Mindfulness

Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed by an emotion and as a result, acted on that emotion, only to regret it later? I know I have. We’ve all experienced a moment when we've responded with an emotionally-charged text or email, later wishing we had never pressed send.
As life would have it, I often find myself moving at 1,000 miles per hour. I get into a chaotic routine of going from one thing to the next. Each day becomes the same multitasking-mess, where my body is in one place, checking things off my to-do list, while my head is in another, making sure I’m on to something else. Sound familiar?
Procrastination. We’re all guilty of it, whether it's putting off washing the dishes until tomorrow or avoiding writing that research paper until the night before. Inevitably, we experience regret and vow never to procrastinate again.
Let’s get real about the concept of self-care. There is a lot of buzz on social media that celebrates and encourages the practice of self-care. They suggest engaging in yoga, mediation, eating foods that help your body, making therapy appointments or even taking a nap–all healthy ways to honor your body and mind. But, so many people are misunderstanding this concept as well. Many of the things they suggest as "self-care," may actually be self-sabotaging your health.
The holiday season can bring up a plethora of emotions for all of us and these emotions can be positive, negative, and everything in between. All these emotions, combined with seasonal triggers, can make for some very overwhelming thoughts and can leave us prone to mood swings and emotional dysregulation. While people mean well this time of year, hearing "Happy Holidays!" over and over again can feel a bit invalidating or can invoke feelings like sadness or disappointment if life hasn’t felt so happy lately.
Everyone procrastinates. Whether it be homework assignments, work tasks, cleaning your room or apartment, running an errand, washing the dishes or even just getting into bed, at one time or another, we have all said to ourselves "I can do it later." While procrastination may be harmless at times, the habit of pushing things off can also have detrimental consequences. Lack of productivity can elicit feelings of guilt and inadequacy. It can contribute to poor performance at school or at work. We can even forget about a task all together if we procrastinate long enough.
Recently, I went on vacation where a primary goal was not only to relax, but to have a digital detox. Things had been pretty stressful with work and family, and I knew I needed to just shut it all down. Vacation was just the antidote that I needed. No screens was a natural part of that.
Don’t let the weather fool you – spring is finally here! What comes to mind at the start of this new season? Sunshine, flowers, the outdoors…CLEANING! Spring cleaning, in the traditional sense, refers to the yearly practice of thoroughly cleaning a home. Ridding the home of all the excess, the filth, the impurities can feel extremely satisfying and the physical act of cleaning can be therapeutic, as well. While this deep cleanse can require hard work and sufficient time, the final product is typically well worth it.
There is no better time than today to adopt a self-care practice. Science shows taking time to tune in to your own needs leads to emotional stability, a stronger immune system and better relationships with others. Many people forget to take care of themselves before helping others, but it is vital. In the time it takes you to scroll through your social media feed or read an article about a celebrity, you could have been practicing self-care (and yes, sometimes trashy magazines count as a self-care practice).