Remember when messy was fun? When you were a kid making mud pies, or trying to push PlayDoh through your mom’s garlic press? I honestly did this. In fact, I used many a kitchen implement with PlayDoh – forks are super fun. Anyhou…back to messy. As an adult, when life gets messy, it’s not a matter of “ooops I stuck the green and purple PlayDoh together,” it’s a matter of “oh gawd, what now?” With adult responsibility comes mess. There’s no denying it.
And Oh! Don’t I know messy. But I can bet you know a whole lotta messy too, don’t you? How do you deal? Do you get raging mad like a Tasmanian devil or do you back away from everything and sulk?
Life gets messy. You know, the hot mess variety of messy. Kind of like this:
“I want a divorce.”
“I’m really sorry but we’re letting you go. Please return your laptop and security badge.”
“Oh gawd, I owe how much!?”
“Yay! I’m going to Cali. Oh gawd, how do I plan out my days?”
Lately I’ve been feeling like life has gotten messier than I’d like. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. On the path to fulfillment and simpler living, there’s bound to be a few messes along the way. Please, tell me I’m not alone in this, any of the above sucks? Right? I mean, really sucks and can throw you into a hot mess spiral.
For me, the part-time job hasn’t been so good lately, my work pants ripped and need to be replaced, I feel I don’t have enough momentum in my freelancing, and super exciting – I’m planning a business trip to Cali. Can you say messy? And messy isn’t always bad, it can be good stuff like traveling that just happens to throw a little chaos into your normal routine.
This is usually the point where you wonder if the universe is conspiring against you. And right about then, you have a Tony Stark Iron Man moment where you openly admit that yes, you are indeed a hot mess and life is just not going so well.
When you’re railing at life and in #fml zone, it’s time to step back and try a few of these practical tips to ease up on yourself and get things flowing smoothly again.
7 Practical Tips For When Life Gets Messy
1. Take a step back and change your mindset. Accept the truth of whatever is going on and don’t sugar coat it. Yes, it’s lovely to always be in a mindset of abundance and in the law of attraction zone, but with life, you’re not always in that state. Things happen. You need to be able to say to yourself: Hey, something bad is happening and I need some support.
2. Exercise. This is my go to ‘make life less messy’ remedy. Sometimes I walk, other days I sprint, and on occasion, I’ll head out for a whopping 2 hour cycle to completely clear my mind. It works wonders! Pushing your body through new challenges strengthens your mind and leaves you feeling like you’ve accomplished something truly amazing. Give it a try!
3. Unplug. Oh hi comparisonville and self-doubt land. Digital has taken over our lives. Social media, notifications, reminders, and any other sort of noise from our digital world can set us adrift in hot mess zone. It clouds your mind, eliminates focus and has you zipping from one thing to the next until you’re dizzy. Sometimes you need a digital detox to un-mess your life before you implode. When I was in corporate, I had a Pavlov’s theory type of reaction when my phone would ding or ring. It wasn’t pretty. My brain began to associate pain, grief, problems and major catastrophes with sounds from my phone. When you’re feeling stressed with messiness – put the phone DOWN!
4. Focus on what you can control. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that something is out of your control and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it. Well, except maybe JUST BREATHE.
5. Ditch caffeine. I don’t know what it is, but caffeine makes me feel like a cheetah on crack. (I’ve never done drugs BTW – does caffeine count?) Caffeinated beverages increase your heart rate and your fight or flight response. When I’m feeling increased levels of anxiety, I cut caffeine. Caffeine exaggerates anxiety. It leaves you feeling on edge and never able to relax. So, for the Venti brewed coffee lovers – please, do yourself a favour – put the cup down!
6. Write a gratitude journal. Did I mention that gratitude is pretty much the cure-all for almost anything? Being able to see what you still have in abundance amongst all the crap that’s going on in life is a blessing. It sets your compass to North again and will have you realizing that life may not be as messy or bad as you think it is.
7. Draw, write, cook, clean, organize, play. Find something that lets you focus and feel rewarded afterwards. You know what I mean! Scrubbing every inch of your kitchen while dancing around to your fave tunes, or even better – baking a batch of Madleine’s then dunking a few in a cup of Chai Tea. Yummy and rewarding. Clarity and peace often come when we have our minds focused on something else entirely.
We all have rough times in life. Life is never linear. It zigs, it zags, and ultimately, it messes your ish up a lot. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay to work through the emotions, it’s okay to say I’m not feeling so great and I need your help, it’s okay for life to be a mess. Because you know what? Out of our messiest moments come the greatest moments of clarity and creation.