Mindfulness around priorities
I did it. I got caught off guard. I forgot to reset my priorities when things in my life dramatically changed (loss of career, several romantic and friendship relationship changes, ex moved out of town, house sold and rental acquired, change of schools twice, and what’s more all in less than 3 years).
This led to a very deep dark depression.
And extreme amounts of anxiety.
And immense amounts of numbness, hopelessness, and pain.
I knew better.
And yet I didn’t.
I forgot to set (reset) my priorities when things in my life changed.
What happened is so many things in my life changed. I was completely caught off guard.
Now, in hindsight I see where I went off the trail, where I forgot to regroup with myself and set my priorities. Where I forgot to exercise. Where I forgot to add or keep things in my life that bring me joy. Instead I went down the bottomless pit to overwhelm and too many things on my plate. Layers and layers of stress and worry were my regular route to take.
So I’d like to share with you how I would change that. My first depression lasted over 4 years. This time 5-6 months. With an additional 3 months of transition until I was feeling hopeful, excited and fully recovered. It involves using a simple tool that I created called “PEAS”.
Prioritize-What are your top three priorities in life?
Execute-Create your life around these priorities
Adjust-When the priorities change or aren’t working adjust. Don’t hold on tighter.
Simplify-I like to complicate my life, add in just a little more and then a little more-until I am overwhelmed…this doesn’t work. So I need a reminder to keep it simple. Simpleness allows me to stay in the moment, allowing me to enjoy the experience, keeping me delighted in life.
Rejigging your life on a weekly or monthly basis can help you adjust to new changing circumstances.
When things changed my life (I had a relationship break up, I had the childcare needs of my kids change, my work rules changed, I had physical illness and more-the details are unimportant-it’s the overwhelm that needs to be listened to and healed),
I didn’t adjust to those changing circumstances I just kept doing what I had been doing hoping that if I just pushed through it would get better.
Well I have to be honest life just got way way worse.
What I’ve learned is that if I had changed my priorities and simplified my life down to executing only those priorities I would’ve been able to get my life on a new path.
In the beginning I didn’t do that because I was stubborn, behaving out of habit and persistent. I didn’t recognize the thoughts and feelings that could have been red flags signalling the need for change. So now I know that when change happens I need to look and readjust to get things working again.
How to adjust to change and overwhelm:
- Acknowledge that your plate is overfull.
- Readjust Priorities.
- Execute your new plan
- Adjust as needed
- Get rid of everything that can go! (simplify, simplify, simplify)
When I finally did adjust my priorities and I simplified them down to the basics I change my life so that my family, my health, and my work were my top priorities. And everything else got adjusted to another year. I fit in extras around these life basics as I have the time, space, and energy to do so.
I give myself permission daily to stay really focused and really clear. And that’s what keeps me mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy.
So try this exercise of readjusting using PEAS (prioritize, execute, adjust and simplify). And if you need help or inspiration talk to friends, book an Applied Mindfulness appointment, or talk to a counselor- there are so many options.