our behavior (impatience), it's much more likely that we'll come up with a solution.
dressing with intention
Before getting dressed, set an intention. What do you want your look to convey? Who are you underneath all the layers, and is that being shown? It's not a simple thing to dress and style yourself authentically, but a great place to start is being aware of how much your inner-self and outer-style are aligned. You know that feeling when you get ready and feel like a ball of light, oozing confidence? It's not because of the latest designer style, it's because you are accurately representing who you are.
Today, I will do my best to notice and be intentional with how I am expressing myself through my personal style.
what does my style say about me?
Personal style isn't limited to what we wear or how we decorate, it's an expression of who we truly are. And whether or not it's intentional, we're all participating. So take a minute and ask yourself, "what does my personal style say about me? Does my style represent who I am? Do I even know my style?"
And remember, style isn't "boho" or "mod," it's often a mish-mash of originality and inspiration. It's unique to you, so don't worry if putting words to it is hard, it should be. We are complex creatures and self-expression isn't about fitting into a box or category, it's about being vulnerable, creative, and honest. Now ask yourself, "What small and simple changes can I make to align my outer image with my inner."
No matter what your style, authenticity always looks the best.
a break from screens
Each day this week, take a break from screens; no news, no social media, no text messages. Be brave and just leave it in another room. Anywhere from 30 minutes to hours works great. Then follow the daily challenge:
Monday: Connect with somebody you care about by listening. Don't tell your side, don't try to fix it, just listen.
Tuesday: Go outside, find a comfy place to sit, and just breathe. Let your mind wander.
Wednesday: Grab paper, a pen, and just let your thoughts flow. Don't think, just write/draw/doodle/etc.
Thursday: Do something that makes you feel vulnerable. This is different for everyone. For me, It's dancing.
Friday: Learn something new...without the internet. Dust off that knitting/history/self-help book and go to town.
Saturday: Interact with nature. Sit under a tree, make a leaf mural with your kids, go kayaking, don't just be near it, be in it.
Sunday: Rest. Not because some divine being told you to, but because you deserve it. Sleep in, read poetry, daydream, do nothing, whatever it takes to give your brain and body a break.
making time to make something
set an intention
From cooking and crocheting to wood-working and gardening, that feeling of creating something uniquely yours - not the fast way or the best way or the cheapest way, but your way - is a remarkably satisfying feeling. It gives you a sense of control as well as peace.
Unfortunately, it's one of the first things to go when life gets crazy.
Set an intention today to make timefor making - even if it's only 20 minutes. Put it on your calendar, set an alarm, occupy the kids a bag of candy (jk..maybe), etc. and take some time for yourself.
Not a crafter? No worries, make your kids peanut butter apples with raisin faces, make a different pattern when you rake leaves, make a weird tea by combining two of your favorites (lemon and Moroccan mint go well together).
The important thing is that you slow down, take a breath, and let your heart, intuition, and curiosity guide you, not a screen.
practice hitting pause
Mindfulness is like any other skill; it takes practice. So this week, practice pausing and being present in the moment. A trick I use is running through my five senses. You only need about 2 minutes. Start by closing your eyes. Take a deep breath, and notice how the air around you smells. Does it give you a sense of nostalgia? of disgust?
Then move to your hearing and try to notice the small sounds like somebody walking, a bird chirping. Do you have any tastes you can distinguish? What is your body feeling right now? Are your shoulders tensed up? Is your back hurting? Then lastly, open your eyes, and take in your surroundings.
It's important to remember that there's nothing to accomplish here. This activity is practicing being present in the moment and noticing your surroundings and how they make you feel. These small moments might feel awkward at first, but the more you practice, the more peace you'll be able to find throughout the day.
read before starting your day
Today I will find clarity by being honest with myself and curious about my intentions.
Clarity cannot exist without transparency, so I will ask for transparency from the businesses I support, the leaders I follow, the people I care about, and most of all, from myself. This will help me be more self-aware and not project my pain onto others.
What kind of Earth do you think future generations deserve? What are the things you hope they would get to experience? They don't have to be grade excursions, but as simple as spending a day at the beach. Then think of something, big or small, that you can do today that will contribute to that future. It could be picking up a piece of trash, registering to vote, or thanking a local business for their sustainability efforts. Now go do it.
letting small things go
When you feel stressed, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Picture the source of your stress encased in a white fluffy cloud. As it enters your line of vision, accept the feelings you have, even if you don't fully understand them.
Don't ruminate, don't try to solve anything, just acknowledge your emotions, and give yourself permission to feel deeply. By accepting your emotions, you give yourself the power to let them pass, just as a cloud would. Now visualize the cloud slowly exiting your line of vision along with the now validated feelings.