cognitive behavioural therapy; psychology; relationship counselling

Shower and make the bed

Shower and make the bed

Yep, shower and make the bed are the only priorities on my to-do list today. This may seem a mundane statement but for most people, having only two things to do in a day would be a huge source of anxiety and guilt – how ironic!

We are living in an age where we all have the “busy disease”. We have to-do lists that never end and we face each day with the intent of crossing off chores and getting things done.

It’s okay to take time out. Be more presen in your life. If you don’t you may wake up one day and your life will have been a blur of acitivity where you were semi-present. Take at least two to three days out per month where possible (this could be a weekend day) and force yourself to do as little as possible.

Your day off to relax

Use the day to focus intently on the world around you. Focus on things that bring you enjoy. Stay in the present moment and practise attention training. Try to focus externally as opposed to being wrapped up in your thoughts.

Run through your mental health checklist (IMAGINE):

A quick way to check in mentally once each day:

I = “I” This is all about you and SELF CARE. Do one thing for yourself – a manicure, a face mask, anything that boosts you. The psychological benefits from doing this regularly are immense.

M = Mindfulness. As above, focus on reality around you, not the negative stuff (like the news) but nature, animals, happy stories…that’s the ticket.

A = Acceptance. Check in with yourself. What are you resisting that you have no control over? Learn to accept what you can’t change. Be philosophical instead of getting all worked up.

G = Gratitude. Evolutionary Psychologists say that we are programmed to scan for threat and as a result we are constatly on the lookout for threat. This means that we al have a “negative mental filter” focusing on what isn’t good. This can lead to anxiety and depression longterm. Make a habit of focusing on what is going well for you. It could be something small – like the fact that the sun is out.

I = Interact. Don’t isolate yourself for too long. Connect with others regularly. This releases oxytocin – a long lasting feel good hormone. Far better for you than the rapid release of dopamine which can lead to addictive behaviour.

N = Nurture fun/playfulness. You can choose to see the funny side of life and not take life too seriously. It will make you grumpy and miserable if you do. Don’t grow into an old grumpy person. Keep fun and playfulness in your life. For me it’s vital.

E = Explore. If you feel low, if you have recurring thoughts, it may be time to take heed. Energy doesn’t disappear. If you are suppressing emotion or in denial over an issue in your life that needs attention (such as an unhappy relationship, an unfulfilling job etc) it will persist. It could manifest in the form of a physical ailment. The body keeps score and will let you know in other ways – common symptoms: IBS, headaches, aches and pains etc

Resist the urge to constantly be busy and “doing”. it’s essential to just BE at times in your life. It’s good for you – see it as productive rest! That’s what I am doing today…no guilt.

Mandy X

Photo by Alice Hampson on Unsplash