Slowing Down

 

gaelle-marcel-563201-unsplash.jpg Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

There is so much advise today on wellness that it can easily be overwhelming. If I can summarize it: stick to the basics. Simple is best and quite honestly can be the most invigorating strategies you can rely on at any given time. Now that the weather is changing, open your windows and get some fresh air and sunshine. The benefits fo fresh air and sunshine on your emotional well being can be profound. Keep your body in motion by committing to daily movement. By keeping your body active throughout your day you can prevent any build up of emotion, tension, etc. Want to combine all three? Go for a walk during your lunch break! I realize that this next suggestion might be a difficult one for many but rest, and getting a good night’s sleep. There are many people who are drained physically and emotionally and it results from sleep deprivation. This may require changing your sleep routine and other habits that may interfere with your rest. However, the benefits of a good night’s sleep cannot be minimized. In summary, investing in your well being must be a priority for you. Wellness can vary and the concept of “self-care” can be redefined to mean and include strategies that will recharge and invigorate you. These strategies are not limited to spa days, vacations, or the occasional mental health day but rather a style of living that best suits you and improves your quality of living. If you are looking for a quality read,  I recommend Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World Brooke Mcalary as a wonderful resource. If you are unsure where to start I would suggest taking an inventory of your priorities and your current lifestyle. Are these aligned? If not what simple actions can you take to get you where you desire?

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

sharon-mccutcheon-558221-unsplashPhoto Credit: Sharon McCutcheon for Unsplash

Let’s talk about feelings of inadequacy. In an age where we witness people’s daily lives, it can be tempting to feel compare and feel inadequate. As a result, we are left questioning our own competency and feeling like we are an imposter in the various roles we occupy. Although, logically there is an understanding that the images and stories shared are filtered through a lens; emotionally doubt can quickly settle in and lives its imprint. So, what do we do when we are feeling inadequate? What do do when you are comparing yourself to others who are on a different life journey than you are? I want to offer some actionable steps that you can take today to build your sense of self.

  1. Get off social media and start connecting with those who see, and who appreciate your worth. And take their words to heart, and let them help to build you up.
  2. Remember that your feelings are not the same as facts. Don’t live based on your feelings … as that will keep you trapped. Instead, remind yourself of ways in which you’ve grown and changed with time. You’re not who you once were – so celebrate how far you’ve come.
  3. Here is where I recommend counseling: we have to challenge lies you have believed about yourself – and work on changing them so they’re more accurate and true.

Overcoming feelings of inadequacy may take time, as we have to challenge the narrative that has kept you in doubt. However, once achieved your confidence will soar. You will genuinely applaud and cheer for others while building your own; with the awareness that you are creating your own successes.

Vivir con Intencion

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Recomiendo a mis clientes que crean un conjunto personal de “reglas para vivir” o su propio “dogma para toda la vida”. ¿Por qué? Encuentro que es importante para nosotros tener un estándar en la vida. Nos permite conocer nuestros límites, cómo queremos vivir nuestra vida, en el resumen vivirlo intencionalmente. Si “rompe” una de sus propias reglas, en lugar de ser duro con usted mismo, tómese el tiempo para reflexionar si esa regla es valiosa. Tal vez hayas superado esa mentalidad y ya no te sirva. Esto es editable! A medida que crecí en mi trabajo en el campo de la salud mental, creé una lista de 10 mandamientos (por así decirlo) que me han ayudado a gestionar el trabajo que hago y el compromiso con mis clientes; así como aplicarlo a mi vida personal. Es una norma, que me sostengo también y reflexiono a menudo:

Acepto que no soy perfecto, y no hay un momento perfecto
No puedo complacer a todos, no importa lo mucho que lo intente.
Participaré en algo en lo que creo.
Aprenderé a priorizar y hacer lo que importa primero.
Seré selectivo a la hora de elegir amigos.
Estaré allí para otros y los ayudaré si puedo
Elegiré enfocarme en los aspectos positivos de la vida.
Seré fiel a mí mismo
Viviré en el presente y disfrutaré del “ahora”.
Buscaré lo bueno y estaré agradecido por cada día.
Este es un ejemplo para que pienses en cómo vives tu vida. ¿Hay intención de lo que haces y cómo lo haces? La intencionalidad tiene el potencial de ser una fuerza extremadamente poderosa en nuestras vidas.

