I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. – Joseph Campbell
I hit the wall recently. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I seem to hit it hard.
The last few weeks have been busy ones. Caitlin’s college graduation, Emily’s end-of-the-school-year-activities and helping Andrew transition back home for the summer; along with increasing responsibilities at work, has left little time for much else.
There comes a time when our minds and bodies push back and shout, “Slow down!” I heard my body loud and clear – its voice was not to be denied. The voice told me to rest.
My reminder to rest more is a valuable reminder that when we stop nurturing our bodies, they will rebel and stop working for us. When this happens, we have the responsibility to fill them up again. We can wait until it’s too late, or we can provide the needed care along the way.
The following 20 ways to feel alive again are ones that I’ve been relying on lately. It’s my hope I will do more of these when I find myself feeling worn down and before my body meets the wall again. I hope you find some inspiration from this list, too:
- Face a window and allow the sun to wash over your face. Soak it in and allow its warmth to settle in those dark places deep inside of you that need some extra energy.
- Spend 10 minutes outside during a lunch break. Just a few minutes outdoors can restore our energy and refresh our attitudes.
- There’s no replacement for getting adequate sleep. Get to bed on time and rest.
- Spend time with loved ones. No specific activity needs to be planned; only reserve the time and watch what happens next.
- Look in a mirror and make the commitment to take care of the face you see.
- Cook a meal – a substantial meal. Put effort into selecting quality ingredients and don’t rush the preparation. Savor the cooking process. Enjoy the delicious food you took care in creating.
- Play. Remember the kid you once were. Roll on the floor, dance and sing. Throw a ball, pick-up jacks or pretend you are living in a world far way. Just play like a child.
- Notice what’s right in your life. Appreciate the positive and the good. Honor the things that give you hope. Focus more on what’s right and less on what you think you should have to be happy.
- Practice an act of random kindness. We are connected to one another and share in the love that is available for all. When we show love and kindness we also receive it unexpectedly and in ways we could never imagine. Only through kindness can we find our way out of the darkness.
- Spend time with friends. Enjoy the company of friends and receive their appreciation and attention. Let their love inside and allow it to replace the emptiness we sometimes feel.
- Resurrect your goals. Stress can derail the pursuit of our goals which can further add to the frustration of not feeling our lives are on track. Take time to articulate what you want; both professionally and personally. Write down your goals and keep them front and center. As you begin to focus on completing your goals, celebrate the achievements by acknowledging your progress.
- Remember your life has a purpose. No one else can contribute to the world like you can. Your gift are unique and your gifts are desperately needed by a world that needs every positive touch possible.
- Know when to say when. Set reasonable and healthy boundaries. Save whatever you need for yourself. It’s not an act of selfishness when we do this, but rather an announcement to others that we care about our personal well-being just as much.
- Forget regret. Regret keeps us stuck in the past. Let go of past mistakes or poor decisions – we all make them. Instead, focus on the present, on the here and now and enjoy the moment in front of you.
- Learn from failure. Learning from failure and having regret are two separate things. Regret is an emotion; a feeling of disappointment. But to look back at a circumstance and figure out what went wrong gives us the chance to live our lives differently next time.
- Listen to your favorite song. Music can lift our spirits and bring energy back into our bodies. Turn up your iPod and sing along, tap your feet and clap your hands. Get in to it and let your heart feel the pulse of the beat.
- Do some inspirational reading. Go back to something that has touched your soul and read it again or read something similar. Take in the words and allow these words to be written over your heart.
- Get organized. While we may be able to control everything that happens, we can control the small things like decluttering our desk, or cleaning out the refrigerator. These small wins add up over time and give us the sense our lives really aren’t that far out of control after all.
- Ask for help. You are not alone. It may feel that way sometimes, but there are many people who would extend their hand and lift you up if asked. All you have to do is ask.
- Keep the faith. At the end of the day when you are tired and weary and your life is still not where you want it to be, the one thing that tells you to keep going; to get up tomorrow and to keep moving forward, is your faith.
How do you begin to feel alive again?
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