No matter how much of a planner you are or how much you have contemplated your finances, your calendar, or done your part to cultivate a healthy lifestyle, the unexpected can occur and leave you reeling from the impact of the difficult stuff of life that can simply make you crazy.
While many times, we cannot instantaneously change the problems that come our way, we can do small things to increase our ability to stay sane in the middle of the hard.
Here some tips for staying sane even when life is straight up crazy.
Unplug and breathe.
We are a wired people. The interruptions and demands are non-stop. If someone is looking for you, they can email you, text you, call you, message you, or ping you. It’s enough to make one crazy. And I’m convinced that it actually does! While completely going off grid may not be an option that works for you indefinitely, going off grid for regularly schedule short periods of time can totally give you bit of time to collect your thoughts, gather your emotions, and relieve some stress. Try going off line at least one day a week or putting your phone into “do-no-distrub” mode after a certain time in the evening. Unplugging gives room for you to breathe.
Connect with others
When your life is crazy, one of the hardest things to do is make time to spend with others. It can be super hard to conjure up the energy to have conversations and to look people in the eye when you’d rather be checking things off of a list or or catching up on sleep you’ve missed out on. We are communal creatures who were designed with community in mind! While some of us are introverts and need more of one-on-one connection and some of us are extroverts that need to be in the middle of a party, we all need to spend time with heart-pumping, living, beings like ourselves. Either way, you need time to connect. It may seem like the hardest thing to do when your life is out of control, but it will help you stay sane to know and to be known.
We all need rest. I know you already know that. But are you taking that advice seriously? There is no substitute for your mind and body having plenty of time to recuperate from the beating it is taking as you leave in the craziness of your everyday. You’d be surprised at how your outlook can change for the good when you’ve had little bit more rest. What can you do less of to make more time for sleep? If you don’t get enough rest, here’s what I do know. Your body will demand it. You will find that you cannot keep up the pace at which you are moving because your body will not be capable of doing so. So rest now – while you have the ability to choose how and when your body gets the rest it needs. Sleep is your friend.
After you finish thinking about how to work in more sleep, don’t sleep so much that you don’t create room to move. Our bodies were created to need both – rest and exercise. One allows for healing and recuperation, the other creates the opportunity to gain strength, endurance, and more of those “feel-good” hormones.
Endorphins that are generated from a brisk walk, a short run, or a ride on a bicycle are like a drug that make the rest of your life seem doable. For many of us, exercise may seem like an indulgent thing to do when everything else seems to be falling apart. Well let me relieve you of guilt, it’s not indulgent. It’s good for you. You need to move. Not only does it keep you in good physical shape, which will help you deal with the difficulties in your life, it will aid in your mental ability to see the silver lining on the darkest of days.
Appreciate the small things.
When life seems to be overtaking you, it can be so easy to focus on the BIG stuff that is wrong – and only the big stuff. The truth is that for every major difficulty in your life there are probably 10 things that are just perfectly beautiful. The key is to focus on what is right and not to hyper focus on what’s wrong. What in your life is right? Stop to smell the flowers. Start a gratitude journal. You’ll be surprised at how choosing your focus in small ways can balance out your sanity in others.
Be honest in safe places.
While being grateful and paying attention to small joys can help, it doesn’t mean that you never need to be honest about how you really feel or how things really are going. When you need to “get-it-out” don’t steal the opportunity from yourself to be honest. Exhale. Tell the truth. Put your frustration, anger, exhaustion, and disappointment into words. Get out a pen and journal in raw form exactly how you feel and how you are struggling to put one foot in front of the other. That exhaling experience can be freeing and, like a good cry, can cleanse your palette so that you can get on with your journey.
You can stay sane – even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Never forget that even marathons are run taking one step at a time. These six tips are small steps but they are steps that matter. Blessings to you on your journey.