How To Recognize You’re In A Season of Struggle

Many times we are so down in the dumps that coming up for air seems impossible, but what if you knew you were struggling before things got too bad? In this episode of the Routine and Things Podcast, you’ll learn signs to look out for when you’re in struggle mode. This episode just may save you in this moment. Tune in! 
Word for Word

Ashley Brown 0:00
[Intro] Routines, my absolute favorite word, but you either love them or you're working on getting there. But either way, I strongly believe routines can be a springboard for improving your home, yourself and your life. I'm Ashley Brown. And this is the routine and things podcast. In each episode, I'll share practical tips and simple ways to help you consistently live your happiest life, one routine at a time. Trust me, you're going to want to keep listening, because you're well on your way to getting and staying happy.

Ashley Brown 0:49
Hey, and welcome back for another episode of the routine and things podcast. So happy you're joining me today. How do I want to start this episode off? I was thinking about this. And it's interesting because I have been in this season, where self care has been high on my radar has been at the top of my mind. But when I was sitting down the other day, and I was thinking about my self care journey, and how I dive so much more into that these days, and how I am awakening to what truly self care can be a part of that, for me is awareness and seeing awareness as self care, being aware of my actions, being aware of my words, being aware of my feelings, and observing. And so this episode today is about how to recognize you're in a season of struggle, right awareness. How can you do this, and what can help with this, because me and my bestie we were having a conversation one day. And she was like, Man, I wish that it was easier to recognize when I was struggling. And I was like, Girl, me too.

Ashley Brown 2:19
I wish that when I was in the thick of things at certain points in my life that I would have been privy to you know what, actually, you're struggling here. So let's try to figure out what's going on. And let's put some things into place. And it's so like, it's easier said than done to recognize you're in a season of struggle. Because when you're in it, you're in it. And it's really hard to see any other light is really hard to see. You know abundance when you're in a season of struggle. And your perspective can really become clouded when you are struggling. And when things are not going as you would like for them to go in your life. And you are not filling in the ways that bring you joy and peace. So I know that this is easier said than done. But I think that there are some things that can help you to recognize or at least become privy to when you are struggling. Even if you can't see the light, at least maybe you can notice these things and become more aware. So that's what we're going to be talking about today. And before we get into that, I'm just going to be real, we can sometimes become accustomed to struggling.

Ashley Brown 3:40
If you have been in struggle mode for quite some time, it's going to be even harder for you to recognize that you are struggling. Because it becomes habitual, it becomes like second nature, it becomes your life. And when I talk about struggling as well, this doesn't mean that your life is just flipped upside down. Sometimes we can have like micro struggles. And we are repeatedly doing these things that have us in like this micro struggle. And we can do this over and over and over and not realizing that over time, these micro struggles turn into macro struggles. And I want for you to also become aware of that a prime example. A really prime example of this is when my daughter was younger. My youngest daughter when she was a little bit younger, she used to go into her sister's dresser and pull out all of her sister's clothes. Just pull them all out. And she did this for like a straight month before I've realized when we're gonna have to stop doing this. So I moved the dresser into the closet and she no longer gets to it.

Ashley Brown 4:53
She's older now she doesn't mess with the dresses as much anymore but I moved it. That was a micro struggle that I was having and didn't realize that was causing me a good amount of frustration on a daily basis. But my awareness to that you know what this can't keep, like, I can't keep going like this. Like, although this isn't like a huge deal is affecting me to a certain degree, and I'm going to overtime, probably blow up if this continues to keep going like this. So I did something about it. So it doesn't mean so struggling isn't just the big struggles, it can also be really tiny struggles. And if you become aware of those struggles, it doesn't get to the point where you are having this huge struggle that you are going through. So I just want to share that. Just to give you some perspective, there also wants you to know, we do have control in this in terms of, in certain ways that we struggle. Now I am going to say for certain things, we may not have much control. But what we do have control over is our perspective. And we also have control over our actions, right, not someone else's, but our actions. And so keep this in mind that even though you may be struggling, or you feel like you're struggling right now, you have control over shifting your perspective, it can feel hard.

