The older I get the guiltier I feel about just taking an afternoon to sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing. Lately, my life has been somewhat overwhelming and I keep going and going until finally my body and emotions force me to stay in and have what my Mom calls a “mental health day”.
In my most recent relationship, we went though this hibernation phase. Last fall all we did was stay in, drink wine, play music and cook lots of food. We slowly turned into the most unproductive members of society. While I don’t regret any of this, I think that coming out of it a fire lit itself under my ass and in my mind sitting down and stopping just isn’t an option. I’ve been working harder, playing harder, and working out harder.
When you are on a regular workout routine you are supposed to have at least one exercise-free day a week. You have to give your body time to rest and regenerate. I’m beginning to realize that that is what my emotional and mental wellness requires as well. But it’s so hard to do in New York City. Last Thursday I had this huge list of things I wanted to get accomplished, but I hit a wall Wednesday night after work. Instead I spent the day watching Criminal Minds and Bridget Jones’ Diary (total opposites, I know). And now that I think about it, you require certain foods for these times, as well. Which is why last night I devoured a slice of devils food cheesecake with strawberry ice cream. Don’t judge me…
So, if you’re like me, and feel guilty every time you sit down, then right now I am giving you permission to take a “staycation”. Sit on the couch, pop in some old movies, or new movies, or Christmas movies (something about Love Actually always makes me feel better). Pop open a bottle of wine. Grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a spoon. Unless you’re lactose intolerant. Sorbet can do the trick just as well.
Work hard. Play hard. And then give yourself a break. Speaking of which I have two days off in a row… starting tomorrow… :)
P.S. I just have to add something about crying as well. Take my advice, if you have to cry… cry. Don’t let things build up. Because it will all come out at the most inconvenient and awkward times. Who knows what I’m talking about?
Never, ever, ever underestimate the powers of cleaning therapy.
Ever feel like your life is totally out of control? Like your brain is on multitasking/emotional overload?
A few years ago a good friend and I established that sometimes the best way to get in control of this is to first get in control of your immediate environment. Clean your room, do laundry, scrub your toilet, etc. Somehow, once you do this, it alters your whole perspective on the tasks and hurdles in front of you.
Sometimes it’s as simple as making a to-do list and accomplishing small goals and errands. I recently went through a phase where I was staying up late and going out and then waking up at noon or 1 PM. I don’t have to be at work until the late afternoon, and most of my other meetings I have happen later in the day as well. I found myself dragging myself half-heartedly out of bed and drudging through my job and career. I was miserable. Then I finally cracked open my roommates collection of workout and yoga DVDs. I actually made one of the yoga workouts part of my daily routine. With this, I established a whole morning routine that totally transformed my daily life. I’m out of bed no later than 9 or 10, I read my daily devotional, do some yoga, go for a run, rehearse, do some writing, cook a little food. By the time I get to work I feel much more refreshed and ready to take on the rest of my day.
This is so important when we suddenly find ourselves missing our other half. Especially if you were living with your significant other. When you are in any relationship you set up routines and habits that are specific to that person. I got lucky this time around. I immediately moved into a new (and MUCH nicer) apartment in a different neighborhood right as we broke up. I didn’t need the older furniture so I gave it to a friend. Being surrounded by all the things that you shared together can make life unbearable. My biggest issue was cooking. Cooking meals by myself was nearly impossible for a while. I LOVE cooking. But it suddenly seemed so empty. I’ve pretty much gotten over this. I mean, just because Liz Lemon can survive off of take-out and Hot Pockets doesn’t mean the rest of us can. Or can we…?
My point is… set new goals, try new things, redecorate your apartment, go new places, meet new people. As much as you think you want to live in the world you shared with your ex, you really don’t. You have to focus on the things that strengthen you as an individual, NOT the things that made your past relationship. You just might be surprised at all the wonderful things that you were missing because you were tied down.
And contrary to what some might say, if you decide to get a pet, and it happens to be a cat, this DOES NOT mean that you are or are ever going to be a spinster. But if you end up with three or more, I can’t make any promises.
After spending my day cleaning, I now realize that you should never underestimate the power of hand cream.
