This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions, changes, and challenges. I personally had some high and lows in this year. While I knew of a lot of losses due to COVID for those around me, I am blessed that no one in my family or in my close friend circle passed away from this awful disease. However, I did make my official transition into full-time entrepreneurship. That in itself has been very trying and testing of my faith and finances.
Through it all, I've experienced a range of emotions that challenged my mental health. Over the years, I've learned that I'm genetically disposed to have depressive moods. In that, as I've triumphed in my healing journies over recent years, I've learned the importance of protecting my peace. With that said, I encountered multiple situations that prompted my decisions to assess my interactions with my family and friend circles. I also had to implement some non-negotiable activities to protect my peace.
Starting with family, I had to limit my conversations with certain family members I knew would easily engage in conversations that had a negative tone. Then, my children began to experience their own challenges with depression and anxiety. Thankfully, they were both open to trying therapy to help them manage their moods, process their feelings and develop healthy coping strategies. Finally, I had friends I also had to watch my interactions with them. In efforts to maintain my peace, I began to quickly realize how many people around me reside in a catastrophic state. Even in my life challenges, I still couldn't relate to the insistence to stew in the problems rather than pursuing solutions. With that, I had to limit my level of interactions and not engage in certain conversations by not answering calls or changing the subject in the midst of the negative expression.
Being a Therapist, I'm sure you feel lacked empathy. I didn't...LOL. I made sure I expressed any compassion or concern of the person's issues. However, I still had to learn how to exercise empathy and compassion for myself as I didn't want to fall into a cycle of low or anxious moods. Even in regards to my children, I had to establish boundaries as to how much of their emotional weight I could carry. Being a single mom, it can become emotionally exhausting to manage the household responsibilities and build a business all while carrying their loads. Yet, I did what I had to do.
In sharing a brief snapshot of my emotional experiences this year, it is important to become aware of how people and circumstances affect you. The awareness will help you develop healthy strategies that can shield you from emotional overload. With that said, here are some helpful tips on how to protect your peace:
Daily meditation - Give yourself at least 5-15 minutes of deep breathing in silence or with a meditation playlist.
Be mindful of your personal interactions - It's ok to guard yourself to protect your peace. Set limitations on how frequently you engage in conversations with a negative theme. Encourage positive discussions with those you feel you can't avoid.
Be mindful of protecting your ear and eye gates - Limit how frequently you watch the news reporting all the sad and negative events. Yes, you need to know what's happening, but you don't have to know every hour of the day. Also, try to watch upbeat programming that makes you smile, laugh and feel good after watching. This goes the same for music or other social media outlets. Anything you find that triggers stress, anxiety or sadness stop watching or listening!
Engage in daily self-care activities - Give yourself some me time daily to do an activity that brings peace and joy. Whether it's taking in a good book, listening to something inspirational, dancing to music, going for a walk or exercise, DO SOMETHING FOR YOU.
This won't be my last post encouraging positive and healthy activities so I won't overwhelm you. I do hope my experience and the tips are helpful and inspiring. Remember, you are not in this alone.
Feel free to share your feedback and responses.