When it gets to be winter here in Wisconsin, there’s plenty of snow around. And there’s no shortage of short, freezing, dark days that make you want to curl up on your couch with your favorite fuzzy socks and blankie and pretend the world doesn’t exist anymore.
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Those days where you just feel like you need a cup of warm apple cider or coffee or hot chocolate, a great book or your favorite binge-worthy Netflix series, and a couple of days of alone time!
While these days might sound nice in theory, they can quickly become overwhelming, especially when you think of everything you “should” be doing instead. I feel this often in the winter, but this year it hit me HARD and it hit me EARLY.
My body and energy told me I needed rest…but then my mind immediately processed that with panic as my productivity almost disappeared. My thoughts created such intense emotions of “not enough” that I found myself in tears over basically nothing a few times.
You know what it’s like to have a million plates spinning at once while also doing your best to support everyone around you while also taking care of yourself.
It’s a never-ending battle, isn’t it?
And for me, with two high-performing businesses, there are times when it feels like I’m going to be ripped in half.
While sometimes this makes me want to eat a whole bag of iced animal cookies, I know that’s probably not the best next step.
Luckily, teachers, thought leaders, and coaches always teach what they needed to learn the most. They’re ready to share what they have repeatedly worked on conquering in their lives.
And, for me, that certainly looks like learning to focus on what I CAN control. So I want to share my step by step process I use when I have a day or a week that lands me in this low-vibe zone so you can apply it when you are here too!
Notice above how I said “my thoughts created such intense emotions?” I’ve learned that you don’t just randomly feel emotions. Emotions are caused by external or internal triggers, like listening to a song or thinking about a past memory. They allow us to have empathy with people, understand them and connect with them. The best part about emotions, though, is that they’re not static. They can, and do, change frequently. And you can change them when you want or need to make a change.
Your thoughts create your emotions. And, my dear, you have control over your thoughts.
So take a minute, grab your journal and write out all those negative emotions you’re feeling right now and what thoughts created them. Then you can start to poke holes in the lies you’re telling yourself and create the space to feel the positive emotions you deserve.
Hey, if your body is telling you it needs something… Listen to it! It’s not a liar! Your body’s primary concern is to take care of you.
If you need rest, prioritize it.
If you need alone time - call in some support!
If you need to feel better physically…what can you control to make that happen? (My best example right now: put. the. iced. animal. cookie. down.)
I’m not saying this is easy for me, but that’s why I’m sharing! These thoughts and actions create the emotions I struggle with, so it’s always best to go back to the source and focus on the cause. (Hello…we do work in chiropractic after all!)
Like anything else, listening to and honoring your body is a new skill, and it will take time to learn to do it well. It’ll take practice. You’ll probably ignore some clear signs from your body - I know I certainly still do. And that’s okay. Don’t focus on that. (And if you do focus on it, head back up to Step 1.)
After you have completed Steps 1 and 2, make sure you tell someone what you’ve learned!
Share it with your spouse, friend, Mom, sister, whoever gets you and is cheering for you! Speaking about the emotions removes their power over you. Remember this Brene Brown quote when you feel like you need to bear the burden alone:
“Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it- it can't survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.”
Your words have power, my friend, so step into that and own it. Choose your words carefully. You don’t want to be apologizing or “should-ing” on yourself when you’re sharing your emotions. Instead, share from your heart as confidently as you can.
Winter isn’t the easiest time of year for most people, but I hope these tips help! And you can certainly feel like this in any other season. For me, though, the short days and dreary weather of winter tend to bring these feelings on more easily.
If you are looking for more resources to ensure you feel supported to share your best self with those around you, I highly suggest the book Do Less by Kate Northrup.
This book is a powerful tool to help you learn to cast aside the self-imposed belief that you are what you accomplish. It’s heavily aligned with my mission on this earth: to inspire, empower, and support females in chiropractic to show up as their shame-free, love-centric self.
Go ahead and grab your journal, the Kindle version of Do Less, and curl up with your coziest throw for the rest of the day! Work through these steps on your own time and see how they make a difference for you.
P.S. No matter what your next steps are, know that I am cheering for you and I’m here to chat if you need someone to listen. You can reach me on Instagram @drkrysti or join my Illuminated Insiders group on Facebook!