Ashley Brown 6:29
I'm not I understand, like, I'm not here to say you know what, this is easy work. It can feel hard and challenging to shift a perspective, when you're really deep into something you're feeling, you know, uneasy and uncomfortable. Right, when we're in discomfort, it doesn't feel good. So it's hard to shift a perspective. But it is doable if you begin to practice it. So let's get into some ways that you can recognize when you're struggling, and some of the signs that I'm going to share with you today, you may be feeling this and if so, release, release it, cry if you need to relate. Understand that you're not alone. All of these things I'm sharing today I've been through when it comes to struggle. So you're definitely not alone, someone right now is probably going through this along with you. On the other side of the country, you don't even know this person. So know that you're not alone. I'm here to support you through this. But I think awareness can really be key in helping you to get to a space where you do get on that path to seeing the light and you do get on that path to actually fill in the way that you want to feel. So the signs when it comes to you struggling and the signs that will come up.

Ashley Brown 7:55
Usually, the first one that usually notices is a change in my mood. So change in mood is a clear indication that something is off and that something is wrong, especially when there is constant changes in mood. They're in this in the moves that are unhealthy that are that are unhelpful, right? When you feel like any little thing is like ticking you off, any little thing is pushing you over age, you could be in this space of struggle. And like I said, the struggle doesn't have to be this huge macro struggle, it could be a really tiny struggle that you're going through. And that it just keeps building and building and building. So that is the first sign is if you have constant changes in your mood, one minute, you might be feeling Okay, the next minute it can be like something small happens. And it's like you're through the roof. Right, it's like that. It's not like an incremental change in mood. It's like a drastic change in mood, especially off of little things that you really wouldn't pay any mind to if you weren't struggling. So that's the first thing to kind of look out for.

Ashley Brown 9:12
Now look out for in the future. If you're having those constant changes in mood, this could definitely be a sign that you're in a season of struggle. The second thing is and this is something that I've been learning over the past two years is you will begin to fill it in your body. So I don't know if you've heard of like body compass, but like your body being a compass as to what's really going on with you. Like what's in your head, what's in your heart, but you will begin to fill it in your body many of the times because really, everything starts up top in our mind. And then what we are thinking and experiencing in our heads and in our minds, they start to radiate throughout our body. And if you're feeling super stressed, if you're feeling like you're struggling, if you are not happy in your life, and you feel like you're not living the abundant life, then this typically does start to come through through your body, and you can begin to experience discomfort, maybe like stiff muscles, joints, you might be getting headaches. You know, it's just those things where you don't feel comfortable in your body. So you will start to experience things in your body. So it's really likely that you'll start to experience the stress that you're going through in your body. And so if you can become aware that you know what, why am I feeling really tense? Why are my shoulders up to my ears? What is that about?

Ashley Brown 11:01
How am I feeling at this point, it might clue you in that things aren't going well right now in life. And then you can start to get on the path to the solution to really move in towards how you want to feel. The next thing that I see often for myself, and I see this with others as well. When we're struggling, we usually have feelings of uncertainty or discomfort. So this can be where you feel like you're stuck. Like you're stuck on a hamster wheel, you just feel like you're stuck in life, you don't know which way to turn which way to go. That uncertainty is a huge sign that there's some struggle going on. And usually when we are uncertain, we do feel discomfort is highly uncomfortable, to not have clarity. This was really huge for me. I had like a quarter life crisis. When I was 25, I had no clue what I was going to do with my life. I was a nurse at that time, but I went back to school and got my masters. And when I was about to graduate, I'm like God, what am I going to do? I don't know. I don't know if I want to do this nurse, this type of education job. I don't know if I want to do work in a hospital.

