There are a number of symptoms I associate with modern living…
tendency to doom-scroll Netflixing many hours of British Baking Show the desire to make extensive lists of chores and then crossing items off the desire to own a bullet journal desire to organize the pantry and label every item within filling many online carts with expensive goods or clothes that might make life more comfortable. descending into the never-ending streams of social feeds
All of these cravings are simply different ways to try to tackle that chaos of anxiety and overwhelm. The problem with them is that they only make you feel better in the short term and some of them make you feel worse both now and later.
On one hand it is tempting to treat the anxiety of living a modern life by zoning out. Dissolving into the couch for hours of thoughtless entertainment and throw blanket snuggles doesn’t sound so bad. And there are certainly times that we need that rest.
Unfortunately, excessive media can bombard us with click-bait, emotional, judgy headlines, and unrealistic body images.
The other tempting coping strategy is to organizing the hell out of our life in an attempt to control everything. It can be satisfying to carve out a portion of your home to beautifully label and contain the chaos. But it won’t solve your problems of overwhelm either.
Ground and Reconnect to Yourself
I want to offer you some other methods to ground yourself and start a process of truly recharging vs coping.
- Spend time alone. You need time to yourself to reacquaint yourself with what it is you desire in life. Without this, the needs of others drown out what our needs are and our intuitive wisdom has no outlet. This time should be for meditating, journaling, and reflection and should not be filled with more media (even offline media)! I try to spend about an hour a day doing this, but at minimum aim for 15 minutes of meditation in the morning.
- Make a personal prescription list of things that calm you down and bring you back to yourself. The idea is to start off with small easy things and work your way up to commitments you can make and keep for yourself that are larger.
My mental health prescription for times when I am stressed or triggered includes:
- Drink a cup of tea
- Go for a walk
- Take a bath
- Ask hubby to take on more chores than usual so I can rest
- Burn a candle or some fragrance in the diffuser
- Have coffee with a friend
- Vent on phone to sister
- Shop at the fancy grocery store
- Pamper myself with pastries
Now that I am a second-degree self care artist my list has expanded:
- Personal rituals
- Time at my ancestor altar
- Working on my family genealogy
- Tennis matches
- Solo hikes
- CBD (10% off with code MANDY21, affiliate link)
- Baking family recipes or complicated bread
- Acts of kindness for others – volunteering
- Identifying birds with the bird app
- Dreaming and visioning about my future
It takes commitment to move yourself from surviving to thriving. Each small step brings you closer back to yourself. My women’s circles and individual coaching can help you if you feel stuck and don’t know how to get balance. If you prefer to study on your own here are some books which I have found extremely helpful. Note that these are affiliate links to BetterWorldBooks.com, where I personally shop because they donate one book for each one you buy. If you buy through these links you will support my blog.
- The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance. This book taught me how to identify my triggers and create support plans for myself, as well as different approaches to emotional management and mindfulness.
- Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. [Internet Archive Edition] This weighty but substantial book contains stories and myths which tell lessons about how women and reclaim their wild selves and break free of societal expectations and entrapment.
- Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. [Internet Archive Edition] Classic book explaining how to recover from codependency and start being responsible for your own happiness.
- Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day by Anne Katherine. Finding time for yourself requires that you set boundaries with others, and it gets easier with practice.
- Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much by Anne Schaef. [Internet Archive] Sometimes it’s more feasible to read books with a little snippet of thought for each day. For those times this one and the one by Melody Beattie should be considered.