No matter what you do to set yourself up for success, sometimes life happens and shit just doesn't go the way you'd planned. Can it suck? Hell yes. Do you have your "why does this have to happen to ME" moment and feel all of those feelings and maybe cry a bit into a big chunky blanket while eating copious amounts of chocolate? Been there, done that. But what I've found has been a game changer in my life has been choosing to move forward and live life with a positive outlook, even (and especially) when the hard times are happening.
The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind for me. Christmas is my favorite time of year, hands down. Seriously, guys, I'm a little obsessed. It's unnatural. And I was so happy I was able to spend Christmas with my family this year (being an actor, I don't always have the luxury of doing so), but let's just say that things did not end up how I had anticipated. My hubby and I rarely get to spend substantial time in my hometown with my family, and we were so looking forward to having our second Christmas with my parents, my brother and my extended family. Unfortunately, we were in for a rude awakening when we received news from our neighbor that our new condo was experiencing a major leak. And I'm not talking a small drip coming through the ceiling, oh no. Streams of water coming down the walls, through our electrical panel, BAD.
After only being with my family for 24 hours, my hubby flew back to Chicago to deal with the damage. I wanted to go with him, but we would have had to buy two whole new flights instead of just one and really, there was nothing that I could have done to help under the circumstances. So he left, and I was left feeling helpless and sad. We just bought this place. It's our first home, and we finally got everything put away, decorated the way we wanted and it was finally feeling like home. Like ours. And then this.
So here's the thing, me a year ago would have been FREAKING OUT. I mean, having a full on panic attack. Sobbing for hours. Feeling sorry for myself for days on end. And don't get me wrong, I definitely was upset, and I shed a few tears. But because of all of the personal development I've been doing this past year, I was able to stay positive, and have been able to continue to do so. My Secret? It's oh so simple.
Instead of focusing on the bad, I choose to focus on the good.
Say that line out loud to yourself. Sounds easy, right? Well, it can be, but it takes dedication. You have to choose to practice Gratitude. If you have never done this before, it can sound super kitchy but I promise, it works, dude. This has been fundamental for my mental health and since living my daily life focusing on what I'm grateful for -- what's GOOD in my life -- the dark days haven't felt quite so dark.
So here's my challenge to you. To help you stay positive when shit hits the fan:
Carve out a few minutes every day and write down 5 things you're grateful for. Even better? Do it at the same time of day so that you make it a habit. I like doing it while I'm drinking my morning tea. Find what works for you and stick to it. Keep that list with you every day. I like using a little pocket journal that I bring everywhere with me. That way, when I need a reminder or when I'm feeling frustrated or upset, I have something positive to turn to.
Totally do-able, right? It takes so little time but is so impactful.
Here are my 5 for this mess I'm in:
1. Our Unbelievable Support System. Our family & our friends have come to our aid in all of this in ways we never imagined. We are so lucky and so thankful.
2. My Husband. Seriously, this man is a fucking rockstar. He dealt with all of the bullshit and made sure that I didn't have to come home to a giant shit show.
3. My Business. In the short month of being a Health Coach, it has filled me with so much light. My #StrongNotSkinny challenge started today and these girls are so ready to take on their goals and make positive changes in their lives. They are my constant inspiration and I am so happy to be a part of their journey.
4. My Health. I am so grateful that no matter what, I have an able body that allows me to move & be consistently strong. Working out and being active has been such a source of strength and positivity for me and no matter how bad my day is, a workout always makes it better.
5. Adventure. We may not have a home for a while, but it'll be an adventure right?! Couch surfing, living out of suitcases -- it'll be a story we will have for the rest of our lives.
So there you have it, folks. I hope that when your days are at their darkest, this will help you find the tiniest sliver of light.