It’s easy to walk through life in auto-mode.
I do it all the time. I’m in London, a big busy metropolis. You can walk around the city passing thousands and thousands of people and not recognize a single one of them. Usually walking with a purpose to get somewhere the quickest, most efficient way possible; the people in your way are faceless bodies literally just in your way, as you are to them.
No matter where you are, city or a small community, work can get monotonous if you let it. You can sit there 9-5 unchallenged, working for a business you are not particularly passionate about with colleagues don’t particularly know that well.
Then we get home and zone out in front of the TV before heading to bed and doing it all over again.
In one way, I see auto-mode as a bit of a coping mechanism. Life can be overwhelming, hard work and scary otherwise. Auto-mode is safe and easy.
But life in auto-mode is just that, it’s easy. It is uninspiring, unchallenging and spending too much time in it can be damaging to self confidence and general wellbeing.
It is such a good feeling to do something for yourself… something to be proud of. Without a challenge, a purpose, some excitement, even… we can feel unaccomplished, unsatisfied and unhappy.
Healthy living is so much more than exercising and eating healthy. It is a mindful way of thinking and a purposeful way of living.
Without even realizing it, I ended up in a bit of a slump when race season ended this year. I finished my last triathlon at the end of August on such a high and then from September to mid November I feel that I accidentally spent a lot more time in auto-mode than expected. On the tube, at work, walking around, at home… I was disengaged, moody and really uneasy about it all.
Slipping into auto-mode is so easily done and so difficult to pinpoint at the time. If you let it, it just happens; and then slowly you feel less and less happy and more and more self conscious. Or at least I do.
Over the past three weeks, I think I’ve slowly built myself back up and out of auto-mode. I’m not trying to be dramatic or look for sympathy… I was fine, really. Like totally fine. Most people who know me probably didn’t even notice. But I wasn’t the being the best version of myself and I can be quite hard on myself when that happens.
This week in particular a few things clicked…
One – intention
I watched a movie called ‘About Time’ on Netflix and the message really resonated with me: Live every regular ol’ day to it’s absolute fullest.
i.e. When you bump into somebody on the tube/ sidewalk… Laugh about it light-heartedly rather than sigh, toss a dirty look and rush off.
Intentionally create habits of reacting positively. Especially when those reactions impact your close meaningful relationships. This is really important to me and I would say that I’m usually really good at this… but lately, not so much so it’s time to refocus.
TWO – inspiration
I went to the Health Bloggers Community Meet-up event on Wednesday. I did something for my blog that was more than hiding behind a computer screen or Instagram profile and for the first time I met up with likeminded strangers face-to-face. It was refreshing to get out of my comfort zone again.
I left the event feeling accomplished because I did something for myself and inspired by the brave women who spoke at the event.
Three – reflection
Three weeks ago I created a hand drawn vision map. Life is busy and distracting and especially when you’re sliding into auto-mode it’s a good reminder on what is important to you and where you want your intentions to lye.
I have yet to make my vision map look nice, but I have been carrying my chicken scratch drawing around with me for the past three weeks and it has really helped me re-focus.
You should try it! Take a step back and reflect on what makes you the best you. This isn’t an easy task… If you’re finding it difficult to pinpoint, think back to a moment when you felt genuinely happy and accomplished. What were you doing differently? What is important to you and why? What are your goals and how can you start to work towards them?
If like me, you have fallen into a bit of an auto-mode slump I would recommend starting with a reflection exercise and re-setting your intentions.
Find a way to be the best version of yourself and be happier and healthier for it.