Ideas Para Mantener la Calma

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Hay momentos en los que estamos destinados a perder la calma. ¡Ya sea que estas cansada/o por el  comportamiento de sus hijos, la incompetencia de un compañero de trabajo o simplemente estás  teniendo un día difícil! Es perfectamente normal no tener un temperamento uniforme todo el tiempo. Reconozca sus sentimientos y tome medidas que ayuden a ese estado emocional de una manera saludable. Gritarle a tus hijos o perder la paciencia en el trabajo puede tener graves consecuencias. Quiero ofrecer 5 estrategias que puede utilizar para evitar estallar y sentirse fuera de control:

1. Bajo coacción (emoción intensa) podemos reaccionar exageradamente y colocarnos en una trampa catastrofica mental . Entonces, mantén las cosas en perspectiva con hechos y desafía cualquier trampa mental. Aquí, recuérdate, “es menor, y no vale la pena pelear”.
2. Si es posible tomar un descanso. Aproveche este tiempo para respirar profundamente varias veces y dejar que sus sentimientos se calmen. Luego, en voz baja y tranquila, responda de una manera que mantenga su autoestima.

3. Sé consciente de tus límites y de lo que puede ser demasiado estimulante para ti. Si sabemos cuáles son esos límites podemos recuperarlos y mantener el control. Esto nos permite practicar el afrontamiento cuando se agita una emoción intensa.

4. Dependiendo de la situación, intente crear un ambiente tranquilo. Si es posible, tenga cerca una lista de tareas, una pelota estresante, un chicle, fotos, agua, etc. Al mantenerse un paso adelante, puede prepararse para los momentos de fustracion que pueden ser inevitables.

5. Una categoría en el afrontamiento es distracciones. Las distracciones funcionan muy bien porque son cortas y por el momento. Al distraerte, disminuyes la válvula emocional y puedes disminuir la presión ejercida contigo mismo.

7 Sugerencias Para Combatir La Soledad

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La soledad puede tener un efecto poderoso en nuestro bienestar emocional. Algunas veces, un estado de soledad puede resultado de una mudanza, exigente horarios de trabajo / escuela o falta de apoyo saludable cerca de usted. Lo ideal es que, cuando te sientas solo, que seas participe del mundo. Intenta algo nuevo:  una nueva clase,  un nuevo pasatiempo; el simple hecho de salir te expondrá a otros y se relacionará con personas que pueden tener cosas en común contigo. Si eso no es posible o la idea de hacerlo es abrumadora para usted, entonces puede ser útil tomar las siguientes sugerencias:

1. Relájate con un libro en tu cafetería favorita.

2. Vístete con algo que te haga sentir bien.

3. Acurrucate con tu mascota.

4. Aprende algo nuevo. Khan Academy  ofrece muchos cursos gratuitos !

5. Ir a caminar, o ir al gimnasio.

6. Organiza tu armario o ordena tu habitación.

7. Llévate al museo.

Si los sentimientos de soledad se intensifican y te encuentras luchando, no dudes en contactar a un profesional. Procesar estos sentimientos y elaborar un plan puede resultar en intervenciones poderosas para que se sienta mejor.

Cultivating Discipline

stephanie-harvey-428679-unsplashThere will be times in life when you have to do something you do not want to do. You know that it is time for something to change and you are ready for that change. Yes, it will be difficult but not impossible. In my opinion, making the commitment and setting the intention (major mind shift) to take steps to become healthier takes courage.  Please take a moment to soak that in: you are acknowledging that something in your life is not working for you anymore and you are wanting to do something different. This epiphany can arise in any area of your life: mentally, physically, relationally, etc. When you find yourself in this emotional place do not pretend emotions that are not authentic. Be respectful of your emotional state. Accept that you are feeling very blah, hesitant, scared (whatever you are feeling) about the new possibilities. Rather than listening to the voice in your head that is screaming “I hate this; I don’t want to do this” think about why it is a GOOD thing to do. By doing so you are starting to change and challenge the narrative (the story in your mind) that has been on repeat and keeping you from making a change.  Intention eases anxiety and enhances personal power. Start slow do a little bit for now. I will work with individuals who expect change within 1 or 2 sessions and that is not fair to their journey. That is a lot of pressure to put on oneself! The fact is that it took a long time to get to where you are right now and it is going to take some unraveling to make a long-lasting change.  Do not think about results as this could raise your feelings of anxiety and fear, just think about “right now” and the first thing you can do. Soon you will notice a difference in your state and find you are in a new flow. 

