Maybe you just started a new job. Maybe you’re pregnant. Maybe you’ve experienced a breakup. Maybe you moved. Maybe there’s been some other change, some other transition, some other new circumstance in your life. Or maybe nothing happened. Nothing at all. Either way you feel a bit lost, a bit disconnected from yourself, like your foundation has gotten a bit shaky.
Maybe you feel like you’re flailing. Your mood has been up and down. You are exhausted. You just don’t feel like yourself. Here are a few things you can do. These are not revolutionary. They aren’t quick fixes. But I hope they help.
Margarita Tartakovsky is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com, an award-winning mental health website, and the voice behind Weightless, a blog that helps women deal with body image issues and disordered eating. She also writes a monthly feature for Beliefnet.com, covering topics such as patience and procrastination.
Editor: Muhammad Talha
- Realize it’s normal, common and OK. It’s natural to feel disconnected from ourselves during a life transition. We’re trying to adapt to a new change, and adapting isn’t easy. We need time. We need space. We need practice. It’s also natural to get disconnected on a daily basis. We might be stressed out or preoccupied with our to-do list. We might be focused on solving a tricky problem. We might be working long hours for a particular week.
- Write about it. Write about feeling lost, uncomfortable, unsure. Write about your fears, your lack of direction. Write about what you’ve been telling yourself. The stories you’ve been spinning. Write it all out in your journal, on a scrap of paper, anywhere. Just get it down, and write honestly about what’s happening in your mind and heart.
- Create a new routine. This will be your anchor. Your way of grounding you to the present, to this new place and to yourself. Right after you wake up, sip green tea while reading verses from your favorite poems. Take a walk first thing on most mornings. Put on classical music as you’re brushing your teeth. Take a long bike ride on Fridays. Draw or color every evening. What helps you feel more grounded? What helps you feel more like yourself? Add those activities to your routine.
- Nourish yourself in other ways. Pick small ways you can nurture your needs. Calls with friends. Favorite foods. Books. Prayer. Meditation. Massage. Funny films. Yoga.
- Connect to other things. When we can’t connect to ourselves, we can try instead to connect to something else. To a loved one. To words. To nature. To our surroundings. To a tree. To a flower. The sky. A garden you’ve created.
- Seek extra support. If you’ve been feeling this way for months, don’t hesitate to see a therapist. Sometimes, just a few sessions can help you gain a better understanding of what’s going on and what you can do.
Remember that feeling lost is temporary. People talk about different seasons of our lives. This season might be a season of change and adjustment, where you take it easier and slower. Where tasks take longer, where you take fewer risks, where you’re not able to participate in challenging workouts, where you create more (or less), where you travel more (or less), where you’re trying to find new friends, where you’re learning and stumbling, where you’re doing things just a bit differently than you were doing them. Where you’re giving yourself what you need, right here, right now.