As summer is coming to an end, many of us are going through transitions –physically, mentally, spiritually. As fall feelings are settling in, we are coming down from the steamy, sun-loving, half-day-Fridays HIGH of summer and are beginning to get back into our routines. Sometimes this coming down from a HIGH can feel challenging, suddenly leaving us feeling isolated, lonely, overwhelmed, restless... you name it.
So as you are transitioning into this next season, I want to encourage you to take advantage of this turning point in nature and begin to gently check in with yourself:
Do you feel guilty for not having been “productive enough” throughout the summer?
Is your mind cluttered with thoughts, expectations or self-criticism that no longer serve you?
Do you feel anxiety building up just thinking about all the things you need to do before the holiday season?
If so, you might want to think about treating yourself to A MENTAL DIET. Simply, follow these top 3 mental dietary guidelines:
1) CUT OUT COMPLETELY ALL feelings of GUILT and REGRET.
These are internal functions that are past focused and guess what, the past is over and done with and needs to be let go. If you need to apologize to someone, do it now. If you are waiting for an apology from someone else, stand up for yourself by forgiving that person. Sounds crazy? Well, opposite to what you might think, by forgiving someone, you are not letting that person off easy, you are simply freeing yourself from negativity. Think about it, by holding on to resentment, you dis-empower yourself and allow another person to hold the reins of your happiness. Take those reins back into your own hands and begin to move forward.
2) CUT BACK on feelings of STRESS & ANXIETY.
As opposed to guilt and regret, stress and anxiety are future focused. All of us experience various amounts of it at times. The way I see it is that anxiety and stress are simply part of living in a society that is forward thinking, always preparing for the next event, holiday, weekend, or presentation. The simple fact that most of us need to go to the grocery store to obtain food, forces us to lead an anticipatory lifestyle. So in this sense, stress itself is not necessarily bad because many of us need a certain level of it –good stress- to get going and to get into flow. Stress is like chocolate: good in moderate amounts. However, when stress and anxiety reach an excessive level, they become toxic and immobilize us (again, just like chocolate). So, when I say “cut back”, I mean for you to absorb the energetic push that comes with the beginning stages of stress and then carefully monitor where and when you have to interject and slow down. Make sure that you personal wellbeing is at the top of your to-do-list.
3) Consume a BALANCED (mental) DIET.
Just like a balanced meal consists of a variety of foods –fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins- your mental diet must contain a variety of experiences in order to deliver optimal well-being. One of the best food advices I ever received said to make my plate as colorful as possible. This is true for your mind as well: fuel it with positive thoughts, exercise in nature, meditation, quality time spent with friends... whatever comes to your mind. The point is for you to dwell in your personal individuality that is fueled by a multitude of sensations.
But now, back to you: What else do you do to free your mind from un-useful clutter? I would love to hear from YOU about any tips & tricks to add to this MENTAL DIET GUIDLINE. Just head over to my facebook page and leave your comment or suggestion. Cannot wait to hear your thoughts.