When You Feel Like Running Away, Do This Instead

When You Feel Like Running Away, Do This Instead.jpeg

By Kate Kole

I ran away more than once as a kid. And by ‘ran away’ I mean I packed my bookbag with all the essentials for a one-night’s stay at a friend’s house, headed out the front door, walked half a block down the street, and remembered no friend had actually invited me to come sleep over, at which point I sheepishly began my journey back home to sit underneath the tree in our front yard. Until of course, I got hungry, cold, bored, or needed to use the restroom, eventually waving the white flag and going inside. As the youngest of 3 kids, I’m not sure my parents even noticed my half hour absences.

Sometimes that childhood fantasy of running away sneaks up again. Not in a ‘create a new identity and never look back’ Jason Bourne kind of way. Just in a stressed out, don’t know what to do next, wouldn’t it be nice to go live in a beach house and eat donuts in bed sort of sense.

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Since I’m trying to successfully be an adult (whatever that really means), build an extra coat of resiliency, and not dash out the door – literally and figuratively – anytime things feel tough, I’ve created a little go-to guide of what to do when the urge to run for the hills comes a-calling.

Breathe

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No fancy technique needed. Just actual full breaths in and out, unlike the stomach tightening shallow breaths that tend to occur when feeling overwhelmed. Bonus points if the air can be fresh, but at this point, any air will do.


Pray

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Take a second to loosen the grip and let go. Acknowledge that it’s okay to surrender illusionary control over everything in life and discover a sense of comfort that accompanies believing in something bigger than yourself.


Look Up & Look Around

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Notice what’s good – within you and outside of you. Are you healthy? Do you have people that you love? Do they love you back? Is your fridge full? (Or at least, could it be full if you got up and went to the grocery store?) Decide what you’re thankful for, right now. Even though things aren’t perfect, even if you’re feeling a little lost.


Burn Off The Stressed Out Energy

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Deep clean the bathroom that’s needed deep cleaning for the last 3 months, sign up for a kickboxing class even though you’re uncoordinated, rearrange furniture, scream into a pillow, whatever. Just work it out of your body.


Do Something You Love (That Won’t Empty Your Bank Account)

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Part 1 and part 2 of this step are equally important, because it’s easy for “something you love” to turn into “spending $200 at Target”. And then that bully, buyer’s remorse, comes along and ruins the whole thing. So, baking, writing, and watching reality TV it is.


Remember This Moment Isn’t Forever

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It feels like it is and it isn’t. Ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys, they’re all part of the path. Ride the wave. Keep going. You’re going to be okay, and then not okay, and then okay again. And, that’s okay. That’s life.


Connect With Someone Else

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Get out of your own head. Call your mom, phone a friend, talk to the checkout lady at the grocery store now that you’ve gone to stock your fridge. Volunteer, make a donation, help out a stranger. Just do something to avoid the loop you’re mind is running on and remember the bigger picture.


Give Yourself A Break

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Don’t beat yourself up for feeling your feelings. (After all, that’s the point of feelings in the first place). Let them in, let them out. Grant yourself permission to go through what you’re going through without piling guilt, shame, and added pressure on top.

Take off your shoes, unload your getaway bag, put on your favorite pair of sweats, and just keep doing the best you can.


{featured image via pexels}

3 thoughts on “When You Feel Like Running Away, Do This Instead

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