My head is not always a pretty place to spend time. In fact, sometimes it can be downright ugly. The ruins of my mind resemble an island after a hurricane when I get swept up in the waves of my thoughts. During peak stress times, I need to avoid spending time on this island of Hell but somehow, this is when I’ve earned most of my frequent flyer miles for Hell Island Airlines. In these past few weeks, I won’t lie, I’ve spent a lot of time on this deserted island. I thought I knew how to best handle it within myself but recently I’ve found it harder than it seems.
Sometimes time is a catalyst that perpetuates the overthinking and negative emotions but sometimes extra time can be helpful if you use it an effective way. Notice how I said effective rather than productive. No one is forcing you to spend this time productively, especially if you’re not in a good headspace for it. Personally though, when I’m in a funk or having a bad day, I find it easier to spend my free time keeping busy with chores, errands, or other things I want to do because it feels better than wallowing and drowning in the depths. I don’t look a hot mess usually when I feel that way on the inside. Typically, on those days, my nails are painted and trimmed, my room is clean and tidy, and I’m either kicking back with Netflix or hitting the gym. I never used to be a gym-goer. I’m still no pro. That being said, I find that all those things I used to read about physical exercise helping mental health actually do hold true for me too most of the time. If I’m feeling angry, sad, or hurt, mobbing to the gym with my friend allows me to jam out to my music, break a sweat, and challenge myself to push harder.
On the other end of that, I always look forward to Fridays after a long week. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, everyone looks forward to Fridays! You’re not wrong, but do you look forward to walking to the gym Friday morning at 8:40am? Hey, maybe some of you do, but with a wild guess, I’m going to assume most of you don’t. I wouldn’t have either before I started a yoga class this semester. Don’t tune me out just yet. I’m not here to convert you to yoga-ism or whatever you want to call it. All I’m saying is that I truly value my Friday morning yoga classes because they give me time to work out, stretch, and settle my mind a bit from the busy life I live.
One time, our yoga instructor told us to imagine a snow globe. On a daily basis, our heads resemble the spinning of the snow within a snow globe, whiting out anything within. She told us to take this time and actively focus on letting the snow settle for a few moments. Like I said, I’m not saying that yoga is a fit for everyone but I will advocate that everyone find a hobby or activity that helps them to settle their snow when a blizzard is forming. If your blizzard isn’t easily settling, don’t push it. Go easy on yourself, you are always your hardest critic. Getting mad at yourself for feeling your inner conflict doesn’t help you to feel any better, in fact you will likely feel worse. Snow settling is a practice that takes time and patience which are hard to remind yourself of when your most recent Hell Island flight is flying straight through the storm but know that your situation is temporary. You won’t feel this way forever. For now, sit back, buckle up, and start settling your snow.