Ashley Brown 12:23
Do I want to work at a university? Like what do I want to do? So I had such a quarter life crisis. It sounds insane when I say it now, but it's like, I've heard that other people had this to at 25 is really interesting. But because I had lack of clarity, oh my gosh, I was so much in the season of struggle, then. Like that uncertainty was like, we got to figure out what's going on here. And it was a huge sign that something was was off. I didn't know what to do. And it was highly uncomfortable for me. Because I love to know, right? Don't we all? Don't we all just want to know what's going to happen. So you can start to experience feelings of uncertainty, feeling like you don't have clarity about what's going on with your life. You don't know really where you're headed. Your future is really Doom, it's kind of cloudy, which I'm not saying that having a cloudy future, when I think about it now. And with the perspective that I have now on life, I don't think that that's a bad thing. I don't think that there's something to feel like, Oh my gosh, I don't know what I'm doing in my future.

Ashley Brown 13:28
But it's not usually the immediate future not like far along. But it's like, you don't even know what you're doing next week is like that. So cloudy for you. Right? Or you're barely making it through your day. Because that decision making isn't coming as easily for you. Right, your head is cloudy. So feelings of uncertainty, not having clarity and feeling highly uncomfortable and experiencing that discomfort are signs that you could be in a season of struggle. And then the last thing I want to share is that possibly you begin to feel less like yourself. I know this was huge for me when I was a stay at home mom in that season of struggle. I was not feeling like myself at all. And it warmed me so much. Because I love who I am. I think I am the and so not feeling like myself wasn't working for me. And when I look back at that time, it was such a huge indication that something was off. And during that time I did get extremely depressed. And it took me a while to wake up and to really admit you know what, I'm depressed right now. Although the signs were there, like I was not doing the things that I usually do. Like I didn't want to bake. I didn't want to Cook, I was in Dibble and dabble in and the usual things I usually get into right wasn't watching, I wasn't even watching much TV back then I love me a good TV show, I can that I can binge.

Ashley Brown 15:14
So I started feeling less like myself, I wasn't caring for myself, that's a huge sign. So when you start to feel less like yourself, and honestly, when we begin to neglect ourselves is a very clear sign that something is wrong. And that maybe we don't have the capacity to do so. Which is a clear indication that we're in a season of struggle, when you can't care for yourself, right? When we can't care for ourselves. That is a very clear sign. Very clear sign, because why wouldn't we be caring for ourselves? Something is going on that is blocking or restricting us from caring for ourselves. So when that is happening, definitely, it's like a ding, ding, ding. Okay, what's, what's really going on here? And what can I do about it? So those are, personally the signs I've experienced when it comes to being in seasons of struggle. And I really had to think back about this.Of course, I still have my struggles now, but I had to think back like what really was going on with me when I was struggling, and how were How was our feeling. So hopefully, this is helpful for you.

Ashley Brown 16:33
If you're resonating with any of this, like I say you're not alone. Awareness is key. And now that you are more aware, maybe you are in the season of struggle, you can begin to act in order to get in a better space, wanted to feel like yourself and to get back to caring for you. Get back to feeling like you have a sense of control in your life. You know, level you take care of you and when you're struggling, I want to share this to start small. You know, don't try to make a big leap. Start very small, very micro. And routines can definitely help you with overcoming struggle. Start a small routine a really tiny routine in one routine at a time only one, okay?


Ashley Brown 17:29
This will take time, okay, it will take time for you to start to see the light, it will take time for you to overcome whatever is going on right now. But that time is gonna come where you're like, you know what, I see the sunshine. I promise you that little by little one routine at a time, one step at a time. Start small. Okay, so as we close this out, I want to share some routine wisdom with you. And this is just repeating what I just said. Start small when you're in struggle mode. One small routine at a time. Start small when you are in a season of struggle. That's it for today's episode. I hope this was helpful. Definitely share this with someone that you feel like might be struggling right now. And like I said, if you are struggling at this moment, I'm here for you. And there is light come in. There is light coming.

Ashley Brown 18:28
[Ountro] Alright, I hope you enjoyed today's episode, be sure to rate review and subscribe to the podcast. And until next time, stay happy. Talk to you later. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today's episode, take a screenshot and share it on social I would love to know you're listening. And for tools to help you start maintain and enjoy your routines. Be sure to head to Here's to staying happy.

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