Around the beginning of August this year, I started a gratitude practice. ( Not sure what a gratitude practice is? Read about it here, or here ) And it quickly started changing my life. I was seeing multiple benefits. I was happier and less stressed My family was happier and I started keeping goals that I set. My gratitude practice helped me get out of the funk that I was feeling, and ultimately lead me to where I am right now; writing this blog post.
I was in the rhythm. I performed my practice daily for about a month. and then I started a month long travel trip, and my practice alone with my exercise routine ended up on the back burner. Traveling kept me busy. I travelled alone with Sawyer and it was hard to say the least. And though I was grateful to be able to see family and friends, the stress became overwhelming. After I got back home I was able to get back into the swing of things and pick up where I left off with my routine and practice. But it wasn’t easy.
So, Here are three things that I learned when I stopped my gratitude practice. Though they may be obvious, it was eye opening and a great growing opportunity for me.
When you set a loose goal, you probably will fail.
I had loosely set a goal to still go on walks and runs and perform my practice with Sawyer while we were out of town. But, heres where I went wrong. I loosely set the goal. Instead of telling myself that I would do it the whole time or even the majority of the time, I said eh if I do it great, if not, whatev! Which in some cases would be fine, you don’t want to be hard on yourself. However, I need this practice, it totally helps keep me grounded. The first day of vacation I went on a walk, and tried, but Sawyer was cranky and it just didn’t happen. And the next day it didn’t happen, and so forth and so forth. Though it’s not rocket science, now I know to make sure I set firm goals for myself.
If you’re not doing your stress relievers you will be stressed.
UM HELLO!!! DUH. Come on Clara. This one is not hard to figure out right? Except it was. I got caught up in how great I was handling my stress totally took my gratitude practice for granted. I thought “Oh i’m doing so well, It won’t matter if I don’t do it.” Well, unfortunately that didn’t go so well for me. I found myself in a stressful situation, traveling alone with a toddler, without my saving grace of a stress reliever. This all equals major stress, lovely cold sores and other great stress related stuff.
A grounding practice is essential. In my case it is a gratitude practice.
I’m religious and I pray often. In those Prayers include what I’m grateful for. But they can often become receptive and sometimes the meaning isn’t there. I’m working on it! The point is, it’s not the same for me. It’s easy to get into a habit of telling Heavenly Father what I’m grateful for in prayers, and it doesn’t always have the same effect. So, even though I would say my prayers, the gratitude practice didn’t relieve my stress like I though it would. There is something so powerful about speaking out loud what you are thankful for. It helps me, so I must keeping doing it.
DO YOUR PRACTICE
All right, like I said these ideas aren’t ground breaking. But I think they are a good reminder of what happens when you stop doing a beneficial thing. Things are about to start getting crazy around here again with my surgery coming up, (this MONDAY AHH!) and the holidays. And now, I can take what I’ve learned from last time, and make sure to set my goals, remember to do this to relieve stress and know that it essential for me.
Just a thought: Just because you stop something or get out of routine, doesn’t mean all is lost. Start over! Don’t be discouraged, tomorrow is a new day!