Self-Care Sunday: April 29

I was once told by a therapist that the state of my room often reflected the state of my mind. So if my room was messy, it’s because my mind was messy. She told me that if I noticed my room was messy, to reflect inward and see how my mind was doing. Of course, it didn’t always match up, but A LOT of the time it did!

When I noticed my messy mind and room I would always go on a cleaning spree and try and clean my whole house (quite the daunting task when you have a messy mind), and sometimes I did, however most times I didn’t finish the whole house and I ended up feeling unaccomplished and that I had failed.

I later found that choosing just one part of my room and focusing on cleaning that one area was the best option. I’d get part of my mess cleaned and I still got to feel accomplished. This little bit of self-care would help get me onto a brighter path and closer to feeling better!

So the next time you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or just a little bit down, take a look at the space around you. Maybe 10 minutes of cleaning off your bed, or packing away some clothes will help with the clutter in your mind. Or maybe it won’t work this time, but your parents/roommates will be happy at the very least.

Enjoy the rest of your Self-Care Sunday!

Self-Care Sunday: April 22

Each Monday is the start of a new week, and that can sometimes seem intimidating. To try and eliminate this anxiety it’s a great idea to slow down, take a moment to ourselves, and prepare our mind for the week ahead.

This week for my self-care, I made my favourite cup of tea and I suggest you do too!

Here are the steps (if you need them…) that I took:

  1. Boil your water
  2. Pick out your favourite tea (Mine is Coco Chai Rooibos)
  3. Pick out your favourite mug
  4. Put the appropriate amount of tea into a tea strainer
  5. Pour boiling water into your mug
  6. Place the tea strainer into the boiling water
  7. Let your tea steep for a couple minutes
  8. Take your strainer out of your mug
  9. Find a cozy place to sit
  10. Sit back and enjoy your tea

Drinking tea is an excellent way to practice mindfulness, as it gives you a chance to focus on your senses. Hearing the kettle boil, seeing the water change colour as you add the tea leaves, smelling the calming aroma, feeling the warm mug in your hands, and tasting the perfect cup of tea.

Whether you have your own cup of tea tonight, or not, enjoy the last few moments of your Self-Care Sunday!

The Laws of Life

When you struggle with mental illness, (hell, even if you don’t) sometimes it can feel like Murphy’s Law is ruling our lives. That everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong, and if for the off chance things seem to be good, then we must have overlooked something, right?

Let me explain a little deeper. Imagine yourself in the following scenario.

Your alarm doesn’t go off, and you sleep in too late to shower before work. You rush out of the house, locking your keys inside. You miss the bus, and when you go to call a cab you realize your phones been cut off, you forgot to pay your cellphone bill, again. You can feel the anger creeping up inside you as you walk to work in the rain. When you finally get to work you’re about to explode, you bark at the doorman, and stomp up the stairs to your office, slamming your door closed without saying hello to your assistant. While collapsing into your seat you spill coffee down your brand new shirt. You’re distracted and unproductive all day, getting nothing done at all.

How do you feel? What is the first thing you think after reading that? A few carefully selected curse words I’m sure, but what else? How about…

“Of course this would happen to me.”

“I have the worst luck.”

“I should have just stayed home.”

“Thats just life, kicking me while I’m down.”

If that isn’t Murphy’s Law, I don’t know what is, and maybe days like the one I just made up happen to you all the time. Maybe you’re in a tough spot, and the universe is challenging you. Well I’m here to help (or try to at least). You see, I don’t believe in Murphy’s Law, I believe in Einstein’s Law of Attraction.

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get into that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.” – Albert Einstein

The way I see it, the world is full of different energies. We pass energies back and forth, exchanging good energy for bad, and vice versa. However we are most attracted to those people who exchange similar energies to us. Lets look at me, for example, I try my very best to stay positive and to only put positive energies back out into the world, which is why I’m more attracted to positive people, than I am negative people. Make sense? Focusing in on your energy, and the energy you spread, can easily take a bad day and turn it around.

