We all get lost at some point in our lives.
Sometimes we feel so lost that we lose track of who we are, where we want to go, what we want to do, and how to truly take care of ourselves.
I’ve been there. Many times. It’s a part of the journey called life and it’s more than okay.
But why do we end up feeling lost?
Big life changes happen when we least expect them. Other times, life just seems to fly by and days blur into one another.
The last time I truly felt lost was a few years ago, when I was working for a company that had little regard for employee happiness and respect. I knew deep down that this line of work was not in tune with my life purpose and I also knew that I couldn’t grow old being so unhappy and feeling overwhelmingly lost every day.
When I feel lost, when I keep my head down and withdraw from the world, the first thing that happens is my self-care practices go out the window.
Sometimes I eat too much or forget to eat. Sometimes I get little sleep or sleep too much. I don’t feed my body properly, I don’t get enough exercise, I become unkind to myself. All in all, I don’t take care of myself when I feel lost.
When you feel lost, it seems easier to not care.
It wasn’t until I was at my most unhappiest point in my life that I realized that these behaviors had a cycle. I would repeat the cycle anytime I felt lost. I would stop taking care of myself.
I stopped this cruel cycle by asking a question:
This Life? OR Something better?
At that very moment, when I decided to choose a better way of living, was when life slowly but surely starting improving.
When I was feeling utterly lost in life, I made a consciousness choice to find a path to find my “something better”.
I didn’t know how to start, where to begin, but I knew if I just started somewhere, with the intention of ridding myself of this feeling that things would start to change.
You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.
Here are 5 Self-Care Practices You Can Start When You Feel Lost
Set Your Daily Intentions The Evening Before
When you feel lost, overwhelmed or a combination of the two, it’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to not care about anything.
Before you go to bed write down 3 things you would like to accomplish the following day. When you wake up the next day revisit your list and start to take action by completing these tasks.
By moving through your day with intention and focus you will feel more purposeful and this feeling will help combat the feelings of being lost.
Connect To Your Higher Power
Whatever religion, faith, or practice you adhere to, do more of it. I know personally, when I feel lost I want to disengage with the world. I want to shut everyone out and not think. At times, I want to be numb.
When you’re feeling lost, find the strength within yourself and within your faith to help guide you during these times. Make it a point to schedule in a routine where you connect with your higher power every day.
Personally, when I feel lost I make it a point and sometimes have to force myself to connect with my higher power in the morning. It brings a sense of calm and connectedness with all that is around me.
Prioritize Your Health
Over the past several years, I’ve experienced my share of unfortunate happenings. From overcoming alcohol overuse, battling with bouts of depression, hating my job, and losing loved ones.
Thus, my anxiety was through the roof and a sense of feeling lost was ever present in my life. When I feel this way, my health goes out the window.
I don’t rest enough, feed my body properly and exercise regularly.
Because I decided to choose a better way of living the following are now habits:
- I exercise 5 times a week at the same time every day.
- I have made my sleep requirements non-negotiable.
- Eating healthy isn’t up for negotiation.
I declared that these three things would by the structural foundation for a better life. Because when I feel healthy, I live each day better than the day before.
I’m not suggesting you adhere to my standards, however I am nudging you to think about your own healthy standards. What can you do each every day to get enough rest, exercise and properly feed your body? (Remember: Small incremental changes lead to big results)
Learn Something New Every Day
If I am feeling lost, I know the skills and knowledge base that I have require some tuning up. Meaning, I need to update my tools to help me find my way.
Learning something new may sound like a daunting task or major upheaval in your life. But I assure you, it is not.
Start slow. Find a book that inspires you and read 10 pages a day. Find a podcast that motivates you and listen to it at the same time every day. Find inspiring YouTube videos and watch them every day.
Challenge your current mindset and mental state of affairs. Learn new techniques to approach life in a different way.
Give Yourself Permission To Just BE
This may seem counter intuitive when you’re feeling lost. But sweeping emotions under the rug and staying “busy”, will not serve you either.
Sometimes you just need to BE. To be still, to sit in silence, to be quiet. And that is more than okay. You have permission to just BE.
To shut out all the noise to hear yourself think. To be still to think clearly or not think at all.
Listen and silent are spelled with the same letters. Think about it.
If you’re feeling lost and are unsure what to do, take an afternoon, a morning or evening to just be. To sit with yourself and your thoughts.
No matter how lost you feel, know this: Finding your path is always within you.