I don’t know about the rest of you, but my motivation has been at an all-time low during the past year. Maybe it is the never-ending pandemic, ever-changing rules related to it, or nothing to do with it. I just know that something feels different.

I first noticed the lack of urgency for almost everything I had planned. I would have a work and non-work plan and would not make any effort to follow through. Or I would have plans, and the slightest change in my schedule would cause me to cancel; sometimes, the change could be as minor as a change in my mood.

Next, I noticed a continuous inner dialogue about my life choices. Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing with my life? Am I doing enough? Would I be happier if I had chosen option A instead of option B? I would ask myself all the questions that do not have a concrete answer….so the questions did not end. 

The last thing I noticed was a subtle detachment from the previously important things. Some of these things were not important at all and probably needed to be omitted from my life. But there were other things, little pleasures that I previously enjoyed but stopped doing for no other reason than I just stopped doing them.

All the behaviors I am describing are common when we are overwhelmed, stressed, and emotionally unmanaged. We are not ourselves and do not behave as we normally would. One of the most important things to do is to identify that we are not ourselves. Often, we ignore what our body is telling us. We hope that the unpleasant feeling will go away or change into something that is more aligned with what we want.

What do we do when things get to this point? We Face Life Obstacles (F.L.O.)!

F.L.O. is a 5-step process to create a healthy flow between all of life’s responsibilities.

Step One- Assess

Assess and analyze behaviors, schedules, responsibilities, and all the aspects of your life that make it unique to you.

Step Two- Identify

Identify which parts of your life are disrupting your wellness. Your wellness can be described as everything that makes you, YOU. Your work performance, cognitive abilities, mood, energy level, etc.

Step Three-Prioritize

Recognize what needs to change first according to the severity of the disruption.

Step Four-Plan

Create a plan to address each change, one at a time.

Step Five-Commit

Without this step, none of the rest matters!

 It took a significant amount of journaling, meditating, and “Being” before I was ready to make some changes. Do what feels right for you. If you would like some guidance through this process, contact a professional!

Dr. Kimberly VanBuren

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