WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE LOST
Sometimes when you lose your way, you find YOURSELF.
― Mandy Hale
Life happens. An opportunity may fall through, or grief and tragedy strikes when you least expect it. Life events, such as a child going off to school or a job change, can derail your mind train. Maybe you’re confused about big life choices ahead of you. And even if none of those things happen, you may feel that your life has become routine and aimless. As I detailed in part 1 of this post, it happened to me when I simply re-read something I’d written for my website.
When your direction shifts, it’s easy to feel lost. What can you do when you feel like you’re foundering?
Here are three steps to help you work through your feelings and find your way back to yourself.
Remind yourself that it’s perfectly okay to feel sad or hopeless, because accepting your feelings is the first step toward change. Once you’ve acknowledged your lost direction, dig deep and define your feelings as specifically as possible. Write down what you’re feeling and why you think you feel like that. All feelings arise from something you need to know about your life, so do the work to figure out why you feel lost. Ask yourself the hard questions. It’s a good way to spark your curiosity, which can lead to innovation, new ideas, new options, and new opportunities. Be persistent, and you may find new self-awareness of your mind, your heart, and your soul. Realizing that you feel lost means that you are willing to change directions. Seize, don’t dread, the opportunity for change.
Now that you have acknowledged what has made you feel lost, it’s time to act on your new self-awareness. First, lessen your discomfort with yourself. Confide in a friend. Reach out to your higher power. Practice calming your mind and body: meditate, do yoga, or exercise. Get out of your house and take a walk outside. Do what it takes to feel steady, and once you feel steady, it’s time to push out of your comfort zone. First, shift to accomplishable, short-term goals. What can you make happen in 1 day, 1 week, or 1 year? Turn your focus to “The Week of Me” instead of the “The Year of Me,” and you may feel less overwhelmed. And once you have your plan or steps in place, be patient. Sometimes, in our hurry-up, instant-information world, practicing patience can be the most centering thing we do for ourselves.
This is a good time to practice self-care. Have a massage, a haircut, or a manicure. Take positive steps to boost your self-confidence.
Once you have begun the steps toward finding yourself, you may realize that your life could change permanently. Accept (and even embrace!) your new normal. And if you find yourself alone or feeling lonely, take a deep breath, and enjoy your own company. Don’t use this time to do a mental inventory of all your anxieties.
Remember, you don’t have to have all the answers immediately, all the time. Don’t be scared if you don’t have the answers. Tackle the act of finding yourself and setting your direction slowly, one step at a time.
Tackle the act of finding yourself and setting your direction slowly, one step at a time.
Support from a community of like-minded souls can be the first step toward finding yourself. Visit the community at Healthy Living with Hope to learn more about our welcoming, uplifting, and safe space! If you’re on Facebook or Instagram, you can find us there, too.