Yesterday, after work when I realized I could sit at my desk for like another 3 hours and still not have everything I wanted done done, I felt completely overwhelmed. I’d promised myself I would get out of my chair and hop on the treadmill for a few minutes, and when it came time, I was trying to convince myself that I didn’t need to, instead, that I could just answer more emails.
I was irritable, my throat was tight, and I just wanted to hide in a fort of my own making. Like sheets and stuff. Those were the best, right? Except my mom would never let us sleep in them. BOO. So I hopped on the treadmill for a few minutes, and the funk, the fog, started to lift.
While I was on there, I got to thinking about things that make me feel most like me, things that ground me.
- Painting my nails.
I don’t have a ton of time, nor do I have a ton of money. The act of painting my nails itself is fine, and I’ve perfected the art of gelling my nails so I get a little more than a day or two of wear out of my nails. But something about having my nails done makes me feel so pulled together, even if I’m just wearing tights and a tank top.
- Running…after the first few miles. I think running can be tricky for me because I feel like such a fat idiot for the first few moments. But once I hit my stride – once I sort of hit a good rhythm – which can be after 4 miles during a long run, or after 10 minutes – I feel like a lot of problems are a LOT more solve-able, and I can break things down in my head. I’ve saved myself (and the world) from many a meltdown.
- Doing creative things. I like to write. I like to draw. Sometimes paint. Performing live. And whenever I do any of these things, I start to feel most at peace and like myself. During the time when we were engaged, I struggled really heavily with anxiety, and being able to look at paper, draw, address envelopes, and put things together really grounded me.
- Teaching classes. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Fitness instructors don’t always want to teach. But just after the warm up, something takes over me, and I recognize my role as the exercise tour guide is exactly where I want to be. I’ll smile, dance, touch, and encourage, and I feel like a million bucks after.
- Cooking for people. This also falls into the same category as creative stuff. But I feel like I have purpose when I can cook for people – my husband, my brother, and his roommates, and have them enjoy it. It’s the weird maternal part of me that I didn’t really think I had.
- Being honest with my husband. Spending time with my husband. Holding Austin’s hand. Playing and being silly with Austin. Rubbing his back. Having him rub my feet. Doing our funny jokes, which are maybe only funny to us. Going to the beach with him. This is me. This is us. I love this stuff. And I’m so happy that he can help me get both feet on the ground, when sometimes they feel like they don’t go.
So this is me. This list is by no means exhaustive. I will maybe keep adding to this and referencing this post. But I want to know. What makes you feel like you?