Updated: Jan 28
The importance of mindfulness and taking care of you (in my opinion.)
Hey, I know this self-care/mindfulness trend of finding time to reconnect with yourself can feel
overwhelming, unattainable, and pointless. There are times that we have pushed ourselves well
past the brink of exhaustion and burnout. Experiencing these symptoms more than every once in a while is becoming more common, and I feel is happening because society (Capitalism) values profit over people. But how do you know if you have pushed yourself past your own brink of tolerance? If you can say you’ve experienced any of the following feelings of Frustration/stress/burnout (which can look different for everyone) and if you can relate to the following experiences you just might be overwhelmed and need mindfulness:
Apathy/lack of caring
Problems with sleep
So what now??? You recognize some of the above in yourself. What would you do for a
friend experiencing these feelings? You'd CHECK IN on them. By now, I hope you know I mean you! First, start a journal/voice note/video keeping track of how you feel, or if you ate food or had any water during the day. Also, keep track of the following:
Significant changes in behavior
Physical symptoms (e.g. headache, muscle tension, stomach upset, sleep problems)
Loss of motivation, focus, or interest
Mood swings/agitation or irritability
Misuse of alcohol/drugs
Thoughts of harm to self or others
But what Next? You have touched a few of these symptoms and are ready to create change. For me, I look at Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the process of you becoming aware of your own needs.
You recognize it is no longer an option to run on autopilot. Being present helps us remember that we only have control of the here and now!
Encourages life balance.
Enhances our functioning and allows us to be active participants in our lives.
Increases life satisfaction while decreasing stress.
It is individualized and can take many forms.
Helps you to know yourself.
I realize I use the term catch-all as a catch-all phrase for meditation and grounding. The idea of sitting with your own thoughts can be (insert your own descriptive feeling word here) which can deter use. Yet, I’m here to assist you with simplifying and remind you that new tasks/habits take time for you to acclimate. Please remember to be gentle with yourself, seek out support, find a variety of activities and do things that bring a smile to your heart and calm to your brain.
Meditation in 2 steps:
1) Focus on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations
2) Notice internal distractions (mind wandering), but encourage yourself to bring focus back to you. (this is called grounding)
Grounding is bringing yourself back to the present while working through strong emotions
This technique has a number of different options. Here is a video that is simple to use.
More importantly, developing the self-awareness to know when we are close to our threshold is key as well as knowing ways to reset ourselves daily will aid in the enjoyment and happiness we all deserve when society (Capitalism) demands more than what we have to give.
If needing ideas for self-care consider this chart!
Comment on how you handle being overwhelmed below!