The Beauty of “UNSUBSCRIBE” in Email and in Life

It has come to my attention that I get too. much. email.

Not the onslaught of work-related messages – those require a whole other coping strategy to be covered in a separate blog post for some of you.

Let’s talk about the barrage of promotional or informational emails I willingly subscribed to over the years that are (I believe) multiplying amongst themselves the longer I leave them unopened.

Too. Much.

My intentions were good, thinking, “I will give you my email address, and you shall give me a grand promotion and delightful inspirations with your beautiful informative or motivational emails!”

Sounds like a win-win. Until I did the same with an inordinate amount of individuals and institutions.

Eek! I did what any rational human would do in those conditions, I either stopped reading personal emails (sorry, friends!) or I mass deleted. I didn’t actually want to take the time to fix the problem by unsubscribing.

Until…

Until I had a few minutes of clarity and calm last week when it occurred to me that I could unsubscribe to just a few here and there and eventually cull my inbox down to a manageable amount of email that I wanted to read AND I decided I would be more selective about giving out the keys to my electronic mail kingdom. Let’s not repeat this nonsense in another five years, right?

And then, as I tend to do, I got to thinking.

Consider this tale of reaching email overload and the unsubscribe. Could it be a metaphor? You betcha!

How many times have we signed up or opted in for a conversation, friendship or even a relationship that we thought was mutually beneficial – it was so alluring at the get-go – to realize later that the fit just wasn’t right after a time.

Maybe you bought-in because you felt you belonged, or it provided validation, fun or connection.

Whatever your intention, it was real, and it is valid.

You felt you needed whatever you signed up for because you believed it would help you feel better, inspired, loved. Not a bad motivation, right?

We get stuck when the message is no longer suiting where we are, yet we continue to subscribe.

Perhaps the conversation is stale, or the values fueling the friendship no longer resonate with us. Perhaps that Facebook group doesn’t leave you feeling inspired, but deflated or tired.

We all grow and evolve at different rates. We change. Others change. When those rates of change aren’t the same, we’re no longer in sync. The benefit isn’t the same, or just isn’t there.

That’s OK.

Once you realize there might be a dynamic off-kilter, it’s time to do something about it. You’re worth it.

If you have a sense you may want to unsubscribe to a few outdated conversations or groups, here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Practice awareness and mindfulness.

    This means to simply take stock of how you feel when you’re a part of conversations, spending time with individuals and groups and engaging online. Do you feel uplifted, energized at your core? Inspired and at peace? Part of something that makes your soul come alive or at least helps you breathe easier?

  2. Take note of how you feel.

    Make it a point to spend time with those who lift you up into a higher, more fulfilling place. Those who don’t, well, see #3.

  3. Unsubscribe.

    If you feel slimed, depressed or angry, pause. Realize how you’re feeling, accept that this environment or individual may not be a good fit. Then, minimize exposure to those conversations, groups or people. You can even mentally unsubscribe while in the middle of the conversation as you figure out a graceful, respectful exit.

You alone control how you spend your energy. Even if you have a full-time job, are retired or a student living at home, you still have the ability to control your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and actions.

Your mental and emotional energy is within your scope of influence and you can choose where to invest. I give you the permission to take control of how you devote your unique skills, talents and mental and emotional energy to making you feel healthy, happy and fulfilled.

Within you is where the magic happens. Where change occurs. If you want to see change in your life, your body, your job, your family, start with you. Thoughts. Beliefs. Attitudes. Actions.

Unsubscribe is a beautiful technique! I encourage you to unsubscribe to outdated ideas, conversations or friendships! The beauty, too, is you can always opt back in if the message or material becomes relevant again.

Share this message with any friend who might need help “Unsubscribing.” If you’re looking for help “Unsubscribing” in your life and not sure where to start, send us a message at Katherine@sproutandrosebud.com. Have it figured out? Share your tips with our community below! We grow stronger together!

Wishing you love, health and peace, my friends!

 

 

 

 

Backsliding to Benadryl: Coping with a Surprise Reaction

Benadryl, anaphylactic, allergies, food allergies, kids with food allergies

Just when you think you have it all under control, life throws you a curve ball.

My recent zinger really threw me for a loop. On a recent trip to Connecticut, I was just delighted to belatedly celebrate  my birthday with a soul sister at an exquisite local farm-to-table restaurant; however, my enthusiasm overshadowed my good judgment when I either A) disregarded my instinct to have the crushed pumpkin seeds left off of the mouth-watering sea trout dish I could hardly wait to try, or B) took a bite of chocolate garnishing the chocolate peanut butter gelato. Ugh, just when I thought I was done having reactions, this mysterious menace left my face a hot, inflamed tomato. Why this oh-so-delightful new face pigment couldn’t have found a home in only my legs, so that I could have easily concealed it with pants or a cute maxi is beyond me!

allergic reaction, nuts, sensitivities, food allergy, kids with food allergies, what it feels like to have an allergic reaction
Did these seemingly innocent, yet suspicious seeds leave me looking like an open pomegranate?

 

chocolate peanut butter, Community Table, farm to table, connecticut, south kent, gluten free on the go, nut allergy
…Or was this decadence to blame?

Sigh.

After all these years of learning the in’s and outs, of formally studying coping and avoidance techniques in a slew of various situations, of  finally feeling like I had a grasp on this nonsense, I thought I had my reactions all figured out! Oof, how much I am still learning!

