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Life is not perfect at all times. On the surface, it may appear that way when observing others. But the fact is, we’re all human and will be affected by the unhappy bug at times. This can be further exasperated if you are a trailing spouse in unfamiliar surroundings and without your usual support network of family and friends to count on. That is exactly what happened to me. I became very unhappy.
I was taught at an early age that happiness comes from within. I never looked for it in anyone else and I actively created a life for myself filled with positive people and energy. Yes, there were some ups and downs at times, but by my early forties life was good. The icing on the cake was meeting and marrying my husband.
Shortly after we married, we moved away from it all – home, job, family, and friends – to an unfamiliar city for my husband’s new job. It was truly exciting in the beginning thinking about and living happily ever after in a new city, making new friends, and creating a life together. What I didn’t realize at that time was that I had no idea how to do any of those things from scratch. My friends I’ve had for decades, obviously I’ve know my family my entire life, and I was in my job for a number of years. I never had to just start over with everything from a blank slate.
My husband had the benefit of creating connections and relationships at his new job. His days were busy and filled with meetings, working with others, and building relationships. My days were spent at our new home in unfamiliar surroundings. There were many days where he was the only person I talked to. I thought about returning to the traditional workforce, but I truly wanted to become self-employed so that I could easily travel (or again move) with my husband when those opportunities arose.
Without the comfort and interactions with my previous support network it turned into a difficult transition. It started out as uneasiness and it grew harder and harder for me to harness that happiness that was supposed to be inside of me. I desperately missed the life I had created and was at a loss on how to create a brand new one.
What I did know was that I loved my husband and did not want to look back on that time with unhappiness. We were living in a great town full of possibilities and I needed to figure out a way to bring back the excitement and happiness that I once had. It was there; buried deep. I just needed to uncover it.
So what did I do? I changed my mindset and focus, which allowed me to make some simple changes that brought back the positive energy, happiness and fulfillment I needed. It also allowed me to again be the type of partner I want to be for my husband.
Tap into your creative side/Pick up a hobby
Do you like to write? Arts and crafts? How about playing golf? Perhaps you use to enjoy running and are thinking about starting up again. Well, there’s no time like the present. Now is a great time to nurture your creative side or work on some personal goals.
When I use to work an 8-5+ job, I use to lament how I never had enough time in the day to do things for myself. I had a list a mile long of goals I wanted to achieve. I just never got to them. However, now that I work for myself, I structure my schedule around activities I enjoy, which includes writing and health & fitness.
It has been great looking forward to each day knowing that I have something fun planned to do whether it’s training for a local race, streaming video to work out at home, going for a run, or finishing a chapter of my next eBook. There is truly joy in each day.
Personally, I love to exercise! But if you don’t, consider adding more physical activity into your day anyway. Not only will you benefit physically, you will experience mental health benefits as well. Exercise has been shown to positively affect mood and mental state in addition to helping with the symptoms of depression. So get out there and take a walk or join a local gym. Get moving! It’s good for you.
You are living in a new town, maybe even a new country! There are so many places to explore – how exciting! My husband and I love to try new restaurants, parks, theaters, and museums. Whenever we are in a new town, we make a point of discovering something new. Living in a new area should not be any different. Only now, you have more time to really explore and appreciate what is around you.
The possibilities are endless. So do not spend your days holed up inside your apartment. Get familiar with your surroundings. Learn different routes to the grocery store or shopping plazas. Visit museums, theaters, and parks. Embrace the culture around you.
Change your location
What do you mean, we did that already? We are already living in a new location. Yes, that is true. But location does not always mean living somewhere else. For me, it started with getting out of my home office during the day.
When I initially started working from home, I took a lot of time and care in setting up my home office with everything that I needed. It was great at first. However, over time the four walls started to slowly close in on me. It was feeling claustrophobic. I wasn’t fully taking advantage of truly being able to “work from anywhere.”
Working from home (or remotely) means that as long as you have Internet access, you can truly be anywhere physically. So instead of working in my home office all day, I move around the house for a change of scenery. When the weather is nice, I enjoy being out on our deck. Sometimes it’s nice to be in a local coffee shop. The bottom line is that there is no need to keep yourself confined whether you are working, reading, watching TV, etc. Spend time in a place that brings you greater joy. If that means getting away for a quick trip, do that as well.
These are just a few of the changes I started with that have boosted my spirits tremendously. Yes, I still get the blahs, but these are a few of the things that I choose to do to help bring me out of my funk. Perhaps these can work for you as well.
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Copyright 2016 Nichole Michele