Hi everyone, how are you doing? I’m back after a mid-season break and am so happy to be recording podcasts again! In this episode I’m catching you up after my break and sharing some ideas to help you feel more content, event if you’re not exactly where you want to be.
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Today I’m catching you up after the mid-season break and sharing some mindset shifts to help you feel more content in the here and now, even if you’re not exactly where you want to be.
Well hello, it’s been a while! How are you doing? If you listened to the last episode of Seedling you’ll know I took a break from all things Blue Jay in May, including this podcast – but I’m back now and I’m excited to be recording and releasing episodes again!
Today I thought I’d catch you up a little after my break and talk through some mindset shifts that have been helping me lately when it comes to feeling content where I am. There’s a lot of pressure out there to be constantly improving yourself and to live your best life all the time and that’s not always helpful. We have to meet ourselves where we are and find ways to be happy in the in-between.
Before we get into that though, let’s catch up. So I took a break from Blue Jay to really focus on my physical health as I’ve been dealing with some fatigue and joint pain this year – and you can hear more about that in episode 55. Since then I’ve spoken to a rheumatologist who said my fatigue is likely related to covid when I had it in December, but the joint pain is likely unrelated.
He couldn’t find a clear cause, but noted that I am hypermobile in some of my joints so recommended that I try swimming and Pilates to help, which I’ve been doing, and just generally exercise more. He also recommended I lose weight, which – if you know me or know about my history with an eating disorder – you’ll know was a frustrating suggestion to say the least. But I’m choosing to move on from it and just focus on being more active to help my joints. I was also prescribed medication to help with the pain, but in all honesty I don’t feel like that’s made much of a difference. I’ll be going back in a couple of months for a follow-up.
So In May I took two weeks off all work, including my day-job at Happiful, and I went on holiday to Sedona which is in Arizona in America. I went with my partner Dan, my parents, my brother, my sister, her partner and my two-year old niece, so it was a big family holiday. And it really was a once in a lifetime kind of holiday. It was so nice spending time with my niece especially and getting to know her better. The scenery in Sedona was incredible too, with huge red rocks, alien-like landscapes and surprisingly pretty city-design. My highlight would probably be Antelope Canyon which I’d encourage you to Google because it really does look like it’s on another planet!
The fatigue I had been feeling pretty much lifted as soon as we got there, and I think this was a timing thing as I was feeling it ease before we left, but it showed me that taking time off was desperately needed. My joint pain felt less intense on holiday too – I think because I wasn’t thinking about it so much and because I was a lot more active. When I got home I went back to my day-job but gave myself another couple of weeks of Blue Jay work.
The pain pretty much returned to the level it was before holiday, but I’ve been feeling encouraged by the fact that it did feel better in Sedona because this shows to me that I need to consider the psychological aspect of pain a bit more, so as well as swimming and Pilates (which my rheumatologist advised me to do) I’m using an app called Curable to help with that and so far I’m finding it really helpful. Pain is a huge and complex topic and I’m learning a lot.
The time off helped me see that being active and shaking up my routine is good, not only for my mental health, but for my physical health too. So now I’m back to all kinds of work, I’m doing my best to remember this. I think for me routine is quite tied up in anxiety, and the pandemic made me very comfortable in my little bubble of staying home. Now I realise getting out and about, being active and doing new things is revitalising to me, so I’m trying to hold onto this lesson in my everyday life. Because as much as I want to be travelling and in stunning locations all the time, it’s simply not possible right now! And I’m sure I’m not alone here. Plenty of us are in this in-between place.
So how can we find peace and contentment where we are, even if we’re not exactly where we want to be? Here are a few mindset shifts that may help…
The first is to try and romanticise your life. Now, I’ll be honest and say that this is basically a hashtag I keep seeing on TikTok, but I love the idea behind it. The idea is to realise that you deserve to romance yourself! Whether it’s taking yourself out for a solo date, treating yourself more often or simply working on your self-talk, it’s all about nurturing your relationship with yourself. Think about ways other people show you love and ask yourself how you can give that to yourself.
Taking some time to notice moments of beauty can also really help. I really felt this on holiday, probably because everywhere I turned I was greeted by a stunning view, but I’m trying to keep that level of awareness up now I’m home. Whether it’s a beautiful flower on your daily walk or a moment of connection while on the phone with a friend, try to savour these moments and document them if you can – I’ve been enjoying making little vlogs on TikTok and I find it really helps with this! The more we pay attention to these things, the more we train our brains to look out for them.
In a similar vein, try to fill your day with pockets of joy. Make a playlist of uplifting songs, watch a TV show that’s guaranteed to make you laugh, sit in a sunspot in your house, read a poem, light a candle, wear that outfit that feels like sunshine, anything that lifts you up. And remember, this isn’t about never feeling bad, we have to feel and process negative emotions, but finding pockets of joy can help you get through and feel more content, potentially turning a shit day around.
Now, I’ve spoken about the power of reflection before, but it’s certainly worth mentioning again. Think back to five or even 10 years ago and consider how far you’ve come in that time. What moments are you proud of? What are you doing now that past-you wouldn’t quite believe? I know past Kat would be in awe of the fact that I write for a living, that I draw for fun and teach confidence. This can help us feel grateful for where we are, even if we aren’t exactly where we want to be.
Finally, see if you can bring a feeling of awe into your life more often. This can be as simple as looking up at the stars and remembering our place in the grand expanse of the universe, watching a film that inspires you creatively (I recently watched everything, everywhere all at once and was totally in awe, go see it) or even going to a museum about a totally random subject. So I guess this is about indulging your curiosity and gaining a little perspective. This life of ours may not be what we want right now, but it’s still pretty damn incredible.
If you are doing a lot of self-work too, for example if you’re working on self-compassion or confidence, these tips can really help you create a strong starting ground. We all have to meet ourselves where we are with this stuff. And if you’re not working on yourself, that is also totally OK! It is OK to just live your life and find contentment along the way.
I hope this was helpful and I’d love to hear from you if any of these ideas resonated with you or if you have others to share, reach out to me on Instagram or over on TikTok, I’m @katbluejay on both. Thank you for bearing with me whilst I was away and yeah, I’m really pleased to be back. The podcast will be back to normal, so I’ll be uploading every other week for the rest of this season. So, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks and until then, please do take care.
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