I took a blogging break last week. I was in a mental rut, and nothing I wrote was coming out right. It all sounded a bit off, anywhere from whiny to depressing which is not exactly what I want to put out into the world. I might be a hot mess most of the time, but I tend to think of it in an endearing way, not a world crumbling down kind of way. So I didn’t write. Looking back, I think maybe I should have written in a “journal” or just put out my feelings and clicked the “Do not save” button. It probably would have helped immensely (If I were adept with my bullet journal there would be a page in it where I could record this helpful tip for my future self-in-a-rut so I could actually utilize it. But see: hot mess).
So besides the not-writing part of my down time (emotionally, no physically – although kind of that, too), I also gravitate towards wallowing whenever I get stuck there. I google “ways to get out of a rut,” yet I don’t actually follow any of the information. Instead I spend my day doing whatever I need to and just counting down until I can lay in my bed with a book and a snack and my comforter pulled up to my chin. It’s definitely NOT the way I want to be whenever I feel down, especially with two small kids who I not only have to take care of, but set a positive life example for. I don’t want their coping mechanisms to start and end at jalapeno chips and an old book (anyone else? no – just me?) so I need to do a better job there.
Luckily this past week was gorgeous outside and Mimi and I took advantage of it with a nice long walk in THE GREAT OUTDOORS. Generally my feeling of the outdoors being great pretty much includes drinking on a patio or on Peepop’s boat, but other than that I’m just not feeling the hot, and the dirt, and the bugs (especially and always and forever the bugs). Aside from one camping trip with some of my sorority sisters in college where I literally spent the entire time drunk, I don’t think you’ll catch me in a tent in my lifetime. Hopefully the zombie apocalypse never actually happens because I’ll probably turn myself to avoid anything creepy-crawly.
Anyway, back to getting out of my rut here. It’s not like this is any new information for you, but a dose of sunshine and fresh air can probably cure most of my dump-y feelings. I felt rejuvenated and like I had a long nap after that walk. The next night the kids wanted to walk again and since it was warm and still light out, we walked around the block after Riley’s dance class. (Side note – Sawyer walking on the sidewalk will always make me smile. The way he walk-runs and tries to keep up with Riley while huffing along is just insanely adorable.) The trail my mother-in-law and I walked on last week ends right by my sister-in-law’s condo so I walked it with Jamie and the kids again yesterday, preempting what I knew would be a less-than-ideal day. (The delicious drink from Clean Juice and dinner I didn’t have to cook didn’t hurt either – and neither did the iced green tea or other dinner I didn’t have to cook last week either! Honestly, maybe I just hate cooking dinner and like healthy cold beverages?) Prior to our walk yesterday, I even mentioned to Ron how happy I was that Jamie and I had already made plans otherwise I would have put the kids down for their nap and been snuggled in my bed dreading the dinner-making-hour for the rest of the day. Instead, we all got to be in the fresh air while getting in a little exercise and spreading dandelion seeds somewhat successfully.
I’ve said it before, but I think I really need to listen to myself (and all the other smart people who have said it in just about every article about self-care) and start getting out of the house and into the fresh air every day. It can be so incredibly isolating when you shut yourself in everyday, even if it is inadvertent or even necessary sometimes. When it becomes the norm instead of the exception, it’s certainly time to make a change.
So the next time you feel down, put on your sneakers and get outside. Go for a walk or play with your kids or dogs or just sit there with a book or an iced tea and breathe in some fresh air. I promise you won’t regret it.
PS – From now on I might just look at these pictures of the kids with their cat-cousin, Venus: