The emotion that floods most clients when they contact me for the first time is fear/shame/anxiety/embarrassment followed by a deep, wonderful, relaxing sense of total relief…..they have made the first step, and to quote Lou-tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” For most, contacting a therapist/counsellor/friend/fellow human being who has “been there, done that” is that first step. When thinking about therapy, most wouldn’t assume that it can be awesome – but alas, it absolutely can!
For so many, New Years resolutions include working on their bodies, spending countless hours spinning, shredding, lifting, pumping yet few lists include spending even a fraction of the time we spend working our bodies working out our minds – and yet we use our minds all day, every. single. day and for some, we need to get back into the practice of working out our minds as much – or perhaps more – than we are working out our bodies.
So then, now that half the year is through, may I challenge you to a New Years “we’re half way though” resolution to work out your brain. I challenge you to commit over the next several months to train your brain. Your own personalized program will be as unique as you are and can start with a variety of steps that may look like:
- picking up a book to better help you understand Boundaries in your own life
- subscribing to Podcasts you can listen to on your commute or when the kiddos are down for a nap that cover an area where you need personal strengthening
- unselfishly taking 39 minutes to yourself at the end (or start) of the day when you get to do exactly what will charge your batteries
- taking a break from social media (perhaps for a day, a week, or ideally the whole summer!)
- taking time to understand what fills and what drains your proverbial tank and then get busy doing more filling and less draining
- investing in a relationship you have been neglecting
- creating a budget (as painful as the process may be to start), it will give you a solid foundation of what you are working with and how you spend your money as a family
- starting a gratitude journal and writing down or saying out loud, five things a day that you are thankful for
- Creating time limits of how many minutes (not hours!) a day you will spend on your phone
- or my personal favorite….book a coffee with a counsellor
These are just a handful of ideas to kick start your focus on working your mind out….
In his New York time bestseller, “What the Dog Saw”, Malcolm Gladwell quoted a Yiddish Proverb, “To a worm in horseradish, the whole world is horseradish.” and so it is with life, unless we are able to bring ourselves out of our current situations and see – from an outsider perspective – what we are dealing with, little change will happen, we will always feel like that worm in horseradish. This summer, make it your goal to gain fresh and new perspective. Get out of the horseradish and start living the life you have dreamed of!