Answering your own SOS call

When I was a little girl, a grey, cold rainy day would find me in the nurse’s office at school. I am not sure what it was about the rain but it always caused me anxiety, as if I suspected the world was crying and the empath in me had to feel its pain, too.

In college, grey, cold, rainy days would send me to my bed after class whenever my scheduled allowed.  I would curl up, my back pressed against the wall and my down cover over my head and just recharge myself in that cocoon.

Today, I woke up ready for the day. I had an article to write, some important emails to send, a retreat to finish preparing, blah, blah.  I have woken up invigorated and on purpose every day this year so far and it feels really good.  I feel like just the right button has been hit for me to achieve more flow in my life.  I am grateful.

But then I went outside to work out and it was raining.  I still go my work out in but…

When I returned home, I prepared our crockpot for dinner.  What I thought would take 15 minutes took twice that and more.  I rushed to the shower so as not to make BF late for work.  My anxiety about possibly making things hard for my family was palpable in my chest.  Then my sister called to tell me that one of her dogs had died.  I cannot even watch The Human Society commercials without crying (although I think more people cry during those commercials than don’t cry), hearing this news about the sweet puppy I named just upended me.

That the day went on like that is probably obvious.  Some more crappy news, difficult situations, mistakes, rain.

I just wanted the sun to come out and create an automatic shift for me.  But I know that I am responsible for my own shift.  And so I decided to find it.  Here’s what I did:

1.  Nurtured connection.  For me, connection is really powerful.  It gives my life a sense of meaning and context.  And so I knew that one of the fastest things I could do to create a shift was connect.

A.  I texted a friend who had a tough medical day ahead of her and let her know that I was thinking about her.

B.  I sent an SOS out on Facebook asking people to share jokes, happy news, etc.

C.  When my boys came home, we had long, long hugs.  Imprint always works.

D.  I listened through my sister’s tears a couple times, even though it hurt because I knew her pain was so much more profound.

E.  I solidified plans for visits that I had been anticipating.

2.  Tweaked my environment.  

A.  I moved to the house (rather than working in the shack) so I would feel a little less solitary.  The shack is great for solitude– and I typically love it but working at the dining room table with last night’s Trouble game sitting next to me was just nice.

B.  I lit candles

3.  Did the hard things.  

A.  I went ahead and did the hardest things on my to do list.

B.  I plugged away because I knew that staring off into space wouldn’t make me feel better than just moving forward.

C.  I was real with my peeps and claimed what I was feeling.

4.  I shifted my energy.  

A.  I stopped to count my blessings and did a little mid-day gratitude listing.

B.  I sang a song out loud.

All those things helped me the little anxiety stomachache dissipate and helped me feel back in charge of my life.

What do you do to answer your own SOS?  What works for you when you need a small attitude or energy shift?

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2 responses to “Answering your own SOS call”

  1. Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School

    i love listening to joy the baker’s podcast. it never fails to make me feel better.

    i’m also a fan of listening to wait, wait don’t tell me and occasional episodes of this american life.

    reading books. not on my kindle, but actual books. novels are best.

    phone dates with friends – sounds silly, but if we don’t make them, we don’t talk.

    getting on my mat. you’d think this would be first, but alas….

    hugging the child. it feels especially good when she hugs back rather than trying to scurry away. also getting into playing on the floor with her rather than kinda playing on the floor with her.

    doing the dishes. cooking healthy dinners. mundane tasks that have to be done anyway and i get a huge sense of accomplishment from something that has to be done anyway.

    listening to music and singing really loud helps too.

  2. Sarah

    I needed this today. I so so so so SO needed this today. I react the same way to the dark and the grey. I am solar-powered. I lived in Oregon for 25+ years and only recently realized that my brain and heart thrive on sunshine.

    Today was a rough one and I needed these words; I plan to implement them tomorrow.

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