My 10 Commandments for an Intentional Life

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Photo by Mark Duffel on Unsplash

I recommend my clients to create a personal set of “rules for living” or their own “dogma for life”. Why? I find that it is important for us to have a standard in living. It allows us to know our limits, how we want to live our life, in the summary live intentionally. If you “break” one of your own rules, rather than being hard on yourself, take the time to reflect if that rule is valuable. Maybe you have outgrown that mentality and it no longer serves you. This is editable! As I have grown in my work in the field of mental health, I created a list of 10 Commandments (so to speak) that have helped me manage the work that I do and the commitment to my clients; as well as apply to my personal life. It is a standard, that I hold myself too and reflect often:

  1. I accept that I’m not perfect, and there’s no perfect time
  2. I can’t please everyone no matter how hard I try
  3. I will participate in something I believe in
  4. I will learn to prioritize and do what matters first
  5. I will be selective when it comes to choosing friends
  6. I will be there for others and will help them if I can
  7. I will choose to focus on the positives in life
  8. I will true to myself
  9. I will live in the present and enjoy the “now”
  10. I will look for the good and be thankful for each day

This is an example for you to think about how you live your life. Is there intention to what you do and how you do it? Intentionality has the potential to be an extremely powerful force in our lives.

5 Steps to Keep Calm

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Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash
There are moments when we are bound to lose our cool. Whether you have had it with your children’s misbehavior, a co-worker’s incompetence, or simply you are having a tough day! It’s perfectly normal to not be even-tempered all the time. Acknowledge your feeling (s) and take action that will help that emotional state in a healthy way. Blowing up at your children or losing your temper at work can have serious consequences. I want to offer 5 strategies that you can use to keep yourself from blowing up and feeling out of control:
1. Under duress (intense emotion) we can over-react and set into a catastrophizing mind trap. So, keep things in perspective with fact and challenge any mind trap. Here, remind yourself, “it’s minor, and not worth the fight.”

 

2. If possible take a break. Use this time to take a few deep breaths and let your feelings settle. Then, in a calm, low voice respond in a way that maintains your self-respect.

3. Be aware of your limits and what can be too overstimulating for you. If we know what those limits are we can regain and keep control. This allows us to practice coping when intense emotion is stirred up.

4. Depending on the situation, try to create a calm environment. If it’s possible, have a go-to playlist, stress ball, gum, pictures, water, etc close by. By staying one step ahead you can prepare yourself for inevitable setbacks and infuriating people.

5. One category in coping is distractions. Distractions work great because they are short and at the moment. By distracting yourself, you lessen the emotional valve and can decrease the pressure building with yourself.

 

What I find to be important is to acknowledge the need to be proactive in our processing of emotions so that we are not left out of control when a situation arises.

7 Things to Try When You Feel Lonely

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Loneliness can have a powerful effect on our emotional well-being.  Sometimes, a state of loneliness can result from a move to a new area,  demanding work/school schedules, or lack of healthy supports near you. Ideally, when you are feeling lonely, I would recommend challenging yourself and getting out into the world. Try out a new class, pick up a new hobby; the simple act of getting out will expose you to others and engage with people who may have things in common with you. If that is not possible or the thought of doing so is overwhelming for you then taking the following suggestions may be helpful:

1. Chill with a book in your favorite coffee shop

2. Dress up in something that makes you feel good

3. Snuggle up with your pet

4. Make a playlist

5. Go for a walk, or go to the gym

6. Organize your closet or tidy your room

7. Take yourself out to the museum

If the feelings of loneliness intensify and you find yourself struggling do not hesitate to contact a professional. Processing these feelings and coming up with a plan can prove to be powerful interventions so that you feel better.

 

 

5 Key Ingredients to a Healthy Relationship

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I am often asked by people in relationships or not: what do you need to have a healthy relationship? So, if I could give you an “ingredient” list for the makings of a good, fulfilling, and healthy relationship this is it:

1. Have fun together and enjoy your time spent with one another. Quality time is essential (it goes beyond texting, DM’s, and inboxing!). This is where you will get to know each other and foster a sense of togetherness.

2. In spending time together you foster:  trust, openness, honesty are the pillars of your relationship.

3. The space to be your own person. Each one of you (prior to couplehood) had interests and friends, and you still need the individuality to honor that.

4. Attraction goes beyond the physical: make sure you like each other (personality, quirks, etc).

5. Arguing and having differences are part of being in a relationship and therefore establishing respect and “rules” for arguments is very important.  There are agreed upon behaviors that are acceptable or not acceptable when engaging in an argument and abiding by this agreement will strengthen your relationship despite any problems you might face. (I can expand on this one in a later post!)

To be in a healthy relationship requires intention and commitment from both of you. When you are both fully present in the relationship (each giving and taking); both of you will feel secure in the relationship.