Self-Care Sunday Highlight: Lets Get Away…

This week’s highlight is dedicated to something I absolutely LOVE doing: Vacationing!

At some point, we all need a break; whether it be a stay-cation, a trip with a special someone, a boys/girls trip or a family vacation; everyone needs time to escape reality sometimes. That’s why taking a vacation is so important to your self-care.

Taking vacations allows you to get a couple of days away from the factors of life that are causing you the most stress. There’s nothing like getting away and clearing your mind so you can hit the “restart” button. You can get some much needed rest, you can relax and not worry about what’s going on at home for a little while and sometimes, that is the best feeling.

This summer I wasn’t able to take many vacations, which is what I like to do, but I am definitely an advocate for it and I plan on taking a few in the fall! I love going on trips and I take full advantage of them when I got. I don’t talk about work, or things that are bothering me; I just spend those precious moments laughing and having timeless fun.

This week, if you’re able, schedule yourself a vacation, or look up somewhere you’ve wanted to go and start planning a vacation. They are well-deserved and much needed! Plan a trip and focus all of your attention on having fun and forgetting about all of your troubles (at least for a couple of days).

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Do You Stand Out, or Go With the Flow?

Do I speak up or go along with the crowd?

To be honest, it depends on the situation.  If it's something that I don't particularly agree with or something that I KNOW for a fact I will not be comfortable doing or being a part of, I simply won't do it or I will voice my opinion about it.  If it is something that I don't have a problem with and there is a general consensus about it, I don't mind going along with the crowd.  For me, the key to this is determining what it is I'm actually choosing to be a part of, and whether or not it will have a positive or negative effect on my life.

One flaw about myself is that I am such a soft-spoken person by nature, I'm not a big fan of confrontation; so if there is something I don't agree with going on, I'm more than likely just going to disengage from that situation entirely, as opposed to confronting a person initially. That is always how I have been (I believe I get this trait from my father's side of the family).

I do feel that I should be more outspoken about things (in which if it's very serious I definitely will be outspoken about it) that bother me, because how would anyone know something bothers you if you don't make it known? It's one of those things I'm working on as I approach thirty and would like to have been more confident in so that instead of me disengaging, I can be up front with someone to let them know what I do and do not agree with.

Photo cred: Google

Do You Have Magical Thoughts?

If you're a fan of Insecure, then you were tuned into episode 2 this past Sunday night. In that episode, you see Molly begin to open up more to her therapist, and she starts to list all of the things that "should" be happening in her life.

When Dr. Pine realizes this, she immediately clues Molly into how she associates a lot of the things in her life with the word "should", as if she is not quite satisfied with how the reality of her life is shaping out to be.

The doctor uses the term "magical thinking" to describe this particular situation. Needless to say, the greater majority of the Insecure fan base SHOOK. I personally was triggered by the notion of magical thinking, and hadn't realized how much I apply magical thinking to my life.

The term magical thinking means (as I paraphrase it) believing what our life and our desires should look like, as opposed to accepting the reality of what is. Once Dr. Pine clued Molly into that, it was like a rude awakening to my spirit.

How many times do you speak about your life, and reference the things that should be happening, instead of embracing what is happening in the present? How do we begin to reframe our conversations about our lives in a way to show that we are accepting of what life is or may be for us, instead of constantly living in the mentality of grasping at what we think it should look like? Here are a few ways I thought of:

  • Have Patience: life is all about being patient and waiting for the right things to come to you. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and in its own time, so having patience can help with taming your magical thinking.
  • Do not punish yourself for what you don't have: No one should be ashamed for the things you may not have in life. It goes back to patience; sometimes, it may not be your time to have the things you feel you should have in life, but it doesn't mean you're not deserving and that it will not ever happen.
  • Enjoy Life Everyday: this is possibly the simplest of tasks; just enjoy everyday you are blessed to wake up. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we feel we should or should not have that we forget to enjoy the fact that we're alive and well.

So, now that I know I've been guilty of living all in my magical thoughts, I will take these tips and try and learn to accept my shoulds for what they are, and if the desires of my heart choose to manifest themselves in my life, that will be icing on the cake!

Combatting Job Stress and Burnout

For the past month or so, I’ve really been battling with something that we all may deal with at one point or another in our professional lives; job stress and burnout.  Lately, I’ve been working my fingers to the bone at the job and it’s really been taking a toll on me.  With the nature of my job, these phases are common and I have gotten used to them coming and going, but this one seems to be coming and staying for a little longer than usual.

A lot of people deal with this on more occasions than we think.  Most professionals take the “suffer in silence” road and tend to find ways to persevere through these emotions, despite what they may be feeling.  This can be a dangerous thing to do, because burnout can cause a lot of negative affects to someone mentally, physically and emotionally when it comes to their job.  Personally, I’ve been dealing with stressors that have personally affected my health, which has been the primary reason why I’ve had to seriously take a step back and find ways to mentally separate myself in order to get a break.

I know that I have personally felt the effects of burnout in my job, and I also know that I am not alone.  I’m sure there are several people who are battling with this same issue daily; those of us who get up in the morning immediately thinking of all the things on our plate for the day, and possibly automatically without the slightest thought, beginning to obtain slight anxiety over the day.  I know it’s happened to me before, and I’ve had to program myself into not thinking in that manner.

I’ve been thinking of ways to combat this burnout feeeling, and small steps I can take towards trying to continue to find the positive outlooks on my job depsite the pressures that may come down each day.

  • Adapt a Positive Mantra or Affirmation: I’ve begun to state a positive mantra or affirmation daily that I recite daily (may be the same or different depending on the day) to help me get through the rough moments in my day.
  • Take Much Needed and Regularly Scheduled Breaks: If you’re allotted 2-15 minute breaks and an hour lunch, take advantage of them!  Also, use the opportunity to step away from your desk or take a drive away from your office and get some fresh air.  Spending an entire day indoors or in front of a computer does nothing but make you feel like a zombie at the end of the day.
  • Always Highlight  a Positive in Your Workday: In my line of work, some days are not always positive, but I try to always find a highlight in the day to hang on to.  Sometimes,  a positive is much needed in your workday in order for you to remember that it is not all bad, and sometimes it’s worth trying again the next day.

These are just a few things I try to do on a daily basis to keep my hopes high and my spirits up when I am having a long, draining day at the office.  So far, I’ve found them to be quite helpful during the day.

Let me hear from you.  Are you suffering from any work-related stressors, and if so, how do you relieve the stress?  How do you combat burnout and what are some ways you keep your spirits positive when the workdays are getting the best of you?