Life events come in a series of rides and streaks. You may not have noticed how series’ of positive and negative events cascade in and out of your life, but step back, wake up, and watch. There are patterns to observe and to learn from.
Ever notice that you’ll have a good week that is followed by a bad week? Ever notice that your best day is typically followed by your worst one? Different people naturally align with different cycles. Whatever yours is, try to observe and recognize these patterns, so you can be prepared for your next rut. The next time you end up feeling down or less than optimal, write down how long you feel shitty. What were the crucial behaviors you engaged in that led to depression or physical pain? Write down the negative thoughts you encountered as the rut encroached. Why did you engage in these behaviors in the first place? Also, write down when the pain and depression subsided (speed and intensity). Were there any behaviors that led you out of the hazy quandary? Do your best to analyze and discover the triggers for what sent you down that spiral. No reasons? Chalk it up to a natural cycle and look for the pattern to repeat. If you notice the pattern does repeat itself without you contributing to the storm, you may have found something out about yourself that 99.9% of people never consciously realize. People, like nature, function in cycles. The sooner you’re able to hash out how your body and mind respond to changes in your environment, the sooner you’ll be able to take advantage of the leg up you have over the next guy or gal.
For me, it is often bingeing for too long, not getting enough sleep, getting depressed about lack of progress, or just a natural rut that happens to me about every 1 week out of 3. Whenever I feel like shit for too long, I go back to my writings about my cycles. Typically, there will be two or three crucial behaviors I’ve been discounting that I should have been cultivating. Instead, I’m cultivating the ones that are on the rut list. To recover, I substitute my productive behaviors with the destructive ones. Within a couple of days, I feel better than I had in weeks. This applies to diet, exercise, life in general, and much, much more.
The best advice is to be prepared for winter. Save up your spiritual food (the knowledge of self) like the practical ant who knows that cold weather lies ahead. Food will be harder to find when the snow comes and covers the ground (It’s harder to recognize the problem when negative thoughts plague the mind). The past is usually the best predictor of the cycles of the future. Don’t be caught off guard by eating all your food in the sun. There is always a winter ahead. Have your plan ready for when the rut hits you. Don’t be too ant-like, though, that you’re not able to enjoy the time when the sun shines. Enjoy the warmth of the light, but also be weary of the eminent dangers that winter present right around the corner.