Disclaimer: Now, I’m not saying you need to smile and be happy every time you miss the bus and I’m definitely not saying you’re never going to have a bad day again. For I’m somebody who struggles with depression, and sometimes it seems like I have more bad days than good. So I completely understand how difficult it can be to find the positive in a negative situation. However, I do believe that we have the power to change our own lives.

You’ll notice that Einstein didn’t say, “Match the frequency of the reality you have”, but rather, “Match the frequency of the reality you want”. So you’re not really stuck in that rut, you’re just tuned into a lower frequency.

I realize I’m making this sound real easy, and you’re probably rolling your eyes at me, but I assure you, you can do it. When I notice I’m feeling low, and I’m ready to make a change, I turn my focus inward and reflect on my own energies. I then take a few deep, centring breaths, and I find something good, something I’m grateful for, and hold on to it. I focus on that one thing until I feel my mind clear and my energy increase. Turning one situation around isn’t going to change your whole life, but it’s a start.

Let’s look back at our situation from earlier in this post, and try to find a few positives.

After spilling coffee down your shirt, you take a breath and remember you have a spare hanging behind your door. You thank yourself for being prepared, and leaving it here months ago for cases like today. Now that your mind is clear you have a very productive day.

Lets back up.

Instead of yelling at the doorman and ruining their day, you stop and say hello. You focus in on the smalltalk and allow the simplicity of it make you feel a little better. This conversation adds a pep to your step, just enough energy to not collapse into your office chair.

Lets back up a little further.

You missed your bus, and your phone is out of commission. Take a breath, refocus, and use this rare cellphone-less walk to work to look up and appreciate nature. You feel surrounded by beauty, so much more positive you don’t bark at the doorman.

Even further?

You wake up, without your alarm going off. No, you don’t have time to shower, but you still have time for your commute. Take a second, and take your internal clock for waking you up when it did, and giving your body a little extra rest. You focus inward and realize you needed that rest, and more. You take the morning off and stay in bed a few more hours, going to work that afternoon much more productive and feeling refreshed.

Moral of the story? Remember to breath. Taking a second to stop and just breath gives you time to check your emotions, your mood, and your energy…..and there is no shame in needing to take a day to yourself.

So next time you feel like life it kicking you while you’re down, I want you to remember this, and try to see the situation from a different perspective.

Find the good, hold on tight, match to the higher frequency.

 

 

Control

I hate surprises, and like always knowing what to expect. Whether it’s with work, making plans with friends, or even just my own thoughts, I like to be in control. I feel like I need to be in control. Especially when it comes to my own thoughts.

If you’ve never had intrusive thoughts, or even just had your thoughts be out-of-control, you might not know what I’m talking about, so I’ll try and explain. Intrusive thoughts are unwanted, unwarranted thoughts that usually accompany anxiety, depression, or OCD. They can come in the form of flashbacks or spontaneous thoughts, and can range anywhere from innocent to suicidal.

The best way I can explain these out-of-control thoughts is by saying it’s like putting your mind on shuffle. The next song could be Elton John, one of your favourites, or it could be U2, an album you hate that Apple chose for you. You never know what to expect, you feel like you have no control over your own mind.

This lack of control can be scary. For me, it’s very scary. I think that is why I like being in control in any area of my life that I can be. When my life is going smoothly my mind tends to be more clear. The flip side, unfortunately, also seems to be true; When I’m stressed and anxious, I have an increase of intrusive thoughts. It’s during these times that I depend on my planner, even more than usual. I use a daily planner that I absolutely love. It’s colour coded, has errand lists, to-do lists, quotes, and space for reflection. It keeps me not only organized, but grounded.

Keeping organized is my way of preventing intrusive thoughts from creeping into my mind. Some ways I cope when they do manage to sneak in are immediate affirmations, mindfulness and calming meditations, and of course, writing.

Hopefully every reader can either relate, or learn, from this post.

I’m okay, and so are you. See you next Sunday!