Sometimes it feels like you’re moving backward instead of forward- like a May snowstorm. But the sun is going to rise again after the storm and spring will be restored, blue skies, flowers, and bird songs.
It can be hard to overcome inertia, when your life feels turned upside down and you don’t even know what normal feels like. People don’t bounce back like the weather.
After a major disruption in your life, whether it’s being diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment, or being a caregiver for someone, it can take more than several months. sometimes a few years go by before you’ll know what feels like your baseline again. Meanwhile, something needs to be done to fill the time and distract from the discomfort of adjustment.
Listen here to my podcast with Lisbeth Overton talking about moving forward. We talked about this in the context of Nurses’ Week. Many nurses are struggling and frustrated with the opportunities and working conditions their profession affords. They want to use their knowledge, talents, and skills to truly make a difference in patients’ lives, but often there is no place for that in the task-oriented, rushed and understaffed workplaces of healthcare facilities and hospitals.
Many nurses wish they could break out of the grind, find a better job that allows them to practice patient care they way they’d like to. They can feel stuck, which leads to despair, low morale, burnout, and health problems, none of which are good for taking care of sick people.
There are two ways you can move forward: one is to grind through, trudging with dread and simply grinding it out because you feel like you have no choice. The other way to move forward is by taking small steps, still moving forward, not any faster, but with intention and action, no matter how small those actions are, but doing something to move yourself toward better days.
Leisure is such an important and undervalued part of our lives, it seems that so many people have forgotten how to play. Too busy chasing material objects, or buried in our electronic gadgets and devices, we end up sitting down as time flies past us.
We’re unaware of our surroundings, and we could be moving and breathing, paying attention, burning calories, reducing our fatigue, circulating our blood, and boosting our mood and energy. The time focused on a screen takes away from the time we’re aware of our environment, using all our senses, learning, and appreciating what is in our world at arm’s length.
Today, no matter what the weather is doing, get up and move, preferably outdoors. Make a conscious effort to use every one of your senses to notice what is in your environment. Appreciate what is good about each sensation.
These are not big steps, but they are moving forward with intention and action. They will lead you somewhere better than sitting in front of the screen, obliviously wasting the precious and limited time of living.
If you can do just that, even for five minutes, you will bring yourself a measure of peace and health that you wouldn’t have realized if you didn’t do it. Tomorrow, do it again, for a longer time. And keep doing it. Make that conscious effort to give yourself that gift of moving forward, every single day.