Ever feel like you're just going through the motions? Maybe you feel like you're in a funk and don't know how to get out of it. Below, I'm going to talk about my recent funk and what I've been doing to get back on track.
Recently, I realized that I've been in this weird funk. Nothing has been bad, but things have just become very stagnant in my life. This made me reflect on different aspects of my life and where I need to improve.
For the most part, things have been going pretty well. But there is one thing that I've dropped the ball on; taking care of myself. I don't mean eating healthy or working out, those are things I've been consistently doing since I moved. I've been lacking in the mental health department. I haven't been properly taking care of myself mentally and emotionally.
I only just realized this the other week. So I asked myself, what's gone off? What have I been forgetting to do?
Below are the things I've dropped the ball on and have started to work on this past week.
I used to go to therapy every few weeks when I lived in San Francisco. When I moved to New York, I felt like my anxiety was in a much better place. This is true to an extent; my anxiety about death has really improved but there are other forms of anxiety that I've been pushing to the side.
Yesterday, I had my first therapy session since last April. Damn, it felt good. I won't be dropping the ball on that anymore.
Too much TV
I have a love hate relationship with TV. I don't even have cable, but I find myself coming home and watching Netflix, HBO and Hulu for hours. I think this is totally acceptable maybe a night or two a week but when you start to make that a consistent trend, you lose site of other things.
This past week, I've made a conscious effort to limit my TV time. I will either go with one hour long episode or make sure the TV is off by a certain time. Then I grab my kindle and sit and bed to read for an hour. Goodness gracious I missed reading!
Being more social
It's getting a bit chillier in NYC, but that doesn't mean you still can't go be social with friends one night a week. This is something I've been lacking since I moved to NY. A very social city with so many opportunities, but I found myself siting at home with a bottle of wine watching TV.
For the past few weeks I've been making more of an effort to be social with friends. Grabbing a drink or two and just unwinding, talking about silly things was definitely missed.
Take a look at your life and ask yourself, what's one thing I can do to better for my mental and emotional health?
If you've read my blog or have been following me on social media, I've touched on anxiety quite a bit. A few years ago I started to see a therapist because I was suffering from daily anxiety attacks. Death was on my mind more than food was, and food is always on my mind. After countless therapy sessions, now I am able to manage my anxiety, but that doesn't mean that anxiety doesn't hit me every now again. With these recent tragic events, (feels like it's never ending) my anxiety has picked back up. In the blog below I will talk about how I work to calm my nerves.
When bad things happen in the world, I become very emotionally invested. When there is a shooting or terrorist attack, my heart immediately thinks about all of the people who have lost their lives and their loved ones who are impacted. I start to imagine myself in these tragedies, thinking about losing my loved ones or getting hurt myself. I spend the next few days quiet and working to stay calm.
Even though I still have anxious thoughts, I can control them far better than I could pre-therapy. I couldn't imagine being back in that mental space. Every day, multiple times a day, I would think about myself or a loved one getting hurt or dying. Heavy stuff, yes, but used to live like this and it can be totally paralyzing. Now, my anxiety usually calls for a night or day at home, cuddled up with my animals watching a happy TV show like Friends, The Office or Parks and Rec.
If you struggle with anxiety, below are my top three tips to stay somewhat sane post-tragedy.
1. Pray or say a kind word about those who lost their lives and for their families.
This may sound like the political approach where politicians avoid talking about real issues and say, "We pray for the families impacted", but it's really not what I'm going for. This is more of an internal dialogue I have with myself. At the end of the day, I can't control what happens, but I can work to spread positive thoughts and vibes to others. It may feel like nothing, but I find it helps calm my anxiety.
2. Try to focus on the things you can control, not the things you can't control.
I had the hardest time with this tip because if you have anxiety, you want to control everything. When it comes to big picture things, I need to remind myself I can't control what happens but I can control my voice. If something comes up that you feel very strongly about, use your voice to make an impact. There are are plenty of organizations out there that you can get involved with that will enable you to make a change.
3. Find a calming anchor
I like to find anchors that calm my anxiety. Anchors are different for everyone; it could be a piece of jewelry, a quote, a TV show or even a song. My anchor is watching a comforting TV show such as Friends, The Office or Parks and Rec. These shows are shows I've been watching for years and instantly make me feel better.
I think it's important to test out new methods and find what works for you. We all have our own story and our own way of coping with things. Feel free to test some of these tips out and let me know how it went!
Just a girl writing down her thoughts on life post-trauma, body acceptance and wellness.