Regrouping with Self-Care

Yesterday was a day of rest. I needed it badly. My heart had spiraled into a dark abyss of irritation and frustration, and in short, I needed a serious attitude adjustment. Nothing I did seemed right, and people were on my last nerve. The only thing I wanted to do was hide from the world. It was enchanting to make that a reality. For a small window of time, I was invisible and loved it. No stress or anxiety could permeate my walls because I didn’t allow them to, but instead, I took valuable time and used it to my advantage. Rarely can I say with so much certainty that doing little for everyone else gave me time to create a surplus of energy for myself.

I’ve spoken before about the need to have self-care. Little did I know until recently how crucial that those actions are. There is a woman at my church who recently succumbed to breast cancer. To look at her, you’d never know how sick she was. She served on numerous committees, touched the lives of countless people in our community and beyond, challenged each person to push forward in faith and helping others, and never let the pain stop her from creating the positive changes needed. I didn’t know her for a brief moment, but the time she impacted my life changed my outlook on life considerably.

Why does it always take people to pass before we recognize the significance of their contributions? I think we see others doing the roles that need to be done and don’t want to rock the boat by helping. Then when we recognize that we need the services those folks provided, we learn that if it’s important enough to keep those things going, someone has to step up and take up the mantle. Otherwise, things don’t get done.

When I hear how people are replaceable at work, it angers me. Sure, you can get someone to do the job before they did, but that doesn’t mean all the other things that person handled well. We all do things differently. The company I work for has twenty stores. None of the managers do things the same. They run their clientele differently. Some are lenient with customers, and others are by the book. A lot depends on their demographics and the types of clientele they deal with throughout the day. My store is small. I know my customers well and have a friendly dynamic, but other managers run more extensive facilities where they don’t know their customer base well. It’s more about the numbers with them. There’s nothing wrong with either. I enjoy my location and am grateful for the site and customers. I’m close to my house, and the customers are, for the most part, enjoyable.

Our attitudes tell us a lot about the kind of day we are having. If we constantly see the glass as half-full, we are more prone to look at the bright side of life. Whereas if all we see is half-empty glass, nothing will feel like it’s moving in the right direction. I know several folks who have the glass-half-empty mentality. They find anything and everything to complain about and how they manage not to be sick all the time is beyond me. While I love these folks to pieces, I can’t be around them for long periods, or else their mentality rubs off on me. Anyone who struggles with depression and anxiety will tell you that being around others who see the world in a bleak way compounds a person’s struggles. It’s not easy to get into a positive mindset when all you surround yourself with is negativity. Learn to break the cycle.

I thought it might help if I found some resources to back up what I’m talking about today. Here are six thoughts that I found through the Seleni Institute. I hope they help you like they have helped me over the last few months.

  1. Recognize thought distortions. Our thoughts are like radio channels and tv stations because they cover many different topics, interests, and worries. The key is to separate the distortion. Distortion is almost like a puzzle, and it’s essential to get the negative drama and distortions out of the way. Focus on the beneficial thoughts. Don’t ignore the negative reviews because life isn’t always peachy keen. But, try to focus on what you can change and how you can approach the unfavorable circumstances in a positive direction.
  2. Challenge negative thoughts. One of the best ways I’ve found is to get away from the computer and phone for twenty-four hours. There is so much negativity in the world right now. It seems that people are throwing more negativity around us or indirectly at us everywhere around us. All of us are incredible people. We all have things that are good and bad that we wrestle with inside our souls. If you need to challenge negative thoughts all the time, maybe it’s a good idea to seek professional assistance. If it’s something you deal with on a sporadic basis, that’s different. But many people in the world struggle with depression and anxiety, and those negative thoughts can have deadly repercussions. Pay attention to your ideas and body. You’ve got a lot going for you. Don’t let negative energy make you feel worthless because nothing is further from the truth.
  3. Give yourself a break from negative thoughts. Get away from the harmful trash in your life. If that means disassociating with people who bring you down, then find a way to get out of that world. Surround yourself with people who are positive, and invite others into your circles. It’s incredible to learn things when we don’t close ourselves off from different folks in our lives.
  4. Take a break from judgment. This item is something that I don’t know an easy fix for because everywhere I look, there is judgment coming from different directions. The only thing you can do to avoid this problem is to let all the judgmental people into your head. Sometimes that’s easier said than done because most of us care about others but remember that you can’t control anyone else. You can only control yourself and your behavior.
  5. Practice gratitude. I think many of us could have more gratitude than we often show. Our western ways have made many of us feel entitled to what other countries are not allowed to do. There are many areas in the world where women perish for expressing an opinion, and yet, in the United States, we say those opinions freely without fear. When kind gestures occur, many of us thank the people who took the time to do something nice, but we often forget their kindness too quickly. Gratitude isn’t something bought, but it can be sincere, and it also has the power to help change a person’s dire circumstances.
  6. Focus on your strengths. All of us have weaknesses. The question then becomes when do we stop beating ourselves up over those weaknesses and learn what we have as strengths? If you are a people person, then why not use those strengths to network? If you are good at cooking, perhaps you might teach others how to cook or even what types of dishes they can make? Maybe you excel in computers. Why not help others learn more about the technical side of things? There are always ways to use our strengths to our advantage. Be sure to look for the positive angles as opposed to the negative.

These are a few things that you can do for yourself as you regroup and recharge your internal batteries. The important thing is that you recognize your value and give yourself the time to see the difference you make in other people’s lives. The rest will fall into place. It may not be instantaneous, and you may need to work on your patience. Don’t worry. You aren’t alone. As we get back into a working routine, I hope each of you finds ways to keep improving your lives for the better. There are so many things that we all have to look forward to in the future. I can’t wait to find out more along the way. Have a great day, everyone.

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