I've been pondering writing this post for the last few days, and i've finally decided to share a few things i've been feeling lately.
I honestly think February is one of the hardest months of the year. We start off the New Year feeling so motivated with our goals & to-do lists lined up ready to tick them off one by one. However, by the time February rolls around, it's easy to feel like you've run out of steam especially if things haven't completely gone to plan.
You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet on my blog since the New Year. I'm so proud of the path i've created with Go Live Explore, however, I can tell you now that it doesn't come without its challenges. So much of my job is dependent on me feeling inspired and creative and lately, I just haven't been feeling that way. I've felt a level of disconnect between my mind and creativity, which has knocked me off track a little. I want my work to be the best it can be, and so I simply haven't wanted to put content out there that I'm not completely happy with or proud of.
Don't get me wrong, life is really good. I'm healthy and happy and things are moving in the right direction - I just haven't been feeling as motivated and on my game as usual. It doesn't help that i'm a perfectionist and often overly tough on myself, so stagnant periods like this hit me doubly hard. I am learning to cut myself some slack and rather than getting frustrated about it, I've been actively trying to coach myself out of it and it's definitely helped.
One very valuable lesson i've learned through building my blog and business is that it's okay if things aren't always perfect. It's sometimes hard to admit that, especially when you constantly want to progress and move forward and there's this pressure to be on the ball all the time. Of course, everyone's version of "perfect" is different, and there is no set definition, but it really is okay to go through periods when things aren't completely aligning and going your way. It's definitely hard with social media, as people are more vocal about their highs and successes than they are about their challenges. Ultimately though, this cycle of high and low periods is much more normal and common than you think.
Anyway, I just wanted to be honest and share a few thoughts with you guys. If you're going through a similar creative block and feeling off your game, then perhaps you might be able to relate to what i've been experiencing lately. I do feel a lot better now and things are finally starting to flow, and i've been doing a number of things to feel inspired and take control which I also want to share.
I want to remind you - and have this post serve as a reminder to myself in future - that it's absolutely 100% okay if things aren't always perfect and going your way. Even the biggest and greatest people we look up to don't always have their shit together, because guess what - we're only human and that's just a reality of life. Hopefully you find this post useful and as always, i'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments & how you get through these stagnant and sluggish periods!
Highs and lows are inevitable
Without the lows you'll never truly appreciate the great highs, and I think there are always lessons to be learned in the periods when you're just not on your game. The reality is that things won't always go swimmingly. Things will always come up and get in the way and set you back and that's just inevitable. But it's how you deal with it that really determines the outcome and how you move forward from there.
Trips that I've tried to plan haven't worked out due to various reasons, the PR visa we're applying for is limiting how and where we can travel for the time being, and so that combined has been stunting progress and making things a bit more difficult. It's not the end of the world, and I know for a fact that this lull is temporary. I don't know anyone who is constantly on a high 24/7 or has it easy 365 days a year. I'm learning to embrace the slow periods as much as those that are go-go-go, and appreciate that the ebbs and flows of life only help us to learn and grow and explore new things, which in the end is always a positive thing.
Don't be too hard on yourself
I'm definitely guilty of this one and it's something i'm trying to work on this year. I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve perfection with my work and to constantly be moving and progressing and bettering my skills. While it's the thing that keeps me motivated, it can also set me back further when i'm not feeling on my game. However, i'm slowly learning that being hard on yourself really does more harm than good in the end. Be gentle, don't beat yourself up about the situation you're in, and take control so you can get yourself out of it.
Put things into perspective
Perspective is a wonderful thing. It's so easy to get bogged down and caught up in your little bubble and lose sight of what's important, especially when you're having a crappy day. But, you have to be able to get some perspective on the situation as most of the time, it really isn't the end of the world.
When we found out we can't travel internationally for a few months due to our visa, I was annoyed and frustrated especially as I'd spent so much time planning trips & we were 1 day away from booking a big trip to Hawaii. I wallowed for a good 20 minutes - and I do think it's important that you allow yourself a moment to let it all out. But then, I figured out a plan B and focused on how to make it a positive and work in my favour. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal and it's a good problem to have more than anything, and i'm excited to focus on exploring more of Canada instead.
It's easy to get lost in moments like that and let the insignificant things grate on you. But you have to remember that most of the time, your situation could be much much worse, and there are still positives to be found, you just need to shift your mindset.
Ultimately, even in our worst moments, we're still better off than so many people - we have running water when we need it, we have food, we have a roof over our heads, and we have the power to change our situations if we really want to. Not everybody has those luxuries that we take for granted. Things might not be your version of perfect, but it's not anything you can't handle and you can make it work for you in the end.
Whenever things aren't going your way, just remember, you have the power to take control. It's easy to wallow and feel like you're helpless, but you're the only person who can take control and change what's not making you happy. Whether you're dealing with relationship issues, work problems, you've fallen off the fitness wagon, or whatever else, you need to take control of getting things back on track. Sitting around doing nothing will never help your situation. If you feel lost, start by writing down how you feel. Break down each feeling and try to find the root of where it's coming from. From there, you can make an action plan to tackle those feelings and take control.
Personally, i've been making sure to stick to my fitness routine and spinning 3x a week, and I've also been meditating in a morning especially if I have erratic dreams or I wake up a bit stressed. I lie on the floor for 10/15 minutes, put on some meditation music, and breathe out any tensions and stresses that are on my mind. It makes me feel so much calmer and more balanced and then i'm ready to take on the day.
Remember, it's okay if things aren't always perfect but don't get used to that being your norm. We often consider happiness and our wellbeing to be secondary to everything else, but it's so important to look after number 1. If you're consistently unhappy with something in your life then it's your responsibility to change it. Even if your situation isn't your fault, the responsibility still falls on you to make a change.
Gratitude is something i've really been focusing on for the last 6 months, and it can have a huge impact on how you feel and act in certain situations. It's not hard to be grateful when things are going your way. But what about when things aren't aligning and you feel like you haven't got a lot to be thankful for?
Well, it's in those times when gratitude is SO important. It's in those moments when gratitude can transform your mindset, energise you, heal you, give you a brand new perspective and make you appreciate the good even in the worst situations. Gratitude is an amazing coping strategy and it helps to offer you perspective at a time when you need it the most. It builds up your resilience and resistance to challenging situations, and so rather than letting things get to you or stress you out, it gives you the level-headedness you need to get through it.
A good friend of mine suggested journalling before bed and writing down the key things that have happened that day and what you're grateful for. It's something i'm going to try, as I think it's nice to take that time to reflect on each day and appreciate both the good and bad moments.
Be grateful when you're high, but even more grateful when you're low. Gratitude pays off in the long run, as there's nothing more satisfying than looking back and seeing how far you've come, and recognizing how those hard times have led you to where you are today.
Share how you're feeling
I can't tell you how important it is to share how you're feeling with a loved one or a friend. A problem shared really is a problem halved, and you'll feel a million times better if you get it off your chest. Even if it feels like a trivial problem, if it's big enough that it's affecting you, then it's worth sharing. Matt has been so amazing this last few weeks, encouraging me to get out and take photos, motivating me to finally sit down and get blogging again and just supporting and lifting me up when I need it. If he had no clue that I was feeling off my game, he wouldn't have been able to do any of those things, so sharing how you feel if so valuable. You never know, they might be going through a similar thing too!
"Without rain, nothing grows. Learn to embrace the storms of your life."
Is this something you can relate to? I'd love to hear your thoughts & whether i've been the only one lacking creativity lately!