I’ve been a little stressed out lately.
Nothing major, but definitely more than the normal amount. Of course there are the standard issues like balancing work responsibilities, socializing with friends, and completing homework for a class I’m taking.
But add to that a flair up in my right knee that served as my biggest recovery setback so far, as well as the internal stress that comes from a self-imposed debate I’m having about future projects (I really am my own worst enemy sometimes), and I recently felt the need to pull back a bit and shut out the noise.
For me that means turning inward and recoiling from the world. My tendency is to return to the basics, discarding anything I deem not essential to restoring my balance. I try not to overthink, just have fun, and do what feels right. This might mean catching up on movies I’ve been wanting to see, watching more TV than usual, sleeping in, and letting side projects slip a bit. The goal is to let go of my controlling, perfectionist tendencies, and get as close to a place of stress-free contentment with life as possible.
In other words, when I’m stressed I try to just live, and not worry so much about needless stressors and unessential burdens.
Unfortunately, one of those things I deemed “unessential” during this recent stress purge was writing down my thoughts and feelings on this blog. Which is why I haven’t published (or drafted) a post in over a month.
Admitting this seems to go against some imaginary blogger code, but I feel the need to tell it like it is: I just wasn’t in the mood to write anything.
My passion for sharing ideas and concepts through The Mindful Caveman hasn’t waned, but the way I was going about it almost felt forced. If I couldn’t keep writing while I was trying to de-stress and get myself right, why was I even doing it in the first place?
These thoughts and feelings were sending me a clear message – If this activity (blogging) doesn’t give me enough inherent joy and energy to keep doing it when things aren’t going well, I need to reevaluate what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it.
So as I was taking my time to de-stress and “just live” over the past month or so, I spent some time thinking about these questions. And during that period, a few interesting things happened:
- The ideas never stopped coming. Topics I wanted to write about never stopped popping into my head. I constantly felt there was knowledge I had to share, and found myself jotting down ideas for future posts.
- People wanted my help. Whether it was about knee injury struggles or nutrition advice, several people reached out to me out of the blue seeking my personal advice. This felt good!
- I suffered a setback… Probably the worst physical and mental setback in my knee recovery since ditching crutches last October occurred during this time.
- …And recovered, much faster than expected. This setback occurred right before a two-week vacation, forcing me to apply my previously learned healing methods on the fly. After only a few days my injury symptoms were greatly reduced, and I returned home in better condition than when I left.
These events were encouraging. They reinforced my desire to write about topics related to health and happiness. The results I saw in my own life reminded me I have valuable knowledge to share. And with some reflection, I came to the following conclusions:
- I love writing, and there’s a lot I want to share with the world
- People (outside of just friends and family) view me as a credible source of advice, or at least positively enough to seek out my opinion on certain topics
- There’s value in what I know, and my methods actually work (I’m living proof)
- I can help people, and want to apply my knowledge and skills to help others become healthy, happy, and more vibrant in their daily life
So that’s where I’m at, and it’s why I’m back with this post. My vacation didn’t relieve all the stress, but I’m in a much better place now than I was before.
I plan to keep writing here, but hope to add more value than I have in the past. And if I stick to the criteria of creating content I wish were out there in the world, I know I’ll live up to that promise.