One of my passions is blogging. Specifically, I categorize myself as a healthy lifestyle blogger. I’m passionate about this topic because adopting a healthy lifestyle has completely changed my life in a way I never thought was possible. In my opinion, the center of a true healthy lifestyle begins with the mind. As much as the fitness industry focuses on workouts and healthy recipes, it’s equally important to also focus on a healthy mindset too, which inspired me to write this blog article.
Anyone who has been following me on this crazy fitness journey of mine also knows how “extra” my summer move efforts have been. November of last year, I found out I would be moving after two years in Utah. I basically blinked and it was time to sell my house and hit the road. I have been living out of a suitcase and in hotels since July due to a mix of professional and personal circumstances I had little control over. I wanted to share valuable lessons I have learned this summer in hopes that it may help some of you navigate through some less than ideal circumstances.
This summer I found myself sort of in a limbo state. I needed to learn a new job, and recently got out of a long-term relationship. For the first time in a few years, I was completely on my own figuring things out. To be completely honest things were not easy. I had days where I was frustrated, annoyed, and questioning everything.
I wanted to capture some valuable lessons I have learned from this unique experience because despite the challenges I have gone through I am definitely moving forward a better version of myself mentally and physically. My hope is that by sharing what I have learned will help at least one person reading this. Here are my valuable lessons learned:
1. Acceptance is key. I’m personally a creature of habit. I thrive off of routine and structure, which made things even more difficult for me during this transition. With that said, remember life is all about seasons. Sometimes you’re going to feel like everything is going right and you’re on top of the world and other times you’re going to be tested. I had to remind myself everyday my situation was temporary. Basically I embraced the uncomfortable feeling that overcame me most days and just went with it. The end result is I feel more accomplished and confident now that I have managed to conquer less than ideal circumstances and am just better for it.
2. Being alone is ok. I know a lot of people have a hard time being by themselves. I sincerely believe many people stay in horrible relationships and surround themselves with people who are shitty because they don’t want to be alone. I know I have been guilty of this. Over time, I have become very comfortable with being on my own. This summer especially was a bit lonely, but it forced me to spend time with my own thoughts and really evaluate the relationships I had with different people. I gained the courage to set healthy boundaries for myself and basically shut the door on the people who just weren’t good for me. Changing my mentality has actually done something I didn’t know was possible. Basically better quality people have entered my life because I have been willing to walk away from those who added zero value to my life.
3. Don’t let others affect your self worth. Again, being alone with my own thoughts I was forced to think about why I allowed others and their actions to affect me for so long. The truth is you should never take things personally because whenever you think you’ve been slighted or feel like someone doesn’t value you, it has little to do with you. I found myself a few times this summer giving others so much power to affect how I felt about myself, which made absolutely no sense. Yes, it’s easy to get hurt feelings, but when I really spent some time reflecting on various situations, the things that transpired had nothing to do with me as a person, so it became easier for me to emotionally detach and move on.
4. Take care of yourself physically. This means adequate sleep, feeding your body properly and working out. I am absolutely convinced I would have had a mental breakdown if I did not prioritize these things. Taking care of myself has kept my stress levels more manageable, which has helped me meet current life and professional demands. Do what is manageable for you. Perhaps it’s at least making a handful of healthy food choices and just getting in the gym for a short workout. I promise even that will make a difference and it’s better than doing nothing at all.
5. Be open-minded! I won’t lie, my first few weeks here in Texas I was a bit upset and bitter. I mean I got to my new location in Louisiana and basically had to turn around after 2 weeks to head to Texas for 14 weeks. All I could think about was getting settled in a home. However, once I became more open minded to seeing what was around me, I have experienced a handful of fun adventures, meaningful conversations, became exposed to new cultures thanks to having international classmates and have made some new lifelong friends. There really was no reason for me to be bitter!
6. It is ok to shift your focus on other things. It didn’t take me long to realize I was definitely not in the most ideal situation to focus on every priority fully. I basically had to look at everything and decide what was most important to me. Bodybuilding is a hobby of mine and I have goals to finally compete for the first time, but made the decision to delay my competition prep plans. In short, it made no sense for me to push myself unnecessarily when I have time. All things considered I am really happy with where I am fitness wise and maintaining my current state was more reasonable and manageable for me. Understanding I have plenty of time I decided to focus more on my professional obligations while having some flexibility to enjoy life here and there. The result of this decision has actually put me in a much better place and I’m excited to start my competition prep plans soon.
7. Smile more. I feel like over time I have managed to master a good resting bitch face. This wasn’t accomplished intentionally, but I was just the girl who didn’t naturally smile. After having the time to self reflect, I realized smiling didn’t come as naturally because I wasn’t happy, but happiness is a choice my friends. Choosing happiness I definitely smile more now.
8. Stop fighting the universe. Like most people I tend to get wrapped up and obsessed over the future and things I have no control over. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted the little things like having access to a kitchen, being able to provide a good mailing address for various things and having the ability to do laundry in the comfort of my own home. The last month I finally feel like I am in a place where I want to be more present and go with the flow of things. There are plenty of things I want for myself, but am fully aware that these things will happen for me in time and there’s no need to force things that I may not be ready to receive for whatever the reason.
9. Silence is golden. We have access to so much technology now. Being in a training environment I am constantly around people all day. Once I get back to my room I basically go to a crowded gym to train and then it’s pretty much time to eat dinner and prepare for the next day. Hotel rooms tend to be smaller and being in more of an enclosed space inspired me to spend time meditating in silence. You’ll be amazed how much clarity and focus you can gain from shutting out all the noise for a little bit of time each day!
10. You’re more capable than you give yourself credit for. Confidence in my abilities has been something I struggled with my whole life due to a less than ideal childhood. Over time, I have gotten much better thanks to good mentors and positive influences. Despite being in a much better place, old habits are hard to completely break free from and I really doubted myself a lot when this whole crazy transition began. I questioned my ability to make it through everything while still staying focused on my fitness goals. The truth is I was more than capable because over the last two years I have adopted a wonderful lifestyle that have become my habits over time, which made everything so much easier.
These 10 things I have learned living out of a suitcase has basically made this experience worth it. Its crazy how 4 months of less than ideal circumstances has made me much better. I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life and also am fully aware this will not be the last time I will find myself in similar circumstances. The best part of experiencing true growth is that you’re able to take newfound isights and apply them to future challenges. As always thanks for following my journey and feel free to reach out and connect. I can be reached via Instagram or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.