Tuesday, November 17, 2020

small changes making a big impact

You guys, it has been a year. 

Right? We all know this. We're over it.

Living through a pandemic has impacted literally everybody. Even if we've been able to find a silver lining amidst the chaos, I think most of us could safely say that we would have been a whoooole lot happier without COVID-19 and its hoopla. 

I digress.

Like many, I've learned a lot about myself since March. For example: I am actually far more of an anxious person than I ever gave myself credit for, and I've been trying to navigate that by finding ways to spark joy and reduce anxiety. Here's a short list of what's been working for me so far:

Moving my body every single day

As of today, I've hopped on our Peloton for 13 days in a row. At the beginning of the month, I made a personal goal to use our Peloton every single day for 30 days. No minimum time - I just have to get on the bike, even for 10 minutes. Making exercise a definite part of my daily routine has already proven to be so motivating for me. As much as I love closing my rings on my Apple Watch, I realized that I'm not always in the mood to move my body for 30 minutes to "hit my exercise ring." Sometimes I just want to jump on a quick climb ride, or a 15 minute scenic route around Zion National Park with my AirPods and you know what? That counts. Giving myself a goal and actually sticking to it feels so good.

Reaching for a book instead of my phone

Again with the goals. I made myself a goal to read three books this month, which isn't much to some (especially my fellow bookworm friends!) but it's a start. I've been out of the groove with reading over the last couple of months, but I actually just joined Book of the Month, and I have a few holiday reads queued up in my library requests, so I'm excited to get into some new stories. I'm almost finished with Untamed by Glennon Doyle and I really like it!

Deleting the Facebook app

No, I didn't delete Facebook altogether. I'm part of several groups, including a small book club (and #Spivey'sClub for book recommendations) and a few SLP groups. Plus, I love poking around on Facebook market place when I'm looking for something in particular (like when I scored a stand-up paddle board for $200 over the summer!). 

Now that I don't have the application staring me right in the face every time I open my phone, I check for notifications/updates maybe once a day, or even once every 2-3 days. 

Checking Instagram a whole lot less

Can you tell I'm trying to limit my social media consumption? Don't get me wrong - I love Instagram. I get a lot of home inspiration from Instagram, and it's how I keep up with a lot of my favorite bloggers (and friends, of course). I have a separate account for my speech Boom cards (@speechsy.daisy), too.

But over the past few months, I found myself playing the comparison game, getting lost in hashtag rabbit holes, and worrying about what I should post/what I shouldn't post/whether or not I should post my outrage/wondering whether so&so was offended by my outrage. During the election, I felt bombarded by the spread of false information, lengthy back-and-forth conversations, frustration, and name-calling, and I realized that the twists in my stomach and slew of obsessive thoughts and worrying were being triggered by the app. I know I'm not alone when I say that this election caused me a lot of anxiety, and it felt like checking it was doing more harm than good.

For awhile, I toyed with the idea of creating a separate Instagram account solely for home inspiration, book reviews, and writing. Something completely separate from my personal friends, family, and the content creating St. Pete/Tampa Bay bloggers I've grown with over the years (who are killing it, by the way). I think it's because I have felt like my desire for a creative outlet has changed since starting this blog in 2014; like I've been forcing myself to stay in this "Samantha Rose Says" box. I still want to blog, but I wouldn't consider myself to be an active "content creator." I just want to continue to connect with others through similar interests - you feel me?

Ultimately, I've decided to keep my account and blog as is (and maybe...eventually...change the name), and to simply set boundaries for myself. Like not bringing my phone with me while walking the halls at work, or leaving it in the bedroom while I go work out in the office, or leaving it in my purse while with friends and family (wow, life changing stuff, right?!). 

Squeezing in a little stretching

So often, I find myself getting out of bed relatively last minute, eating a quick breakfast and pouring a coffee to-go before rushing off to work. A couple mornings a week, while waiting for my coffee to brew, I walk into our office, lay out my yoga mat, and do a few light stretches. Sometimes at work, I'll stand up and do a couple rounds of sun salutations (like lifting my arms up and overhead, bending forward, rocking my shoulders back and forth, lengthening my downward dogs at work). Even just 30 seconds of stretching feels so good!

While none of these things are exactly "groundbreaking" life changes, I think they've been making a positive impact, even after a short period.

Other changes I'm hoping to make: waking up 15 minutes earlier on weekdays, meditating, journaling in the morning, doing yoga more than once a week.

What's been keeping you sane during this [very, very] odd stage of life?


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