Everyone gets to that point where they feel that they should have achieved more. This feeling is sometimes termed depression or mid-life crisis (for older people). There is nothing wrong with feeling this way. Staying this way is the major problem. Depression can make you forget that you are not where you used to be. Here are 7 steps to take in order to live a more fulfilling life:
Count Your Blessings:
This is not a religious exercise, it is an act that makes you grateful for every little privilege you have enjoyed as person. Reflecting on your successes will help you snap out of this feeling of depression. Every day is a blank canvas that can help you create a beautiful work of art (based on your experiences) while moving closer to your goal(s). Whether you eventually reach your goal within days, weeks, months or even years, you would have taken steps that will help you become better as a person while making immeasurable progress that cannot be taken for granted. Counting your blessings helps you improve at setting achievable goals while taking note of little things you can do to make all the difference without being too hard on yourself. Condition your mind to enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going and watch everything fall into place in little time.
Do Something New:
As a woman, you are expected to cater to certain needs. It can become a routine after a period and you don’t need to feel guilty about getting bored. The only way out is to do something new. Juggling new projects like starting a business or meeting another need alongside daily activities might look like a tall order but it is possible. Everyone needs some form of change from time to time and the earlier you start this pet project, the better for you. Meeting a new need outside of the regular daily needs will not only make you feel better, it will also impact other lives positively. This new need might be met by giving out to an orphanage from time to time, starting a blog, supporting another person’s dream with your expertise and even becoming a mentor to other women. Challenge the status quo, try your hands on something new today.
Take Sometime Off:
Doing so much without getting enough rest can make you burn out. Even the Almighty God rested on the seventh day, which is to show you how important it is to take time off. You think you have responsibilities that must be addressed every minute but if you drop dead or collapse, the world will not end. This is where proper planning comes into play. Make plans to treat yourself to a vacation or offline time periodically. It could be one day a month or a number of days every month. It does not cost so much to take time off. If you have siblings or parents who can help watch the kids, allow them. Let them watch your little ones while you travel with your hubby or hibernate at home without anyone intruding. Visit the spa and re-kindle your love life with the love of your life. Give yourself a treat and take on new challenges in a refreshing way.
The need to become a better woman can make you forget that you are unique. Don’t compare yourself with the next person, your goals might be similar but your mental and physical makeup can make you do things in a way that suits you alone. For every time you feel the urge to envy another woman, remind yourself that you don’t know her story and give yourself a pat on the back for how far you have come. The next woman might brag about her weight loss exploits because she finds it easy to shed weight while you might follow the rule in the book and still cringe when you stand on the scale. Do it at your own pace and remind yourself that you will shed a few pounds even if it takes longer than planned. No one is facing the same set of challenges you are battling in your own way. So, cut yourself some slack and be happy with yourself.
Build a Support System:
There is nothing as beautiful as having true friends. The feeling of having people you can trust makes it easy to do more. Friends can slow you down if you do not have the right bunch. The basic rule is to choose your friends wisely. Be sincere, pretending will only get you the wrong set of friends. Look out for people with the same values and goals while showing them you truly care about their progress. Studies have shown that lonely people find it easy to do drastic things when depression sets in. Spend time with this group of like-minded women. Go out and be true to each other. Invest in these relationships and accomplish purpose together. Enjoy life and feel fulfilled with true friends.
Keep a Journal:
This might look like something for writers but it is not. Anyone and everyone should have a journal. Writing your thoughts down can help you relax. This is a way of shedding mental weight while doing something with the pent-up energy after going through an eventful day. Apart from the act of doing, journaling (as it is often called) can help you get creative. Due to the constant exercise of putting down your thoughts, new things can come to you at the spur of the moment. Writing these thoughts down will also help you solve problems while keeping it documented for future use. You also get to heal when you put pen to paper. Who knows, your journal can also form a foundation for future books which can help another person go through a tough experience or loss. It is not enough to just write, you also have something to refer to from time to time. And when all the pages of your current journal have been filled, you can always keep the filled one in a secret place while picking up a new leather-back book for the next phase of your life.
This is as simple as it sounds. Smiling is a feel-good exercise that can change the atmosphere in no time. Smiling also makes you remember happy memories. It lowers your blood pressure and leaves you feeling relaxed. Apart from the health benefits, smiling inspires action because it is contagious. Smiling at the next woman will not only make them feel happy, it also makes them smile unconsciously. Smiling also makes your face look better. This quote by Thich Nhat Hanh sums it up- “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy”. Put on a smile today and watch the atmosphere respond with immeasurable happiness.
Fulfilment is not defined by the world’s standard of having, it is all about your heart. You attract what you are. Summon happiness and affect the world you live in for good. Stay happy and feel fulfilled the right way.
Image Credit: Jessie Jacobson via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic