We are almost 4 months into 2019 (come through ARIES SEASON, my fiery self is ready to shine) and I have been slowly working towards my biggest goal of this year: to be more in control. Let me start off by saying this- I do not define being “in control” as having it together 24/7. Being “in control” doesn’t mean everything is rainbows and butterflies and life is perfect. I am aiming to remain in control of my happiness and mental well-being, even when the unexpected occurs. Even when things go wrong. Even in my depressed states and in my panic attacks.
I have been incorporating some positive habits into my daily routine in an effort to improve the quality of my life by strengthening myself mentally. I struggle with depression and anxiety- which I cannot truly “control”. However, I can control the ways in which I train my brain and prepare myself to best cope with these issue and progress through them.
Here are some of the habits I’ve adopted thus far in 2019….
1) Simplify your Stress.
In situations of stress, it is easy for inner anxiousness to rear it’s ugly head and consume my mind, feelings and subsequently, my actions. I am working on practicing a simple technique during panic attacks: I try to dilute the complexity of whatever fear/thought is plaguing me into smaller, simpler issues. Then, I try to logically think through the absolute WORST outcome of each of those issues. I have found that by doing this, it helps me “re-group” within my mind and focus on what I need to do rather than letting the anxiety and the fear take center stage. Additionally, I’m noticing that typically when I am mid panic-attack, the severity of the issue at hand is exemplified. Often times, breaking it apart and getting into the nitty-gritty details helps me realize that what I’m panicked about isn’t as significant as my mind is making it out to be.
2) Use a ‘Positivity’ App.
Sign up to receive a daily Shine Text! My mom got me started with this- basically, you register your cell phone number, select a time of day to receive your text, and Shine Text does the rest (there are free and paid versions)! You will receive a brief inspirational/uplifting message every day with a link to read a longer article. Some days, I barely look at the text (I’m not a morning person and am always running late), but I found that even just skimming over it can spark conversations within myself about mental health. And on the days when I have a little wiggle room, I have an article at my fingertips without having to search for it that provides powerful messages and helpful tips!
3) Have a daily conversation with yourself about your blessings.
It is all too easy to forget how blessed we are. Many people, myself included, get so caught up in the intricate details of life that we forget about everything we have to be thankful for. I have started talking to myself every morning. And no, not in a weird way. While doing my makeup I talk through the things I am grateful for. I have a stable and good job. I have an incredibly loving fiance. I have the best family, friends and the world’s cutest pup. I live in a beautiful place. The list goes on and on. Don’t forget to hype up the “tiny” blessings too- like taking yourself out to lunch at work, the weather being nice outside, or sleeping well the night before!
4) Set realistic goals.
When goal-setting- BE REAL. Keep your head out of the clouds and recognize what is feasible and what will be setting yourself up for failure. For example- if your goal is to improve your writing skills by practicing consistently and you’re just starting out (cough cough ME, the queen of neglecting to blog for months at a time), it may not be realistic to try to journal daily (which I did… and completely failed at). But striving to write once a week is totally doable. Giving it your all is important when it comes to achieving your goals, but I would argue that it is even more critical that you measure your success in smaller segments so that you can actually feel accomplished and use that feeling to push you even further.
5) Discover the “mute” capabilities on social media.
This headline might instantly throw some people off, but hear me out. Recently, I was particularly annoyed by some social media posts on my timeline.. so much so that it impacted my mood for the next few hours. After the fact, I was baffled and upset that I had allowed social media to affect how I felt. In my situation, I couldn’t simply unfollow the person (there are “rules” of social media whether we like it or not- you can’t just block/delete people you know in real life). I hadn’t been aware of the ability to mute people that you don’t want to see posts from but that you want to remain cordial with. You can mute on Twitter and even INSTAGRAM!! If you mute on Twitter, you stop seeing their tweets on your timeline but continue to show up on their follower’s list. On Instagram, you can choose to stop seeing their posts, stories or both while still following them. I have been muting people left and right, and let me tell you- it’s fantastic! You can avoid confrontation while managing your feed to solely focus on what you actually want to see. Some would probably label this as shady, but I prefer to label it as the ‘simple way to narrow your consumption of social media to things you actually want to see while removing unwanted content or negativity’. And quite frankly- you can mute for any reason- make your social media timeline what you want! Mute the guy who posts his gym stats that you could not care less about. Mute the annoying comedian that everyone retweets onto your timeline. Mute the dumbass orange running our country. Do whatcha gotta do.
I hope someone out there finds these tips helpful in their mental health journey, I know they’ve really helped me in just the first few months of the new year! Here’s to working on coping with and actively combating depression and anxiety!
*I am in no way sponsored by Shine Text nor am I affiliated with the company. I simply like the product.*