5 tools for staying on track when life happens

So much of being a #powergirl is having big ideas and seeing them to fruition, which requires focus, determination, and courage. But, even powergirls have days when shit life happens, like a swift punch to the gut, threatening to derail said focus, determination, and courage. So, how can one deal with shit life while staying on track for powergirl success?

Fortunately for you, I was given an opportunity to practice the 5 tools outlined in this post today, which really did help me stay on track when all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and feel sorry for myself. The tall, dark, handsome attorney I was dating (whom I mentioned in the Galentine’s Day Party post) and I broke up today. We had only dated for two months, so it wasn’t devastating, but I was still upset. After speaking on the phone during the middle of the day and breaking up, I was alone in my office, which really sets the stage for a cry-fest, by the way! Meanwhile, I’m in the middle of the busiest, most stressful month of work ever, as the fundraising event I’m planning is fast approaching and there are 85,000 tasks on my to-do list, all of which are urgent. Currently, I do not have the luxury to get off track, so I practiced the following 5 tools, had a successful workday, and feel fabulous typing this (just before midnight).

01. Acknowledge Your Feelings

This is the most important step! If you fuck up this step, no other steps will work. Promise. To move past any emotion, one must acknowledge it, honor it, and give it space to exist, before getting through it to the other side. It is important to be very honest with yourself when acknowledging your feelings. I could have easily pretended to be angry that this guy wasn’t terribly communicative recently which is rude! but, instead, I acknowledged how I actually, genuinely felt, which was rejected, hurt, and sad. Then I cried. And because I was alone in the office I cried as loud as I wanted. While crying, I got on the floor and curled into a crying-just-got-dumped version of child’s pose for a few minutes because it felt better than sitting in my dumb office chair. After a wee little cry-fest, I knew I needed to move onto step 2 in order to STAY ON TRACK. PS I didn’t link to any Psychology Today articles on the benefits of acknowledging your feelings because I’ve had enough therapy to spill the T, honey, so just trust me. xo

02. Phone a Friend 

Reaching out to a close friend who knows and loves you is very helpful when you are in an emotional tailspin. Friends will reassure you that everything will be okay, along with offering support and encouragement, and they will likely share relatable experiences of their own to help you through this rough spot. Immediately after getting up off the floor from quasi-child’s pose, I texted both my bestie and boss to share what I was feeling. *I am very lucky to work in a therapeutic-minded company culture, which I give full credit for to my lovely boss, whom I adore, so we are very close and frequently share personal stuff* Moving on, bestie called me after texting back and forth a few times and hearing her loving, reassuring voice on the other end of the phone was exactly what I needed to get through the next few hours of work with a mostly clear head.

phone a friend & regis
Phoning a Friend is not just a lifeline on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’, it’s an IRL lifeline.

03. Write a Gratitude List

When I was in 10th grade, I watched an episode of Oprah where she talked about keeping a gratitude journal, writing down 5 things she was grateful for everyday, so I started a gratitude journal because OPRAH IS QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE and if you don’t agree, get out of my life right now! But seriously, since 10th grade I have (not always everyday) practiced writing down 5 things I am grateful for in the morning, as a way to start the day. This also works when something shitty life happens and you need a shift in perspective. The key is that you have to physically write what you are grateful for. Saying it aloud doesn’t work the same way. There have been all sorts of studies that show practicing gratitude leads to resilience, because if you can find something to be grateful for when circumstances are tough, you will get through anything.

oprah bathtub
Queen of the Universe

Upon arriving home after work, I walked my dog then wrote down 5 things I was grateful for. Really, I wrote down 6 things, and could have kept going, but I knew I needed to proceed onto the next step.

04. Get Movin’, Baby!

When you have a bunch of thoughts and feelings swirling around in your body, it’s a good idea to exercise away that extra energy. Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural painkiller. Nevermind that you are in emotional pain, exercising will help you feel better, so get your bootay to the gym or yoga class or whatever you love to do to stay fit. After writing my gratitude list, I scooted off to the gym where I lifted heavier weights than usual and also ran on the treadmill which I very rarely do because I get shin splints, but running really helped! I was sweaty and tired by the time I left Crunch, which left less energy to worry and feel stressed.

05. Familiar Faves

Once home from the gym and a quick pit stop to Whole Foods, I was ready to cook dinner while delving into the final tool, which is revisiting familiar faves. Do something you know will make your heart happy. For me, the easiest and quickest way to accomplish this is through media consumption. Skincare and grooming routines also work, but I wasn’t in the mood for face masks and exfoliation tonight. So, I listened to Hall and Oates while cooking and eating dinner and sang very loudly while dancing with/for my dog and it really did make my heart happy. Find something familiar that you love, whether it be music, tv, or a movie and indulge.

By the time you have practiced these 5 tools your head will be ready to hit the pillow without too much interruption. And after a good night’s sleep, you will be ready to tackle tomorrow’s powergirl to-do list. Wash, rinse, and repeat, as necessary.


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