Ep 95: Find your own little breeze

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So yesterday I was talking about how it’s okay to quit sometimes. Now today, I want you to find ways to give yourself a break and keep going. Life sure is confusing sometimes! 😂

I find inspiration everywhere, and a few years ago I found it in a simple song that helped me refocus on a bad day. Here are a few things to remember when “one of them days” blows in.

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Full transcript 👇


Ep 95: Find your own little breeze

Hi. I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

A few years ago I remember having a really tough morning getting ready for work.

It was one of those days when you wake up with kind of a cloud over your head.

Have you ever felt like that?

I tried all my usual stuff to get past it but I still felt like my brain was moving through peanut butter.

I had about an hour commute in those days so while I was driving I decided to try a couple of podcasts I liked.

But it just wasn’t taking, you know? It felt forced and my cynicism had me shooting down all the positive stuff I was hearing.

That peanut butter cloud and I flew right down I-95 together that morning. I couldn’t shake it.

There was a lot going on at my job that was pretty tough, and I knew it was going to be hard to be the positive one today if I didn’t figure this out.

I finally gave up and just turned on my 80s station, which is my go-to place because I like to think I was cool in the 80s. I wasn’t, but if I think I was, then I was, right?

That moment allowed the work of a great American philosopher to change my perspective.

Billy Joel’s hit from 1985 called “You’re Only Human” began to play.

Now I had heard that song a million times before, but I guess I’d never really stopped to hear the lyrics.

Parts of the song spoke to where I was sitting in that moment.

I won’t be singing the lyrics to you here. In fact, my solemn vow to you in Mental Health Moment is that you’ll never have to hear me sing. But I can recite with some skill so here’s what I first heard:

It’s not always easy to be living in this world of pain
You’re gonna be crashing into stone walls again and again
It’s alright
It’s alright
Though you feel your heart break
You’re only human
You’re gonna have to deal with heartache

I felt like he was singing directly to me right from 1985. It was a legitimate “Back to the Future moment,” only I was in a Mustang not a Delorean. 😂

I remember thinking as I pulled off the highway exit, you know what, he’s right. Billy Joel’s right!

I AM only human! These feelings are part of the experience even though it’s not fun.

In fact, these feelings are the things that make me human.

Philosopher Joel continued on:

But I survived all those long lonely days
When it seemed I did not have a friend
‘Cause all I needed was a little faith
So I could catch my breath and face the world again
Don’t forget your second wind
Sooner or later you’ll feel that momentum kick in.

You’re totally singing this song in your head now aren’t you?

As I pulled in the parking lot I was reminded that I had been here before and I had been able to deal with these feelings.

I would catch my breath again, maybe even in the next few minutes if I chose it. I had faith in my ability to to wrestle with these feelings and win.

I sat in the car for a couple of minutes after the song was over and reflected for a second (I call this taking a mental health moment, by the way).

Here’s what I told myself.

You don’t always get to know why.

We want answers for everything these days, don’t we? We’re just not satisfied with some things remaining a mystery in our Google-centric world. I don’t typically wake up feeling like this, and it was frustrating to not understand this state of mind I found myself in.

But you can’t always draw a direct line back to the source of difficult feelings. Sometimes they just are because they are.

Welcome to the human experience, I guess.

This too, shall pass.

That sounds cliche, I know, but honestly it’s so true. If you hang on long enough, something else will get in your field of vision and take those feelings down a notch if you allow them to.

That means simply accepting that you’re having the feelings and feel them. We’re kind of afraid to feel our feelings. We want them to go away so we can just get on with it.

But we have to pass through this particular forest if we want to get to the open meadow.

Accepting your feelings doesn’t mean you’re okay with them. But you can’t move through them until you acknowledge their existence.

Billy Joel was right. That breeze did blow in later. The cloud eventually lifted once I got busy with my work.

Take the time to care for yourself.

Those feelings clued me in to how I was feeling about my work. It was like a little flag telling me to pay attention here.

It was a tough environment, and I was getting weary of the struggle. My strong feelings that morning reminded me that I have to be proactive about managing myself. I was the only one who could choose how to respond in that environment even if I wasn’t responsible for things being difficult.

This experience prompted me to be kind to myself that day. I made sure to schedule regular breaks and I made sure I took care of myself emotionally as I navigated a tough environment.

I had my selfcare radar up all day.

What makes this song so great is how uptempo it is. It’s a pretty happy sounding song with a serious message.

I guess I heard that message when I needed to hear it.

I won’t say I went skipping in to work that day, but the song reminded me that powerful emotions are part of this human game.

Sometimes the little things can give you what you need to get through the day. While it may be a little silly that a 35-year-old song helped me through the day, I used what was available to me to help me refocus my attention.

That’s about as hard as it needs to get.

Here’s hoping you find inspiration and courage in small ways today!

You can catch episodes of Mental Health Moment by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Just search for “Mental Health Moment with Lori Miller.”

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