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.
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Thank Goodness indeed! That pretty much sums up the powerful effects of gratitude. Thankfulness brings goodness. It is a good time to think about gratitude as we head into Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend. The turkey, the stuffing and cranberries, the smell of pumpkin pie cooling on the counter, and the gathering together of family and friends….Continue reading →