Episode 73: What to Do When You’ve Neglected Your Needs.

When it feels like nothing in life matters anymore, that’s when we need to press pause and take inventory. Ideally we’d pause and notice what’s off before getting to this point, but sometimes we just let it all go a little too long. I know that’s my habit.

My toxic trait is that I let things get bad before I make them better – you see, we don’t have to let things go, we don’t have to get so out of alignment that we’d rather burn it all down and run away than to take the simple steps to restoring our balance. But we are human, we don’t always make the right choices, and that’s okay. 

This isn’t about making a change because you feel so overcome by guilt you’re forced to make a change. This is about giving yourself grace, understanding that you’re doing the best you can with what you have, and being inspired to have more in order to be a better version of you. Life is about constant growth and you’re meant to bloom. 

What is it that we need to take inventory of, exactly? We need to look at what we’ve been avoiding. Whether it’s basic needs ( hygiene, hydration, movement, nutrition) or something deeper (emotions, past traumas, limiting beliefs or intrusive thoughts) or simply the demands of our mind and body (quiet moments, time in nature, journaling, rest), you are in need of something you’ve been ignoring. The whispers eventually turn into screams no matter how hard you try to drown them out with distractions. 

When we ignore those flashing red lights that tell us to pause, we might be able to get away with it for a time, but it will eventually catch up to us in ways we don’t expect. I came to the end of February and realized that I’d been tuning out the whispers and distracting myself with Netflix, iPhone games and procrastination in general. I was tired – exhausted actually. I realized I hadn’t felt genuine in a long time and hadn’t been showing up on social media or attending my weekly mom meet ups. It occurred to me that I’d been disconnected from myself. I’d taken time off from cleaning and working, but I wasn’t using that time to restore or relax. I was sitting in my anxiety and feeding the feelings of worthlessness, instead of confronting those feelings and thoughts. I let them fester and grow. 

I walked into March knowing I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was irritable and anxious and easily triggered. I knew I was in need of time away, time with myself to recover. I still didn’t take that time. Instead, I attacked my marriage and threatened to leave. It felt easier to burn it all down and run away than to address what wasn’t working. That was my overactive nervous system reacting to a sour situation. I’ll add, this was a situation that could have been handle by a calm conversation about our feelings and what we needed from one another – instead, I handled things terribly. 

I am so incredibly thankful that my husband played the role of golden retriever in this disaster. He stayed by my side, apologized and took full blame for everything, and vowed to do what ever it took to keep me. After I calmed down and recovered a sense of my sanity, it was my turn to apologize. But we didn’t leave it at that – we vowed to both consciously work to be open and honest about our feelings and thoughts while also working to grow closer and nurture our marriage as we always should have. We’re in the best place we’ve ever been in our marriage and it’s because we’ve quit hiding when we’re upset with each other and we’ve started being intentional with our time together. But that’s a bit of a tangent from our topic today. (comment below and let me know if you want more on that topic in the future!) 

I told you all this to show you the possible affects of not caring for yourself when you need it. We have to listen to our bodies, minds, souls and we have to take action. A lot of the storms we face could be prevented if we simply listened to what we need. 

Mindfulness is what we’ll look at here. The act of being mindful is getting into the present moment. This is the most beautiful, simple peace of healing your heart. 

When you’re in the present moment, all the shame and guilt of the past can fall away. 

When you’re in the preset moment, all the fear and anxiety of the future has no place here. 

The present moment is the only moment that truly exists. Release all the rest. 

In this moment, what are you feeling? What negativity do you need to release? What positivity do you need to embrace? Sit with it. Take deep breaths. Feel your breaths. Listen to every sound around you. Smell where you are. Feel this moment. Be part of this moment. 

Once you’ve come into this moment, once you’re free from the guilt of the past and the fear of the future, get into yourself and reflect on your true feelings and thoughts. What’s serving you and what’s in your way? This is when journaling is going to make an impact. See where you are, and commit to taking action to get where you’re meant to be next. 

What is the life you envision for yourself? How can you set an intention everyday to move closer to that dream? 

It’s your turn: comment below and tell me how you will practice mindfulness every day.

Get the Everyday Joy Planner on Amazon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: