Two years ago my “go-to” feelings were stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. I was not feeling much joy, calm, happiness. I regularly stayed up late watching television. I would eat and drink wine most nights. I would wake up feeling exhausted. I did not wake up feeling refreshed. I did not like who I was and what I was thinking and I would do anything to avoid being alone with my thoughts. I was starting to hate looking in the mirror because my body showed my pain and discomfort in myself.
Somewhere in the last 20 years, I lost the joy of learning. I lost the joy of discovery. I lost the joy of my own company. It was not caused by anyone else. I realized I was the source of my problems and I was the only one who could rescue me. I am crying as I type this because I have compassion and empathy for that grown-ass woman who was paddling upstream and drowning in sadness. I knew I needed to make a change but I did not know how to take action.
The journey started with losing weight. I thought that was my problem. If I lose weight, I will be happy. I will feel joy. I will love my body and my life. I lost 15 pounds at the beginning of 2019 and I was not feeling the joy I thought that would bring. I knew I needed to rediscover my love for myself that I have always had in the past, despite the number on the scale.
I decided that I would go to bed earlier. I knew sleep was imperative for mental and physical health and my Fitbit told me I was failing at sleep. This is where the change starts. It was that one, small change that was the catalyst for more change. In order to get more sleep, I turned off my notifications on my phone. I downloaded a meditation app and began meditating to help me go to sleep. Since I was in bed earlier, I wasn’t in consumption mode. I quit consuming news, food, and alcohol in the evenings.
As my sleep improved, I woke up rested. I was up earlier. I began incorporating morning routines. I had time to meditate in the morning too. This was a great way to start my day. I also had time to journal and get a podcast or some reading in. I added exercise. I started doing planks, sit-ups, and push-ups. Nothing crazy. Nothing life-changing. At least that is what I thought. Over the following months, I began to discover myself. I was excited to spend time with my thoughts. I loved the thoughts that came up. I was feeling more joy. I was less reactive during the day. I was able to adapt to challenges and circumstances rather than panic and freak out.
I am not the same person I was two years ago. I have completely changed. The changes did not happen overnight. It was one small actionable step at a time. I continue to grow. I continue to add things that bring me joy. I will continue to delete things that no longer serve me. My sense of self-love and self-worth has blossomed. I love the person I am becoming and look forward to creating the person I will be in the future.