Pretty much for as long as I can remember, I have always been a person who worries. Stress and overthinking just come naturally to my brain, no matter what I come up with to prevent it. As we begin a new year, I begin it with the usual resolve to be a better human. Practice kindness, work on my anger and reactivity, eat healthy, work out more, drink less and so on. Not giving in to stressors has been on my list of New Year’s resolutions for the last 10 years give or take. And yet, its still on there because, guess what….I haven’t mastered it yet. In fact you could say that as I have gotten older, it’s gotten even worse. The last two nights my mind was racing so badly that I was awake until 5am and 3:30am. Sleepless and cranky, I just could not turn off my thoughts. All of the negatives that I have to fix or deal with, or negative situations I have been in during the past year just would not leave my mind. To be perfectly honest, in some ways I can’t blame myself. The last year was unlike any other. We are in a global pandemic, things that never seemed as if they could become reality were suddenly our daily lives. I constantly worry about my health and the health and safety of my loved ones because of the virus. I have undergone changes in my personal life. 2020 has been a year of evolution for me, one that is both fascinating and tumultuous all at the same time.
In the aftermath of my sleepless night, I am looking at the positives. I have a wonderful support system of family and friends. I’ve undertaken a journey into fitness, completing daily workouts and healthier eating habits while learning to love my body the way it is. I have learned how to be comfortable being alone with myself, and focusing my energy into productive things, like writing, cooking, exercise, and organization. Although I absolutely love to be social, see my friends and go out, I’ve embraced the solitude that quarantine has brought. While I cannot say that I’ve mastered the art of not overthinking, I can say that I have slowly but surely been taking a new approach to problems or negativity that come my way. At the very least, I’m trying. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I do a workout. I read a new book, or try a new recipe. I clean something or reorganize, undertaking a small project around the house. I find that utilizing crystals, and having flowers and plants in my home brings me peace. I snuggle my cat, or play with her. I’m learning how to redirect my worry into things that bring me joy. While I still sometimes get caught up in negative thoughts, overthinking, and stress this small progress means a lot to me.
What are some of your favorite stress relievers? What have you learned about yourself in the last year, and what positives have come out of 2020 for you? I would love to hear!