Home is an important place.
It’s where we go to find shelter from the world.
While physical homes are what most people think of, I’ve spent many years cultivating a “mental home.”
There was a time when I felt like I didn’t have a voice. I was always being told what to do and didn’t have a say in who I was or how I could move through the world.
But there’s a place you can go inside your mind that is entirely your own, and no one can take that place from you.
I visited this place often, anytime the world didn’t seem worth living in.
I built up this place, brick by brick.
It’s served me well as an adult. Because people don’t stop telling you how to be or who to be.
But when you have an inner home, you can be still and know exactly who you are, even if you’re doing on the outside what it takes to survive.
The past year has been a rough one for me and my family. Oftentimes, it’s still rough and we get tired.
I’ve been visiting my mental safe place a lot more often. It’s where I replay my dreams in my head and remind myself of the basics.
When life feels out of control, I’ve learned it’s best to focus on the stuff that’s within our control.
For me, I have certain tasks I go to when I feel overwhelmed. I have these reminders, these basic tasks tacked to my fridge in my mental home.
1) Make a list. Put everything you must do down on paper. Break the tasks down into smaller pieces. Smaller. Then even smaller.
Cross off each task as you go. Praise yourself for each accomplished task.
You build momentum and motivation by doing.
2) Rip off the bandaid. Eat that frog. Do the #1 thing you don’t want to do first thing. Get it out of the way. Grit your teeth and take that plunge because there is literally no other way.
3) Eat and eat well. Forget about counting carbs and just eat the stuff that makes your body feel good.
4) Move. Just move. Don’t worry about the fitness plan, just go for a walk or do a few stretches.
5) Take ten minutes to just sit down and breathe, in and out. Feel the breath move through your whole being. Practice counting your breaths, just counting.
6) Do something you enjoy. Something you really, really enjoy. Something you’re doing not to be productive.
7) Practice gratitude. Write letters to the people you appreciate. Focus on how much you love them. I’ve found that shifting the focus off of me and onto others helps me get out of focusing so much on the rabbit hole of my existential feelings.
8)Take it one day at a time. There is no yesterday or tomorrow, only today. Get through today.
Sometimes life happens and we have to leave home for a while. But that’s why it’s home, you can always come back to it.
If you’ve found that you’ve migrated from the most basic tasks that keep you healthy in body, mind and spirit, there’s no need to berate yourself.
Just go back home. Find that list tacked to your fridge.
After a few days of getting back to the basics, you’ll notice you’re breathing easier, that things feel lighter.
Your existential crisis can often be relieved through grounding yourself in routine.