When was the last time you had to climb up a set of steps... a long set of steps? The first section is relatively easy, then they get a little harder as your legs start to feel the effects of climbing. But then you get to a point where it’s easier to keep going than to turn around... you’ve got a good rhythm and with each step you get closer to your destination.
When we have big plans, or we’re facing challenges, starting just needs us to take a single step. It doesn’t matter how small... take that step.
The challenge you face might be as simple as getting up or walking out your front door or it might be learning a new skill or studying. The big plans could be a holiday, a new or developing business or even training for a competition.
This photo was taken last week as we walked up the Maitland Bay Track on the NSW Central Coast. And it really felt like the steps to the car park were never going to end! But the beauty of the bush and the views along the Bouddi Coastal Walk were stunning.
Holidays don't have to mean an expensive overseas or interstate trip. They can be as simple as taking a break from work... and that means completely logging off from work for a period of time. It could be about visiting friends and just spending time.
I've just finished a holiday visiting with friends. We laughed a lot, took our time each day and I slept a lot, longer than I usually do. I feel relaxed and my energy has been rejuvenated.
I realise how tired I was after the past 12 months. I now realise that I need to plan regular breaks when I can have downtime without work intruding so I can relax and fill my cup so I have energy to do what I do as a psychologist.
Have you taken time to relax and fill your cup? What do you need to do to feel refreshed.
Yes... we are all tired. But sometimes we miss the signs.
I’m so enjoying my holiday away from my business. I’m resting and getting lots of much needed sleep. And I’m starting to feel refreshed. It’s going to be hard returning to work next week, but I know I’ll be ready. And I’ll be looking at my diary and booking some time off in the middle of the year because I’m sure I’ll need another break by then!
What are you doing to rest, recover and really take a break? What self care are you engaging in to replenish your energy stores?
Mindfulness is simply paying attention on purpose, without judgement.
It’s the without judgement but that we often struggle with. We always have thoughts and it can be uncomfortable to allow them to float by. We can get caught up in them and assessing if they’re right or wrong.
When I’m practising mindfulness I choose to focus on one sensation, my breath, sound, or what I can hear. When I notice distraction, I gently allow this distraction to be and I switch my attention back to my chosen focus.
When was the last time you stopped, looked around and noticed the environment around you. Have you stood by a beautiful eucalyptus tree and felt the texture & temperature of the bark and thought about its age? Have you noticed the shade the canopy provides? Can you hear the wind in the leaves overhead? Have you paid close enough attention to notice the eucalyptuses scent, or picked up a gum leaf to crunch in your hand to release the scent?
When we stop to pay attention to these things we are grounding ourselves in the present moment and this can be helpful when we feel overwhelmed. It can bring us a moment of calm and create mental space that can enable us to consider that which is overwhelming from an alternative perspective.
When an opportunity is presented do you look through the window, consider stepping through the door then turn your focus on the worst possible outcome?
What about the best possible outcome? Do you think about that? What would happen if you shifted your focus from the worst to the best outcome?
It might take effort to unlock this alternative, more hopeful perspective. But it’s possible to find the key and unlock the door and step through and experience the fabulous opportunities that could be on the other side.
So much yes!!!
Do you struggle with perfectionism? Thinking you can do it all and have it all is an unhelpful approach to life... but many of us operate from this perspective. Finding ways to sit with imperfection and the anxiety that comes with this can be a helpful way of managing this.
“Here are the lies around perfectionism:
Perfectionism is doing my best.
Perfectionism keeps me going.
Perfectionism helps me succeed.
Perfectionism will make my dream come true.
Perfectionism will make me happy.
I can do it all and have it all.
This is not new. This type of unrealistic and high expectations of ourselves has been around for a while. It shows up at work, it shows up the way we parent, it shows up the way we take care of our body. It is so ingrained in us that we don't think of questioning until we reach a boiling point.
Once when we are anxious and can't sleep once we are so burned out, we are paralyzed to do anything else once we are so overwhelmed, we snap at everyone and anything, that we realize this is some myth, trap, and bullshit (yes I said it).
You can't do it all and shouldn't have to do it all. If this makes you uncomfortable, stop and ask yourself why? What have I been taught that being told I don't have to do it all doesn't give me a sense of relief, but instead makes me anxious and guilty?”
Next Thursday I’m participating in a discussion being run by @nevernotcreative. NNC have been bringing together industry leaders and psychologists to answer questions that can be hard to to ask.
I’m really looking forward to the chat with @nvrnotcreative and @tarra_vanam. Check out the website for more information.