The Illusive Hour.
We are designed to be able to make it through life putting one foot in front of the other. To complete our daily and weekly routines and habits.
However if this is the entirety of our lives, we can easily become depressed.
Do You Even Know What You Want?
You may be in that phase where you feel like you moan a lot or are complaining that your life isn’t what you want it to be. However if I turned around today and said ‘what do you want?’ would you have the answer?
Most people literally have no idea how to answer this question. You might say ‘win the lottery’ or ‘lose a stone’ but I guarantee that weighing less or being able to buy more things would not make you happy.
What makes people happy is DOING MORE THINGS that fill you with joy. Whether it’s relaxing, helping others, learning, growing, challenging yourself, seeing your children flourish, and yes, the odd shopping spree helps as well!
What to do About it. Today.
If You Could Wave a Magic Wand
- How would you look?
- How would you act and behave?
- What emotions would you experience each day?
- What would you spend your time doing in the week / weekend?
- Who with?
- Where would you go?
- What have you done in the past / where have you been / who were you with when you felt really joyful, proud, happy, content, relaxed, or ‘in the zone’. The feeling is that you lose all track of time because you’re just so involved with what you are doing. It shouldn’t involve copious amounts of gin!
- Whats on your bucket list?
- What HAS TO HAPPEN to make sure you start living a fulfilling life again?
Still Struggling? Start With Meaning
When you are drained and exhausted, it can be really hard to get out of overwhelm and sort your head out.
You can’t get happier, if you don’t truly understand the things that actually make you happy. Happiness usually comes from activities that give meaning to our life.
Things that give meaning to our life usually come down to the fact that they have a purpose. They give our lives purpose. However if you ask someone what their life’s purpose is, you will most likely receive a blank stare.
When you are drained and tired, the only way to start to insert more energy, passion and happiness back in to your life is by proactively inserting more meaningful opportunities in to your week. Literally scheduling them in.
- First make a list of all the things that would create more meaning in your life. It could be abstract things like ‘relationships’ ‘financial freedom’ or ‘being creative’. Or it could be actual activities that make you feel more present and grounded like ‘walking in nature’ ‘gardening’ ‘dancing’ or ‘being present with my children
- If you are struggling to know what these are, try asking yourself to name 5 times in your life when you were doing an activity and you felt totally yourself and it felt SOOOO good.
For me, it’s moving my body (exercise), public speaking, writing, being in nature on a sunny day, looking at a beautiful view of the ocean, trying new food in a restaurant, and deeply connecting with my children, my husband, my family and friends in the moment. It’s fundamental to my soul I have time alone to be with my thoughts and recharge – I am a monster without regular solitude. It heals me.
- Next schedule up a week that includes your duties and chores, but also adds in some of your meaningful opportunities. It doesn’t have to be all of them. It could just be ‘a walk in nature’ one evening.
So for example, I know I have to drop off and pick up the girls every weekday. I have work every day. No magic wand is solving this.
However I also have friends who I want to spend time with, exercise I want to do, and I love writing as my creative outlet. I feel full of love when I sit down and spend quality time with each child. I love to sit and eat with my children and my husband. I feel excited when we plan activities for the weekend, make a date night, or I make plans with my friends to chat over a coffee one morning. I started to make time for all these things in my week. EVERY week. It changed my life. Sounds simple when you say it out loud, but I just couldn’t see the wood for the trees when I was drained with a foggy brain.
Now at some stage, my schedule or ‘to do’ list starts calling me. It makes me feel under pressure to put my ‘to do’s’ first over all the things that make me feel wonderful and give passion, energy and meaning to my life.
Some times the ‘to dos’ are urgent, and we have to make sacrifices of course, like a sick child or a relative who’s having a hard time.
However commit to adding meaningful opportunities to your week 80% of the time, and I guarantee you will start to feel happier. You’ll know when you let it slip because you will start to feel crappy again – tired, resentful, a bit angry, lost, overwhelmed, anxious, depressed.
Stop the Mum Guilt (I know it’s hard!)
At first it feels selfish. Completely indulgent. You find yourself justifying why you should do this and trying to explain yourself to others. Trying to convince them that you are not being self-indulgent, selfish or care-free. You don’t have to justify shit! (I still battle with this myself regularly by the way!)
This is YOUR life, and at the end of the day, when everyone climbs in to bed at night, the only people we have to answer to, or the only people’s actions we really need to be concerned with are OUR OWN.
To be a whole person IS to live a meaningful life. You can not be filled up through other people alone. You can not be filled up by wine (hopefully!) You can not be filled up by DOING STUFF for other people all day long. They may like you for it, but it won’t fill you up in the long term. It will drain you. It will suck the life from you. At some point you will be thinking ‘hey, what about me?’
Especially when one day you wake up and realise you don’t even know what makes you happy because you never took the time to really think about it. Life is WAY too short.
Lead by Example
If I asked you one thing you wished for your kids, what would it be?
I bet you said ‘for them to be happy!’ And believe me when I say, they wish this for you too.
So be the best example for your kids by being your whole authentic self. I’m not talking about night’s out or things that look good on your insta feed.
A meaningful opportunity grounds you. It makes you feel grateful for your life. It makes you more aware of your abilities and strengths and when you build on these meaningful opportunities over time, it gives you self-worth.
Over time though these meaningful opportunities start to become second nature again. The guilt leaves me because I’m feeling too damn good to stop and feel bad about anything. Everything in my life has improved – my mood, my body, my health, my energy, my creativity, my organisation, my relationships.
I’m attracting opportunities that feel exciting again and it all started by just inserting more meaning in to my week.
So book a night away! That’s right I went there… You’re allowed you know. F*** Mum Guilt. This is way more important. How will you teach your kids to lead a fulfilling life if you can’t show them first hand.