I’m Struggling – Life Update

Greetings from Richmond, VA! It’s finally happening…my youngest cousin is graduating from high school and is off to the University of Oklahoma. I’m so proud of him, and I can’t wait to see him walk down the isle tomorrow morning. Graduating high school is always a big deal. You’re ending one chapter of life and beginning something completely new…I’d venture to say it’s like starting a whole new book! I’ll never forget the day my parents dropped me off at college. Boy did my mom cry 🙂

Today, I want to give you an update on how I’m doing, and what exactly is going on in my life. After all, I see this blog as a sort of diary that I’ll be able to look back on. It’s already interesting to see the highs and lows that I’ve been through since starting it as well as how I’ve grown as a person.

I know a lot of my readers come here for a pick me up, advice, or just to support my goals, but I think one of the things that makes my blog different is that I’m honest with you. I’m very transparent. I don’t try to hide behind a curtain of success and happiness. When life gets hard, I share it because I want you to know that everyone hits bumps. I want you to read about my struggles and see how I deal with them in the hopes that you might find the strength to tackle your own battles.

Most importantly, I need your help, too. Reading over the comments and suggestions you leave on my posts makes my day, especially when they’re on these kind of posts. I don’t have all the answers. I’m still growing like each and every one of you, and hearing what you have to say gives me encouragement. With all that said, today’s a day that I’d love to hear your advice.

I think we can all agree that taking our own advice can be hard. I’ve written countless posts on self-care and personal time, but if I’m being honest…those are the things I struggle with the most. For me, trying to relax is like climbing Mount Everest. It feels amazing to reach the peak, but getting there is the hardest part. So, I end up not doing it.

Usually, sleeping is my escape. I get so burnt out that when my head hits the pillow I fall asleep right away…but not lately. Now, I lay there with my eyes closed for hours. I pray. I count sheep. I try to relax, but nothing works. So I wind up maybe getting 5 hours of sleep, which aggravates my IBS, which aggravates me, and the cycle repeats.

To tell you the truth, I haven’t felt this burnt out in a while, and it’s because life has been go, go, go lately. Between work, exams, weddings, graduations, the GRE, apartment shopping, etc. it’s hard to find time to unwind. I realize I’m lucky to be able to attend university, see my family, pay rent, and travel to Virginia, but I feel like there’s always something to do. When I finally do find a little time to chill out, I feel guilty relaxing because I could be getting ahead. Even taking 15-30 minutes at night to read is a struggle, despite the fact that I know reading helps me create awesome content for the blog.

The hard part is that my family and friends suffer, too. I feel bad for them because I become unresponsive. Whenever I do decide to respond, all I do is complain. They don’t get to experience the David that they love and need.

I know that if I took time for myself I’d feel so much better. It’s scary that the last time I felt genuinely relaxed was when I went to Sarasota for two days with my mom over spring break. I felt like I lost 50 pounds of stress then!

For the time being, I guess the only thing I can do is take one step at a time and focus on the next big thing I need to accomplish. However, I often find that when I do this life becomes a mantra. I just live each day, check off my to-do list, and repeat the next day. The truth is that’s no way to live life. So how do I manage to accomplish my daily tasks and still feel meaning? The answer goes back to an old saying…”it’s the little things.”

When I look back at other times of struggle, one thing that helped me was looking for a positive in each day. Being able to end the day with a smile and a warm heart lifts a little weight off my shoulders. An example would be to celebrate the fact that I just accepted an internship for the fall semester with the Alzheimer’s Association. I’ll be running their Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body: Tips from the Latest Research, where I’ll be able to educate people about the importance of mental health, physical activity, and nutrition in Alzheimer’s disease as well as serve as a shoulder to lean on. I’m very excited for that.

Here are a couple other “little things” I like to do…

  • Nature – I like to look at nature as I walk in between classes or am sitting at stoplights. Watching the squirrels run and birds chirp distracts me long enough to allow my batteries to recharge.
  • Pray – I also like to do the sign of the cross or say a little prayer when I’m feeling overwhelmed. It let’s me know that God is watching over me, and I can put everything in His hands.
  • Escape – I enjoy stepping away from my work when I eat. Having that 15 minutes away from my desk to think about anything else helps me reset and come back with a fresh attitude. Also, going on a walk when I start to feel drained helps.
  • Breathe – I like to do what I just did in this post…remind myself to take a deep breath. That little breath can make a world of difference, especially when you combine it with one of the other tips.

I hope some of these suggestions help others that are in similar situations. But as you can tell, I’m still running a little dry, so I’d love to hear a few of your recommendations in the comments below.

I also hope you got something from this post. I know it was a little different, but for some reason I think reading about other people’s struggles can be helpful. I think it’s because doing so reminds us that we all have our vices. We all hit roadblocks, even those we look up to. I know I like when my role models voice their hardships because it reassures me that it’s okay to get overwhelmed. No one is perfect!

As always, thank you for reading my 90th post! We’ll have to do something fun for 100…in the mean time, don’t forget to like, comment, and share. I look forward to talking to you on Monday…it’ll be more uplifting I promise 🙂

“Do the very best that you can, in the things you do best, and you will know, in thy soul, that you are the greatest success in the world.” ~ Anonymous

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