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5 Routines to Pull You From Life’s Dark Winters

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By: Laura Flynn

I certainly didn’t plan for my life to fall apart this year. Grief, loss, separation. Every life phase is a season, some are the difficult seasons. This year was a winter for me. But that’s the thing about life, spring will come again. So how do you push through your winters when they hit?

We all fall into dark winters and negative cycles sometimes. During those times, everything can feel like it’s falling apart. Sometimes a simple change in what you do each day or even each week holds power. You can’t always control life’s plans for you, but you can control your routine and your reaction.

Creating the right routines for yourself can help pull you our of dark times. Over the course of this year, I very much struggled with depression and severe grief. It almost felt like the air was sucked from my life and I had no motivation to get out of bed and repeat my pain. I battled suicidal thoughts, extreme guilt, shame, and grief that I simply couldn’t shake.

It was so hard for me to be a mother to my children, run a business, deal with my relationship, and control my emotional health. I felt like I was spiraling out of control because I didn’t have the time I needed to process my emotions in a healthy way. I became self-destructive. The only thing that pulled me out of the darkness was establishing a routine for myself. Because I couldn’t control how I felt, I took life day by day and started focusing on “the routine.”

Every Monday, I would start my week off with something positive that would set the tone for the week ahead. Whether that was a Hydration IV drip, a salt cave meditation session, a workout, or a manicure – I would do something that would make me feel healthy so that it would set the bar for what I hoped the week would bring.

I’d schedule workouts 3 times a week to make sure I was releasing my pain in a more effective way. Finally, I stuck to therapy every single Friday morning. Believe me, there were days when I felt like I couldn’t face my counselor because it took me so long to make positive changes. Still, every single Friday, I showed up, until one day I finally showed signs of healing and progress.

Life will hit you with darkness and winters. As human beings, we deal with so much ugly: losing a child, divorce, the death of a parent, depression, anxiety, family turmoil, among so many other things we deal with. It’s so important for us to remember that spring will come and while you’re waiting for spring, find your routine.

Here are 5 things to focus on to pull you from darkness:

1.) Physical Health. Taking care of your physical health will create mental strength that you need to overcome difficult life seasons. Create a workout plan and it doesn’t always have to be the gym – kayak, do yoga, do something that brings you joy and physical wellness.

2.) Mental/Emotional Health. Allow yourself to process your emotions when difficult life seasons hit. Whether this is working with a therapist or writing it all down in a journal to clear your head. Emotions don’t go away unless we deal with them. Show up and put in the work.

3.) Find your joy. Something that kept me going this year was forcing myself to do things that made me happy. I was constantly seeking distraction because I truly needed it. And that’s OK! Travel brought me so much joy. I had a trip once a month and it allowed me to see the things I always wanted to see.

4.) Find Nostalgia. Sometimes during a healing process, we’re taken back to childhood innocence. I think it’s our mind’s way of remembering times when life was fun and less complicated. I filled my weekends with nostalgic activities: roller skating, kayaking, rock climbing. I used to be so adventurous when I was a kid and I loved that. As adults, we lose that sense of curiosity for the world but it’s such an important part of joy.

5.) When you feel like no one loves you, love yourself. Many times this year, I felt alone and that I couldn’t speak of my pain to anyone, and no one would understand if I did. I was divided from many family members and made out to be “the bad guy.” I didn’t feel the love and support I needed, so I learned to love myself. If I felt like I needed to spend a day crying in my hotel room, I would. If I needed to write in my journal, I would. If I needed a shopping trip, I allowed myself to take care of myself.

Learn more about life’s changes and transition with The Seasons of Life masterclass for healing and grounding.

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