Emotion.

Today was one of those days where I had heaps of energy early in the day. I was extremely enthusiastic as the day started ready to work with any client that came my way without fear. As we all have experienced that energy can drain out after some time as we interact with others in stressful situations and find ourselves becoming drained of energy mentally and physically exhausted from our efforts. The day started on a high energy output then dipped to a low for the last half where I found myself struggling to want to interact with my clientele.

I work with sellers on an e-commerce platform taking their calls and seeking the solutions to their troubles. Their troubles at times can be surface level troubleshooting which can be fixed in a few words or clicks. Other times the conversations are heavy and involve the stress of money, time, and relationships between business and customer or partners. When people call in no matter how big or small their troubles might be I’m there to listen, empathize, and resolve what we can together.  

It’s an interesting thing to listen to the stress and misunderstandings of others while trying to be of service to them and remain cheerful in challenging times they are experiencing. Working a customer facing job has taught me many things about the way that we communicate and how much energy effective communication actually takes day after day. We often times avoid communicating effectively due to the effort it takes and the patience it takes while speaking, listening, and continuing the process.

Today started out on a really positive high note for me and was dwindled down to a lower positive note at the end of the day because of all the emotion I absorbed throughout the day. I can’t complain though, it was a great day to have a good day.

Realization.

What I was having a hard time admitting was that I was burned out. Nothing was making sense because I couldn’t grasp what was happening around me, I had fallen into a autopilot mode and was just doing the bare minimum to get by each day. Once I was able to come to the realization of what was happening to me it broke me down a little more than I already was and then allowed me to begin to pick myself up and retake control of myself and my surroundings.

Yesterday I talked about walking the dog and just listening to nature around me and taking a little time to read something every day. Those are two big parts of what has helped me regain some sense of control of my life. The following are two more things that helped me stand a little more confidently and are still helping me today; Eating less sugar, and exercising more gratitude.

I’m not here to tell you how to eat, I here to tell you about what I was eating too much of and too little of. I am the type of person who can pick up a group sized bag of chocolates and eat the whole thing by myself in one sitting. I have a sweet tooth that loves to be fed and all too often I just feed it without thought or care of how I will feel afterward. I have known this for a long time and it hasn’t bothered me because I feel that I live a fairly active life and don’t carry too much excess weight on my bones.

This past month I started using sweets and treats as they ought to be used as a way to treat one’s self once in a while. It was a struggle for me as I mentioned before because I am a sweet eater and indulge a little too often historically. I started taking better snacks with me to work like cheese, fruits and various nuts to snack on instead of sugary treats. I also limited my soda intake to one can a day and that can be after work when I made it home to relax. It made a huge difference in my daily attitude and helped me be a little less cloudy than I was before.

I believe I mentioned this before in a few different posts but this is one that really rings with me and has helped me see life in a better light, expressing gratitude more often. Yes, I have always tried to express gratitude each day but I wasn’t expressing gratitude to the right people nor seeing gratitude in the little things around me. I was grateful for having a place to work, owning a house, a car, and a family but I wasn’t able to express that gratitude directly to the little things that really mattered.

I started saying thank you to my spouse more often for the little things she did, I started looking more at the good things that I had worked toward in my life such as my car and home ownership. I started admitting that I was avoiding seeing the good things in my life and swelling on the holes and how much more I needed to be happy. I personally don’t think that I need material possessions to be happy, but I was starting to think those were the only things I needed to be so. You can be happy with very little should you choose to be grateful for the life you have and the opportunities that have come and are coming your way.

As I stated before I’m not saying the things I’ve mentioned above are guaranteed to make you happier than you already are or will pull you out of a funk or burned out stage of life. What I have mentioned above has helped me live with fewer clouds in my head each day. They were part of the tools I personally used to be a little happier than I was yesterday.

Month.

A month is a long time for some and a short time to others. Plenty can happen in a month, you could train and run a marathon in a month, you could write a book, improve your health, take a trip to a few new places, or focus on something with all of your focus. That is what I did last month, I spent some time focused on improving my mental health, I was in a rut and it was a challenge to get out of. I felt awful and uninspired, I felt weak in everything I did and withdrew myself from some of my greatest friendships.

