Today I was facing the typical panic because I had not yet written a blog post for tonight, so I started looking through my old posts for inspiration. If there is one thing that journalism has taught me, it’s that there is almost always a follow up that can be written.
I remember writing Introvert or Extrovert? and Feeling Stuck, but I was shocked by the tone of my writing. I remember feeling down because I was bored and lonely, but I didn’t realize how clearly my emotions had translated into what I was writing about. Even my weekly Five Happy Things posts were mundane as if I was reaching a little too hard to find moments where I experienced genuine joy.
Suddenly, the uninspired posts seem to change. I started talking about the things I am passionate about again and wrote about my obsession with blush interiors. I went to a music festival alone and learned some valuable lessons while dancing with strangers and my writing became descriptive as I described my cheeks hurting from smiling and the joy I felt dancing in the pouring rain. So what happened?
As soon as I touched down in Ontario I felt a huge sense of relief. I stayed with my grandparents for a week and was reminded of how much I value time spent with my family. I was spontaneous and jumped outside of my comfort zone. I met up with friends who know me inside and out and laughed until I cried. I saw my Dad and siblings and we went for burgers at midnight relishing in the short amount of time we had together before they went home.
In short, I have been surrounded by unconditional love and support for the past few weeks and it has done wonders to bring me out of the shell and help me be my best self. These past few weeks taught me a thing or two about getting myself out of a rut, and I want to share them with you today.
1. Change it up
Feeling stuck? Then something needs to change. ASAP. For me, it was getting out of Halifax and coming to Ontario. I firmly believe that a change of scenery or a change of routine is important for maintaining motivation and happiness. Maybe you take a different route to work or find a new recipe for dinner. It doesn’t have to be as drastic as flying across the country. Just find a small way to breathe new life into your everyday routine.
2. Catch up with friends & family
No one knows you better than your family and closest friends. I think that seeing ‘my’ people had the biggest impact on my mood these past few weeks. If you live far away from them like I usually do, give them a call or schedule a Skype date. I even like to write letters or send cards because there is nothing nicer than receiving a note in the mail. You need them, and they need you. Isolating yourself will not make you feel better in the long run.
3. Treat yourself
After work one evening I decided to take myself downtown for an evening. I wound up in Sephora and treated myself to a lipstick, and then made my way to Winners (obviously) and bought myself a book and a candle. I went home to an empty house and spent the night listening to music, reading and enjoying my new candle. Now, whenever I wear that lipstick it makes me so happy because I also remember the lovely evening I had to myself. Not to mention that putting on lipstick automatically makes me feel like I can conquer anything. And you can too. Indulge. Give yourself some love — you deserve it.
4. Jump outside your comfort zone
I basically had to force myself out the door to go to the music festival because I didn’t think I’d have any fun alone. It was the first major thing I did to begin my trip, and I think it really set the mood for the trip and lifted my confidence. Since then, I’ve down a lot of things that maybe I wouldn’t have done without the initial jump outside my comfort zone. You can do it!
5. Trust yourself
This is as simple as it sounds. We are all so critical of ourselves that I think trusting our opinions and actions is hard to do. I spent so much time doubting myself last year, so when I left for Ontario I decided that I had had enough. My fears and doubts were holding me back, and allowing myself to let them go and just trust that everything will be okay has significantly impacted my perspective and self-esteem. My Aunt Paula gave me a shirt before she passed away that says, “Trust Your Journey” and it always lifts me up when I feel down.
I haven’t been this busy in months. I’ve barely had any of the ‘Me Time’ I swore was vital to my happiness, my calendar is full of events and dinner dates, and I’m very behind on my sleep. But despite this abrupt disruption to my usual routine, I am full of energy and positivity. I had hoped that coming home would have this effect on me, but I never imagined that it would be this dramatic of a change.
My trip is halfway done and I never want it to end! Here’s to the joy and adventures to come!
What has a profound impact on your positivity?