A few weeks ago someone sent me this message:  “Lately I’ve been feeling very recluse and borderline depressed on a day to day basis, exhausted and unmotivated. Social media is especially draining. It would be great if you felt like dwelling more into the ups and downs and sharing things that help you feel grounded and centered.”  I’d love to touch more on this as I think the bottoms of life aren’t talked about enough.  When we only hear the ups of others lives, it’s really easy to compare, to think there’s something wrong with us.  Which couldn’t be further from the truth.

A few months before this I was deep into a valley, metaphorically.  I used to really resist these and feel guilty about doing less and resting- my Virgo moon/rising can make me my biggest critic, especially over not getting things done.  This time, I kind of just… surrendered.  Realizing that everything in nature goes in cycles: the moon, the seasons, made me not only accept these ups and downs, but to welcome and honor them.  Being in flux is so much more beautiful than stagnation, for growth is always on the other side. These periods are usually, for me, characterized by feeling bluesy, solitary, craving silence and alone time and a retraction from my routines.  Working with those feelings and really leaning in to go deeper and using it as a chance to regroup, go back and look at things with clarity and clear out anything that may be stale, or dragging my energy.  Dropping expectations and accepting where things are.  It’s ok not to hustle, not to be productive, not to be “doing” all the time.

When I feel ready to climb out, these are my most favorite tools to work with to re-center and come back to neutral.  Yours may be totally different, and that’s beautiful.  If so, I’d love for you to share in the comments for everyone reading to benefit from!

note:  I’m not talking about clinical depression, anxiety, etc here which doesn’t go away over time.  If you are dealing with that, please seek professional help without any self-judgement.  It’s just as important as if you were dealing with a heart attack, broken leg, or any other physical ailment.

journal //  write it out, on paper, get out your thoughts, feelings, dreams, brainstorm, make an action plan.  Don’t worry about spelling mistakes, handwriting, grammar.  Just let it out.  Morning pages are great for this.  Dive deep, get emotional, figure out what’s actually going on here.  A lot of times when problems manifest in our life that we don’t want, like food bingeing, unprovoked irritability towards others, jealousy, alcohol/drug overuse, and other self destructive behaviors, it’s because there’s something emotionally that needs to be processed and dealt with.  We’re resisting that need and dulling the feeling with something else in order to avoid the pain of facing it.  Forgive yourself and face the scary bits here.

tune out //  it’s always so effective for me to tune out here- especially with social media.  Delete the app(s) from your phone and unsubscribe from email subscriptions making you feel like you’re behind.  It can be so easy for me to pick up other people’s energy, and when I’m able to be alone and turn inward, I realize none of it is even mine, none if it is actually important to me when examined closer.  Dropping all that, and tapping into your intuition here to figure out what it is that you need- which will look different for everyone.  This is a beautiful e-book on intuition with gentle guidance on how to come back to your own.

clearing space //  making room in your life for what you do want.  Maybe this is physical or abstract.  It could be clearing out clothes from your closet that don’t embody who you are anymore.  It could be saying goodbye to any toxic relationships that you know you deserve more from: romantic, personal, work.  Maybe saying “no” to things you do because you feel guilty not to, or things you do because worry what people will think if you don’t.  Letting go of everything that you don’t need, fearlessly and confidently.  You’re so worth it.

meditate //  set aside some time, as little as 5 minutes, at the beginning and end of each day.  I like to do it soon after I wake up, and before I go to bed.  Breathe deeply, relax, let go of what ifs, shoulds, worries about the future (which you can’t control anyway).  Enjoy the beauty of this time with yourself.  Afterwards, express gratitude for something in your life, big to small.

exercise //  sweating it out boosts mood and pops you right back into the present moment.  I like stretching deeply for a few days with some nighttime yin yoga, which relaxes the nervous system.  On other days, some quick HIIT routines that boost my energy and take only around 15 minutes to complete.  I always use Ali Kamenova for workout classes, as she gives way more than just a workout.  Emotionally, spiritually, physically balancing.  If you can exercise outside, bonus.

greens //  all the greens.  Full of magnesium, greens can positively impact serotonin levels.  They also keep my energy even and strong (no 3 pm crash) and boost digestion.  I’ve been eating them at every meal- kale, spinach, arugula are my personal favorites.

ferments //  fermented veggies for good gut bacteria = improved mood pathways.  Our gut talks directly to our brain– it’s magical.  I focus on eating fermented foods daily, which have been consumed thousands of years and are traditional parts of many cultures.  Sauerkraut, kimchi, almond ricotta, tempeh, miso are my favorites.

supplements //  for a little extra support, ashwagandha and GABA are my go-to’s.


7 thoughts on “re-center

  1. We are the same age, but I feel like you are so much older than me – because you are so wise! You are so in tune with yourself and the natural flow of life and I’m always just so impressed by your posts. I’ve been feeling stretched thin for a long time. I have a toddler and a part time job and a family that adds a lot of stress to our lives at times. I want to spend time meditating and reflecting, but my goodness, I already wake up at 5:15 to shower and get ready for work, make the family smoothies for the day, eat breakfast, and nurse my son. I feel like I never have time – for anything, let alone re-centering. We’ve also been trying to clear space in our house and only keep things that we need and bring us joy, and we’ve been doing it little by little, one room at a time, but at this point, my husband and I sort of feel like it’s just another thing to do! Ugh. I keep telling myself that it will be easier when our son isn’t so little and doesn’t need the constant supervision, but I also don’t want to hurry that time away. It’s just hard right now. This turned into a ramble of sorts, but basically, I appreciate your thoughts here and I found them poignant at this particular time. Sending love!

    1. Hi Ashley!
      Gosh mama, I know how you feel. Small children are so beautiful and the time is precious, but it can feel so sticky and never ending when you’re in it. With my partner I had to set a really clear boundary that I NEED a certain time to myself. When you’re nursing its especially hard, but having a non-negotiable spot of time just for you- even just 20 minutes each Friday night or something that works for you two. A cliche little saying, but its so important to put your own oxygen mask on as a mama first. We lose so much of ourselves in motherhood- which is the most beautiful sacrifice, and we gain something altogether more as a result- but reclaiming a bit of ourself each week is so grounding and will help you show up in other areas with more grace and ease. When you’re showering, you can do a mini meditation of just being present and feeling, hearing, smelling all the sensory input and being doing a mini body scan- how am I feeling? What can I let go of mentally? How can I express gratitude today? How can I take care of myself today? ANYWAYS just know you’re so normal and perfect and you’re in the thick of it right now. It will pass and you will find yourself looking back on these days fondly. Lots of love and support xoxo

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write a thoughtful response! I so, so appreciate it. Sometimes all you need is to commiserate and know that you are not alone. I am going to try the shower meditation! xo!

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