In this stressful culture we often reach a place of overwhelm and need to restore. Many people turn to things like video games and Netflix to relax, yet it doesn’t seem to be working. So why aren’t we getting refreshed and restored? Reported levels of depression, anxiety and stress are higher than ever. According to the American Psychology Association’s annual “Stress in America” poll (2017) results showed individuals were more likely to report symptoms of stress including anxiety, anger and fatigue than in previous years. Statistics in Canada are similar as we are seeing more inquiries for depression and anxiety treatment. One would think that with all the apps, games, websites and resources available to us, we would be doing better in dealing with these stressors. What if all this increased technology, accessibility and social media is part of the problem?
Let’s look at a few changes to make in order to effectively refresh and bring restoration:
If you are thinking ‘nice thought but I don’t have time to work on this stuff’ then you are probably doing a lot of detachment behaviours already. It is amazing how time consuming and unproductive they are! Playing on a cellphone is something you can actually track and challenge yourself with — check your daily time usage. You might report that you are just doing these things to relax but if you are living at levels of chronic overwhelm it’s not effective. If your relaxing behaviour is not recharging you and making you feel some degree of refreshment, it’s likely detachment. This can also be assessed by paying attention to your levels of fatigue and lack of energy. If you aren’t sure what to do that would be recharging, you’re in luck! This is something you can explore and experiment with. If you have some things you used to do that you enjoyed, try them again. If you have some ideas that you’ve not allowed yourself to do because of any amount of excuses give it a try. Take a course, read a book, go for a hike, do something different than usual. [Prefaced by that emotional check-in I mentioned in point number one]. Checking in with the emotions allows the behaviours to be recharging and restorative because the emotions have not been shutdown or stuffed. This is a work in process. Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to start meeting your valid needs.
Putting boundaries in place can feel like you are being rude but they are actually a self-protective, defensive move. Sometimes we need to put a boundary or limit into place in order to preserve a relationship or transform one into a more healthy relationship. “What is the difference between a wall and a boundary?” That’s a good…Continue reading →
Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to celebrate gratitude and all the good things that we have in our lives. However, Thanksgiving can also be a chaotic and difficult time for someone who has an eating disorder — or for anyone who has difficult family situations. Thanksgiving invites are usually based around food. Turkey, pies, stuffing,…Continue reading →
What we believe directs how we live our lives. Our core beliefs function like a filtering system that looks for evidence. If the core beliefs are positive and effective, reflecting truth about ourselves, the evidence we look for is positive and supportive. They also help us filter the negative incidents that take place in our…Continue reading →
Change is a great idea but sometimes that’s as far as it goes. Alcoholic’s Anonymous is believed to be the source of a great quote “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” This is something that we seem to struggle with as human beings. Why do…Continue reading →
Our world has become quite intolerant of process. We like quick fixes and things to be ‘easy-peasy.’ We stand by microwave ovens tapping our feet, wondering why it’s taking so long. We’ve become a society of Instant Gratification Junkies. Instagram. Snapchat. Texts that travel from one device to the other side of the world in…Continue reading →
What’s wrong with being a perfectionist? I just like to push myself. I just have high expectations. Shouldn’t we all aim for perfection? These are some fairly rational thoughts and arguments in defence of perfectionism. The problem with perfection as the expectation is 1. that it is not attainable 2. it’s not sustainable.So even if…Continue reading →