Sometimes fate steps in and makes us do the things that we don't want to do, but need to do. For me, the thing I didn't want to was take twenty minutes to not do anything. Just sit.
Well, fate made me in the form of sticking me in an elevator in the middle of this uncomfortably hot summer we are having. When days have been filled with "I need to do that" and "I need to go there" fate stepped in and said for the next twenty minutes, you lady, are not going anywhere or doing anything. You will sit in this moving, metal box for twenty minutes to sweat and reflect in silence.
So, yes, leaving my fourth floor apartment the elevator stalled between floors and left me helplessly hanging out inside. It took about twenty minutes for the fire department to get there and a fireman to pry the doors open and help me get to safety.
In all my life I have never been stuck in an elevator or known someone who had gotten stuck. It seemed like something that only happens in movies and television shows as a cute place to rekindle a love or an uncomfortable place to have an awkward conversation. Not a solo, boring, hot and stressful place to get stuck when you are just trying to get to your restaurant.
As a person that likes to reflect on why things happen to us and what we can learn from them I've taken away four main things from my experience getting stuck in an elevator:
1. I know have a little bit shorter leg workout because I am terrified of the elevator and have added taking four flights of stairs up and down multiple times a day. My already tired feet from standing up at the restaurant all day really appreciate these extra steps at the end of the day.
2. I am working too much and neglecting my own self care. I needed a minute to reflect and when I didn't give it to myself, it was thrust upon me.
3. Shit happens. We can't control certain situations. Sometimes we are late for work, miss an appointment or plans. The best we can do is move forward and not let the stress build and eat us up during the time we are missing. If you can't get someplace, if something happens, people understand, you need to understand as well and not get stressed over something you cannot control.
4. The Myrtle Beach Fire Department is quick, kind and helpful. I am forever grateful that I didn't have to spend all day in that elevator because of them.
So, whatever hiccups come into your life, whether it's a flat tire, broken alarm, elevator troubles or anything else wild that comes along during this crazy ride called life, take it in stride, accept it and keep on trucking, even if trucking means you now take the stairs.
My mind is constantly fluttering, as most peoples are. It bounces back and forth between personal to dos, business to dos, health and wellness to dos and then you mix that in with the other daily thoughts that pop up and it’s like a confetti gun blasted around inside my head.
Sometimes when it seems just too much I break things down. Make them manageable. After all, the quote “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” didn’t become popular because there’s no merit to it.
So, to help myself and hopefully you make this week, organized, successful, productive and happy here are 5 tips to break down your week and make it successful.
1. Make a List.
No, not 12 lists that are scattered everywhere, covering different topics. Try making a list by DAY instead of topic. I find that when I can look at a day as a whole and make one, single list for that day it’s much easier to organize and accomplish instead of piecing together a personal to do list, business to do list and more. Get a pretty notebook. Try talking into the recorder on your phone and making sure to go back and listen. Avoid sticky notes (if you're like me) you put them up, they fall away and you forget things.
Some of you out there already meditate, some of you may have tried it and don’t like it and some of you may have just laughed at me, because let’s face it, you’re busy. You don’t have time to schedule time to do nothing. But, try again. Try the calm app if you struggle. If you need something to do while doing nothing try reading a book that is purely for pleasure, coloring, stringing beads onto a bracelet, painting something random. Anything that gives you a moment of reflection and silence. The most important thing is to find a place where you are free from distraction, moms are especially seasoned with this. I used to hide in the bathroom just to have the space to talk on the phone when my kids were little (even big). Do whatever you need to in order to get a quiet, peaceful space.
3. Feed your body what it needs, not what you want.
Mentally we have become wired to crave certain things. The comfort foods. The sweet. The salty. We turn to these in times when we are busy, stressed or any other range of emotions. But while our mind might want these foods, our body gets pissed when it’s fed these foods. Our cells only have so much energy to put into each day and when we put in certain foods the effects are immediate. Heavy comfort foods instantly make you feel tired because your body is now working overtime to process them, not function through your day. Sugars give your mind a high and then a crash. And salty foods spike your blood pressure. All these things do not set you up for a successful day. They set you up for lethargy, headaches, stomaches and more. Give yourself, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. I've recently not been eating well and it's caused a lot of disruption for me, so I'm doing a raw food cleanse to get back on track. We all have our moments of weakness.
4. Get some sleep.
It’s become a bragging point to say how little sleep we can function on, well I think we should start being proud of how much deep, restorative sleep we can get. I know you know you need sleep. This isn’t new information, I just want to remind you of the importance of truly, really trying to make sure you get a great nights sleep. Try aromatherapy, a cool, dark room and maybe even some bedtime yoga, like this sequence, to try and get a more restful sleep. Also try setting a bedtime for yourself, drinking some chamomile tea and taking a break from technology. It's hard to follow this one when you can't silence your mind. I've been waking up at 2-3 am and that's when my day begins because I'm so engulfed by thoughts. If I was better at following the other tips listed here such as an organized to do list, eating better and meditating I would most likely naturally be getting more sleep.
5. Forgive yourself.
NONE OF US IS PERFECT. If you stay up late, eat crappy food, skip a workout, miss a deadline or anything else that puts you in a funk the most important thing to do is acknowledge it happened, take a moment to accept it and move the hell on. It’s not the end of the world and forgiving yourself is the only way to not royally screw up the rest of your week. Let it go, smile big and walk forward. Forgiving yourself gets easier as you get older. I can forgive, understand and move on much easier now than my younger years. It's all a continual growing process.