Happy Friday. Enjoy the weekend :)
The quote that I re-blogged below is actually perfect for what has been on my mind over the past few days. While I am for the most part (or I try to be) an extremely positive and upbeat person, I have my rough days.
Recently I’ve had a several people gasp in shock and awe at my somewhat new single status. I’ve heard such remarks as “It totally isn’t over…”, “You guys were so perfect for each other…”, “I’m sure this is just a phase…”
These are some of the most unhealthy things you can say to someone going through a breakup. And it is the most unhealthy mindset to have. We can’t live for the past or with hopes that what we loved in the past will somehow make it’s way into our present or future. We have to live and love what is in front of us, and what is given to us in the present. We have to love who we are and who we are becoming. And we mustn’t dismiss those that have stuck by us all along.
When something ends, it ends for a reason. I know many people out there are obsessed with their “zombie romance”. They break up, get back together, break up, get back together. Once something dies, it can’t come back to life like it was before. You’ll just be stuck with some uncomfortable creature who’s soul purpose is to eat your heart out. I am not a fan of this concept. I was at one time. Most of my early 20s were spent like this. I thought that the person I was and the person he was and who we were together could somehow be maintained and survive in spite of everything that happened if I simply loved him enough. When in the long run it was the breakup that made me the songwriter and woman I am today.
We get so scared of trials and hard times. But it’s these trials and hard times that shape us and mold us into the person that we are meant to be. And we have a choice how long we want these hard times to drag out :)
Recently, I’ve found that simply making positive decisions and taking positive, productive action has softened the blow quite a bit. My last big breakup I felt so hurt and so cheated that I sat and groveled in it for quite some time. I refused to be that girl this time around. And I refuse to be that girl ever again. But I won’t sit here and lie to you and say that I haven’t had my weak moments in the past couple of months.
It’s been scientifically proven that if we don’t talk or think about something for 60 days then it will waltz it’s way out of our heart and mind. I know from experience that this is nearly impossible. Especially when something is weighing so heavily on your heart. But, we can chose how we prioritize it in our life. And, as my roommate just said, we can chose to replace those negative or stinging thoughts with something more positive and productive to improve who we are as individuals.
Hope y’all have found this somewhat helpful and informative. I’m developing a list of helpful things to keep you positive when you’re feeling blue. If you have any of your own feel free to send ‘em my way and I will throw them in there!
Funny thing is… I initially got this idea from an ex… after he used our breakup online (without telling me) to promote my music. We’re very good friends now. Actually, I’m friends with all of my ex-boyfriends. Not the point. Sorry…
Or maybe that is the point.
After discussing the ins and outs of breakups with my roommate, he brought it to my attention that there isn’t a solid resource for breakup advice. Perhaps there is some self-help book or guru out there with all the answers. I’m guessing there isn’t. Every relationship is different. Every breakup is different. Every heartbreak is different. If we had access to all the answers we wouldn’t get drunk and sob on the train all the way home… or listen to Adele’s last album on repeat… or eat Ben & Jerry’s and watch reruns of Friends at 1 AM… or wake up (still kinda drunk) and go on a two mile run at 5 AM…
I want this to be a place of full disclosure. I’m going to be brutally honest, and I want you to be brutally honest. I want to give you advice, and I want you, dear reader, to give advice.
(Please say you noticed the Jane Eyre tone I took with that…)
I’m not an expert. I can’t give you perfect answers. But I have been through my fair share of heartache and come out on the sunnier side of the tunnel. And I’ve written a few songs about it…
I will be posting ideas and tools that I’ve used in the past and recently to get through a breakup. Based on experience I will give you my personal “what to do” and “what not to do” list, as well as songs to listen to… and songs to NOT listen to (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about). This will also include stories that I hope you find informative as well as entertaining.
With all this said, send me your questions, send me your thoughts, send me the drunken texts/emails (instead of your ex). Feel free to rant and rave. Feel free to laugh and cry. I hope this proves to be a useful and helpful resource. I’m excited to see how this goes…
Happy Wednesday. It’s a new day. Enjoy it :)