It’s hard to struggle and not always understand why. It is a puzzle to me why I withdrew from my friends and felt the desire to keep to myself. I never know when this is going to happen either, the world suddenly feels heavy and I feel like Atlas holding the weight of the world on my shoulders. Is this something I want? No, but its something I must work through when it happens and move forward from those moments of deep doubt and weight.

Last month after mothers day I took a break from writing every day and decided to look inward and reflect to see how I was feeling, how I could find personal clarity, and how I could be in a better mental state. It was not easy to look inward as I did, writing down lists of negative self-thoughts and a few positive ones. It made me extremely sad to see how poorly I looked at myself when I know that I have heaps more to offer than I thought I did during those moments. I knew that I wasn’t feeling up to par with being my happier self, but that I could work my way through and out of the rut I had found myself in.

If you or anyone you know seems a little off from their usual self don’t be afraid to ask them how they are doing, see if they need an ear to vent to, or just need someone to sit with them in silence until they are ready to talk. Try and be there for them and make sure they know that you are willing to be there when they need. This seems like common sense friendship but it isn’t. It’s something that shows you are a friend with a deeper understanding of the feelings and needs of others.

To my friends who stood beside me through these challenging times, I say thank you. Thank you for listening when I needed, sending memes out of the blue that raised a smile on my face, and laughing with me when I needed a good laugh. Friendship is a beautiful thing isn’t it?

Rest.

There are days when we need to rest a bit and recharge our mind and body. These days of rest and relaxation are different for everyone, for some these days might involve an activity outdoors getting a little sunburnt and having new adventures in new places. For others, it may involve a comfy spot on the couch a book, movie, or binge-watching session of a new tv series. Life is very different for everyone as rest has a different meaning from person to person.

If you think about it life keeps us on our toes so much that when we finally stand still for a moment with our feet on the ground we are able to recognize that we need a moment or two of rest. For three straight years, I felt that way. I was always running without a break from work to school, school to work, and found a few minutes each week to spend doing the things I am most passionate about, time for adventures in the mountains and a few hours with my wife.

Throughout those years I felt that something was missing. I was never rested, always rushed, and short-fused. I believed I was happy because I’d forgotten what work-life balance was, and how it felt to be rested. After I was dismissed from my employer I decided that I needed that work-life balance back that I had forgotten about. I took a week and rested up and began looking at new employment options.

While I was looking I kept two things in mind Work-life balance was important and that I wanted to work someplace that would allow me to rest nightly and be at my best every day. I interviewed at a variety of different places and found that for many of these places the balance I wanted was not probable and the idea of being rested was also not something that we would be able to come to an agreement on as they would require work from home almost nightly. I decided to review my options and applied at a few other places and found a place that fit my goal better than most.

I currently work less than 50 hours a week and am paid well for anytime over 40 I spend at work. I am encouraged to have a good life balance and to seek opportunities within and outside my company for personal and professional growth. I love that I am able to work hard then go home. It allows my desired work-life balance and allows me to rest up and show up with a mind ready to put my best foot forward daily.

Golden Hour.

There are days when we all need a little walk to clear our heads and make sense of a busy world. Today was for me one of those days where I needed a few steps lakeside to calm my mind, get a little sunlight in the golden hour, and talk about assorted topics with my wife. As we walked we crossed a variety of paths each section was a different experience based off what we were walking on. It seemed to me that every time we crossed onto a new section of the walk our experience changed ever so slightly.

At the start of our walk, we passed up a paved pathway for a rockier path that took us through a wetlands area and closer to the lake. As we walked across larger crushed rock our conversation revolved on the heavier things we are experiencing in life, how we are currently being affected by various topics that ranged from our opinions on politics to the annoyance we had with the excessive dog droppings along the trail(Please folks, pick up after your dog.). After we left the rough path we transitioned for a bit onto the sand and our words became more relaxed and flowed more easily toward happier things and topics that reflected quickly after our footing changed.

We eventually made it to the paved path where we passed other ambitious souls looking for relief in the last hour of sunlight for the day. Our conversation gravitated towards mental health and the courage it takes to humble one’s self and seek out professional assistance in the battle for a better quality of life. We expressed our gratitude about those who showed patience and love through the hard days lifting us when we needed a little extra help to see the good in ourselves.

Ten minutes walking on the smooth and solid ground opened a genuine conversation that allowed for openness and trust with each other. Walking lakeside during the golden hour can truly open anyone to a breath of fresh air and honest conversations that we need to hear.