If you follow my Instagram, you know that I’m not one for big New Years’ resolutions. I find that most are instructed and unrealistic. While I could make one attainable goal, I don’t want to be held down by one big thing. I also find that the added stress results in little to no positive change.
This year I thought I would try something different. Instead of a goal, I am creating a mantra. A mantra is a word or phrase to set your choices and life.
My mantra for the year is Intention.
Since beginning to work from home, I find myself wasting a lot of time as a reaction or response from an emotion. I feel overwhelmed, and I distract. Helpful, but I want to do something more meaningful. I rationalize this downtime by reminding myself that I need to rest and keep stress down, but resting should only go so far.
Instead of telling myself to buckle down and get tasks done, which would only add anxiety and shame, I am using my mantra to make my choices more intentional.
By intention, I mean mindfulness and purpose. When I feel stressed and overwhelmed, I know from DBT skills that I need to stat mindful and self soothe. While watching TV is very relaxing, it does not keep me aware. Now, when I am feeling overwhelmed, I want to be intentional about how I cope. Music helps me relax and soothes me. To stay intentional, I may use my record player and focus on the lyrics. Taking it all in, being present in life. Or perhaps ill play some music and write. Allowing the thoughts and emotions flow through me. Afterward, I will feel less stressed and more relaxed, but the difference is my actions were intentional and productive.
What is your goal or mantra this year? Why did you choose it? What changes do you want 2020 to hold?
It was a Monday evening, and we had a night planned. Multiple dogs were on their way, and I was feeling good.
When my Mom told me she had bad news, I immediately knew. I had felt this odd feeling the past weekend and was thinking about my great-grandma often, so I knew.
At first, all I felt was guilt. If I had just visited her last weekend. If I hadn’t had car troubles a few months ago when I was going to help her move.
I hated how happy I had been all-day while my grandma was already gone.
After the guilt, came anger. Why couldn’t she make it till Christmas? I didn’t get to say goodbye
Then came the sadness. Holiday commercials made me cry – something I rarely do when it comes to television. I would be doing okay, and then it would hit me all over again, the pain.
Depression hit hard on Thanksgiving. A holiday my grandma used to host. My heart ached for her, and the day dragged on.
I’ve reached acceptance, but I’m not over it. I never will be. You don’t move on from grief. I will, however, move forward.
I feel this external pressure to be happy and cheerful during the holiday season.
I get caught up with the holiday bustle, and I forget to slow down.
I want to be present when I’m with my family, but I also need to take time for myself and remember that it’s okay if I don’t always feel positive.
Even though it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean that my mental illness goes on holiday. Because of this, I need to set boundaries with myself. Taking breaks, going on walks, and most importantly, trying to keep a schedule.
Last year I was hard on myself. I wasn’t feeling particularly cheerful, and that made me feel selfish and ungrateful. This year, I am removing the pressure and expectation. How I feel is how I feel, and I can be grateful and full of joy even if I’m having a stressful day.