It was a truly humbling experience to not only been knocked off my safe buoy in the sea of anaphylactic up’s and down’s, but in such a visibly & unattractive manner. I truly felt like the Hunchback of Notre Dame! (So much so that I insisted we not take any pictures to document the flare-up… sorry, guys, but no visuals of the “incident.”)

Backsliding to Benadryl is bound to happen. Almost like a metaphor for life, we will inevitably be caught off guard. From time to time, we will find ourselves physically compromised and feel vulnerable as a result.

A few important things to remember:

    • ALWAYS be prepared
      Carry Benadryl, an epipen, a snack bar, whatever you need to carry to keep your personal anti-allergy arsenal fully stocked. Think ahead, plan ahead, and pack your purse.

      Cope, benadryl, anaphylactic, nuts, allergies, food allergies
      Sisterly support definitely helped me cope!
    • Make sure those around you know your triggers and will support you
      Thankfully, my dinner date has known me my whole life and has been there for previous reactions. She recognized the symptoms and was sensitive to how I needed to handle. She kept an eye on me and asked me throughout the evening if I was doing ok and if I needed anything. That kind of support helped me stay calm and feel comforted – a HUGE help in the throes of backsliding.
    • Don’t beat yourself up
      It was hard for me to quiet the gut response, “I should have known better.” Eh, shoulda, coulda, woulda as they say. I did the best I could with the situation, thinking all was safe on the plate, and yes, I made a mistake, but I handled the unfortunate consequence effectively because I had packed my trusty antihistamines. Next time, I’ll know. Speak kindly to yourself as you care for yourself in the recovery of any reaction. The chemicals and adrenaline are pumping to help you survive, and the last thing your physical body needs is introducing the stress hormones that result when we beat ourselves up.
    • Give yourself time to bounce back
      Again, the chemical response that ensues after your body combats the histamine response has physical and emotional effects that last beyond that 2-20 minute reaction time. Take it easy the next couple of hours or days. Listen to what your body needs and honor those messages. If we don’t take care of our bodies, where will we live? Check in with yourself and take care of you.

Here’s to fewer Benadryl-Epinephrine aperitifs!

 

 

A Trip Down Memory Lane… Where the Grass is Always Greener?

The other day, I was driving home from work. The rain was lightly falling, so I had decided to take a different route home than usual. I drove down a suburban street in Buckhead, noticing how green everything has become, enjoying the twists and turns of the curves of this road, one of my favorite roads, through the beautiful suburban Atlanta neighborhoods when an old familiar song came on.

You know exactly what happened next. (…aside from me belting out the lyrics, I mean…)

I took a trip down memory lane!  And, in all their glory, like it was yesterday, I recalled the details of the time in my life when this song was first released.

I fondly remembered the boyfriend I had, the work I was doing (and doing well, I might add!), the house where I lived… I remembered all of the vibrant, sensational pieces to the puzzle that was my life during that blink of time when this song was popular. Ah, the Good Ol’ Days, I thought (well, not exactly, but it was something along the same lines…)

And that’s when an interesting little observation occurred to me.

How often and how easily we fall back on the past for comfort, for ease, for escape, for comfort or as a sign of better times. Whether its the highlight reel of our personal lives, or the nation’s current affairs, we feel certain that the best is not yet to come, but it has, in fact, come and gone. We watch the news today and see some pretty disheartening headlines. Stories of political, economic, and inhumane strife seem to outnumber the reports of triumph, peace, decency, prosperity, and collaboration, don’t they?

It’s no wonder we romanticize and reminisce about those good ol’ days! There’s no way it was like this!

Ah. And in that thought came my Aha! Moment.

When that little musical memory jog first hit #1 on the Billboard charts, I was content, yes, undoubtedly, and grateful for the boyfriend, the job, the house, the friends, the everything, BUT I was also frustrated that I felt I had no career path or passion, angry that the relationship was not what it should have been, tired from trying so hard to do everything to perfection, and feeling like a bit of a lost girl without direction in some pretty big areas of her life at a milestone age when the pieces were “supposed to be” falling together.  And you know what else? Countries were at war; the economy was up and down, food and gas prices were rising, and… everything felt pretty much the same as now! In relative terms, it was no different!

So, what does this mean, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you how I feel about it, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

In a few years, when I look back on this time of my life, on today, on the girl driving home from work enjoying the greenery, singing her heart out in the car, with her day-to-day challenges and frustrations, I will still very likely remember her and her current station in life with joy and a glad heart.

So, why not just have the joy and the glad heart now? When times get tough, we have to choose the joy, choose the glad heart now.

In five years, looking back on who you are today, you will feel warmth, contentment, perspective, wisdom, self-appreciation, so be that person you would be in five years, now. Feel the feelings now that you want to feel when you look back at this time. Relief, gratitude, appreciation, humility, love. Choose to feel it now.

Life goes up and down. You’re in a Down today? Ok, well, the Up is coming, so act as if it is here. Do what you can, however you can, to feel the Up already. Fast forward. See that you’ve climbed the hill. You won the battle. You made it! It’s now in the past.

You will make your journey through this life easier and the road to “better” shorter.

When the world moves too fast, when countries battle, when negotiations aren’t favorable, when relationships sour, when life gets complicated, it is so easy – and even comforting – to reminisce about the past. To remember a “better time.” But really, that better time IS now, it is IN the Now. Why not just go ahead, fast forward to the good stuff and start feeling it today?