Starting off 2022 with a negative mindset was pretty standard for my way of thinking. Without hesitation, I reached out for my phone and called the one person who is universally known as the smartest person alive, my mother. The text read as a short poem:
At the start of 2022?
Does this foreshadow a terrible year?
Not all superheros wear capes
After reflecting on these messages months later, I have to ask myself “ Why was I so negative?”. How can our brain trick us into making a mountain out of a mole-hill with just a simple thought? We hyper-fixate on the negative and forget to consider all the possible outcomes. Thankfully my brilliant mother replied within moments to share some words of wisdom that I hope can resonate with a wider audience:
Show me how you can turn what you said into a positive affirmation?
You might be thinking “ wow, groundbreaking stuff” but really take a step back and read that again. We tend to look at self-care as trivial and not important. We are programmed to believe that success is built from consistent accomplishments. With the constant pressure of completing tasks or accomplishing goals in the back of our minds, anxiety is bound to grow. Taking care of ourselves is restorative and can reduce the chances of anxiety creeping up in unexpected ways. My mantra over the last few months has been:
I am anxious and free and I refuse to let it control my life. I am healthy, my body is strong and I am excited about what is in store for me.
This way of thinking has truly eclipsed that stress-inducing and taunting feeling of anxiety that I so regularly felt. I wish I could say that repeating this in your mirror will do the trick but here are a few tips I found helpful to redirect my energy and work towards bettering my mental health.
Here are foolproof tips that have helped me see positive changes
- Write in my 5 Minute Journal. I find that this is the simplest way I can start my day by focusing on the positive.
- Listen to podcasts that can improve my mental health. Here is my recommendation:
- UnF*ck Your Brain: This podcast focuses on overcoming social conditioning and triumphing over life’s challenges!
- Speak to a healthcare professional before googling your symptoms. Duh, Janella
- Prioritize my physical and mental wellbeing with balanced eating and exercise. My ideal combo would have to be spin classes at Ride Cycle Club and recipes from Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon
- Write down and commit to small and large goals for yourself. Remember not to beat yourself up if you are unable to complete them. You never know what might be a high priority for yourself at this point in time and what might no longer serve you in the coming months.
- Dating myself. Manicure, pedicure, and dinner with a view? Who doesn’t feel better after a little TLC?
- Reducing social media usage in the morning and evening. This is the best way to ensure I get a great sleep, which results in less opportunity for burnout.
- Talking through problems with loved ones. This has helped me so many times when my brain literally won't shut off.
To end on a more positive note, celebrate your small wins, you deserve it! Now let’s work on beating anxiety-inducing thoughts together.