Distractions - This is not working for me
By Charlene Ogu
You can't look forward and behind at the same time.
It's everywhere! If it's not the billboards trying to sell you something, it's the news trying to tell you something, if it's not that then it's the never end scroll of social media trying to show you something. We've come up with more technological ways to stay connected and share ideas but unfortunately they've only left us disconnected and isolated. Then of course there's the drama of family, friends and work which is emotionally draining at times right in the centre of all this world drama which seems to be getting scarier and more frightening.
So what do we do? How we do live amidst the drama of life without being thrown off track. When it gets turbulent, how do we hold on to what is dear and most important. If you haven't already read the vision article that might be a great place to start.
First we must acknowledge what is not within our control, then try to manage what is within our control. Here are a few suggestions.
IDENTIFY WHAT IS NOT WORKING FOR YOU
If every time you watch the news you feel overwhelmed and anxious consider alternative ways of receiving the news that keeps you informed with factual information, try to leave out the opinions and continuous updates. Maybe every time you're on Instagram you feel insecure, perhaps try following pages or tags that give you joy and unfollow those that don't. (Yes it could be your best-friend, but if every time you're on her feed you feel jealous then unfollow - It's not easy but it's necessary). Does twitter make you angry? Does it make you feel self-righteous? Does talking about people at work leave you feeling disappointed? Ask yourself these questions and more. What's working for me and what isn't?
Create a morning Routine
Create habits that keep you grounded. Cater to your spiritual,mental and physical needs because they're important. Your first waking moments are for you to use in thanksgiving for a new day so don't surrender it to your phone - social media, replying to messages, emails. A few things for you to try could be praying, journaling, a warm herbal tea, stretches and/or meditation. And if you don't have the time because you start work early then replace something that isn't serving you with a new habit. It makes the biggest difference to your day. When you set your intention and stop moving on auto pilot things look different.
Change the setting right now! If you're like me, as soon as you hear that phone notification you can't help but see what's new. Whether it's a Facebook like, a social media comment, and app or an email. It's not very helpful. Switch them off and allocate times to checking things on your phone like 10 mins during lunch and 15 minutes on your way back from work. If not you'll be sucked into the never ending scroll designed to keep you checking the next new thing. How would you spend your time if you didn't have a phone, what would you think about, who would you think of? It's amazing what you can do when you realise that there's so much life is offering and teaching you here and now.
Demotivation and Desolation
Stay in prayer! Even when you don't feel like it or you feel like no ones there, pray! Easier said than done but feelings are fleeting, it never lasts forever and it never is as bad as it feels. The devil wants to keep you off track by keeping you in discouragement but be responsive instead of reactive. Do the next best thing one at a time. Surround yourself with people you trust and care about to keep you up when you're feeling low. And stay away from people who leave you feeling low. Be willing to move through a difficult day and remember that difficult feelings won't kill you. Escaping from it with distractions only prolongs it.
Sometimes you need a break from it all, you need a minute to feel what you're feeling and some time to respond to it before you can continue moving forward. We can however mistake escaping from the challenges or responsibilities of the day for resting. Escaping leaves you feeling exactly like you were before, if not worse while resting gives you a fresh perspective. The difference can be subtle but it's important to recognise it. Be still, do something that gives you life, get some sleep, eat good food, laugh!
CELEBRATE THE SMALL WINS
Pay attention to things that are working, to the parts of your vision you seeing coming to fruition. You're worthy, so it's worth praising. When we focus on the negativity around us over all the positivity we subconsciously tell ourselves that the positives don't matter as much as everything else.
REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR VISION
Remind yourself of why you're doing what you're doing and it's importance. Stay focused with daily affirmations, a vision board, a photo, whatever you need that will keep you moving forward. When you remind yourself of why your vision is beautiful then things that fall below that standard can easily be let go off. It's when we have nothing to hold on to that we cling to everything else. If you haven't written out your vision for yourself then get started. Here's a link to a free Vision PDF.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”