Everyone has moments of feeling stuck. Stymied. Directionless. It is not a great feeling -it can spiral into apathy, depression, anxiety, and despair. Guilt and shame are frequently associated with it, and it’s hard to get rid of those voices from your past that are telling you that you are doing something wrong. You might be watching other people accomplishing things and wondering where your motivation went. Maybe you are wondering if you ever had any to start with. Maybe this is a feeling that is far-too familiar, or maybe it’s temporary. Maybe there are other times you might be the most driven person, with goals and checklists. Maybe you’re not, and you’ve been feeling a little apathetic for a while now. It could be because you have a few really big projects looming, and you are having difficulty with where to start. Maybe you’re feeling guilty that you aren’t doing more, so you don’t do anything at all. Maybe you’re a perfectionist, so if you can’t do something perfectly you don’t try at all. Maybe you are a caretaker, putting other’s needs in front of your own for so long that you are having trouble getting back to you.
When you’re in that sort of funk, it can be hard to see a way out. I am a big believer of writing – I think putting things down on paper makes you accountable, helps define and articulate your thoughts, and frees up your brain from excessive worry and spiraling. When you are feeling stuck, however, the thought of putting pen to paper, or filling up that blank screen can be intimidating or distasteful. That’s why I love lists. Lists are simple. Lists are easy. Lists can be one-word answers, or you can elaborate. They’re like a warm-up before you exercise, they get the mind all limber and sweaty. So if you are feeling stuck, here is a list of lists to write. Use them how you need to use them – one at a time over the course of weeks, or a marathon-listing right now.
• 10 things I want to do before I die
• 10 beautiful places I have already been
• My 10 favorite pinterest projects
• 10 of the most energetic songs I know
• 10 things that need to happen to get to one of my “things I want to do before I die”
• 10 most inspiring people
• 10 reasons I Just Don’t Wanna
• 10 times I have been proud of myself
• 10 things that other people are asking of me
• 10 things that could happen if I went outside today
Go forth and write lists! Let this list inspire you to make your own set of lists! Which did you find particularly helpful? Any new ideas you’d like to share?
For more self-help ideas and ways to incorporate writing, lists, and creativity into your life, go to [http://www.royadedeaux.com]. You can sign up for her newsletter, and get tips and tricks for improving your mental health delivered straight to your inbox. If you are in Southern California, make sure to look for her therapeutic services, art groups, and lectures.