So: what happened today? Did the ground hog see his shadow? Did he not? Is there 6 more weeks of winter? Or are we going to soak in the sunshine and warmth a little earlier this year? Either way that it worked out, determining your mood based off the findings of a groundhog seem a little silly don’t ya think? But year after year, its what we do. We wait to see what has happened and determine our next six weeks going forward from the outcome. And whether or not you realize it, that has an impact on your mental health: good or bad. So with either outcome, here’s a way to not let the groundhog impact your mental health.
1. Don’t Live in the Shadows
This comes with almost anything in life. While we use the past (our shadows) to help shape us into who we are today, living in the past by obsessing and determining your life to not make the same choices can truly have a damaging impact on your future. Take the time to look at your past. Recognize the choices that have been made. Recognize the impact it made on your life. Then, move forward.
2. Don’t Get Overwhelmed by Company
Kind of an odd one right? But its true! Think about that groundhog. All those people staring for that one moment each year to see what he is going to determine for a chunk of the year for us. When you think about all the people you interact with regularly, are you trying to fulfill their needs and people please everyone? You might be! Take a deep breath. And another. And one more. Recognize you cannot please all the people you interact with. Becoming overwhelmed by trying to can get very tiring on one person.
3. Don’t Hide Away Looking for the Perfect Reason to Come Out and Shine
Waiting for that perfect moment to wear your new coat? Or maybe use that china set. Maybe you bought new sneakers and you are waiting to show them off. Waiting around for the time of year or the right moment to enjoy all life has to offer is just wasting your days away. Living in the moment can give you so much more to look forward to day by day.
4. Recognize that Change Happens
No matter the outcome of the shadow, it may be the case that the predictions are not fully accurate in the next six weeks. (I know, I know – how could I say that!). But its true! We may (hopefully) have a super warm day even if the prediction was a continued cold winter. Or we may have a snow storm (here’s hoping not) even if the outcome was spring tomorrow. But don’t wallow over the thought that things change and don’t always go according to plan. Its okay! Rolling with the changes without becoming upset over them are what will help you in moving forward in life.
5. Keep Your Head High
To look at a shadow you have to look down. When this happens, you are missing all the things life has to offer right in front of you. We sometimes do this unintentionally. We are hyper-focused on the problems rather than staying focused on all life has to offer and the possibilities that come along with this. Take the time today to reflect on the things you may have been missing out on by staying focused on problems or negativity. You may be surprised at the things you didn’t realize would have an impact on your life.
6. Don’t Let the Words of Others Determine Your Outcome
Sure! We love getting advice from others. Especially if there are situations we have never been in ourselves before. Its helpful to get help from a friend. Advice in times of struggle can be a large comfort. But lets not forget. This is YOUR life. So living it on terms of what others think you should be doing is only living life for them. When a groundhog tells you what the weather should be, don’t look out the window every day expecting that is the very end of possibilities and there is no other outcome. Recognize that if a day is different than our happy little groundhog predicted: that’s okay!