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.
Becoming more resilient is a good investment of time and energy. We often don’t stop and think about resiliency as something that we can influence or build. Have you ever heard a story about a family where one person rose above the overwhelming, negative odds to make something wonderful of their life while the others…Continue reading →
Couples counselling is often viewed by many as an ultimatum thrown out at the end of a heated argument. “WE need to get couples counselling!” It kinda gets a bad rap, like giving someone a gift card for a root canal or a “date night” suggestion of getting a colon cleanse. What if it was…Continue reading →
The concept of recovery from an eating disorder is vast and at times, controversial. It ranges from the idea of learning to manage the eating disorder, all the way to ‘complete recovery.’ Learning to manage an eating disorder sounds a bit like trying to nail jello to the wall. How exactly does one learn to…Continue reading →
Easter eating. the very thought of it brings excitement as you anticipate the celebratory time with friends, family and food or it makes your stomach churn as you fret about how to navigate the many food laden events. Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy your life and not have to think/worry about what you will…Continue reading →
Many people are quick to stuff their emotions or deny them. Sometimes this is a long standing behaviour, a habit that a person has developed or a defence mechanism. I’ve even heard people say ‘if I were to ever go there I would lose it!’ Indeed, that is what a person may feel like if…Continue reading →
Ever found yourself singing along to a song you didn’t even realize you knew the words to? We have an amazing ability to retain what we hear throughout the day. Songs. Words. Messages. If the messages are positive then we tend to feel pretty good and our mood is pleasant.If the monologue (or dialogue) is…Continue reading →