First, let me tell you that my life is far from perfect. Do I have it better than some. Sure. I have a home, food, clothes, a car, cell phone, and internet. Yes. But, my life has its issues too. We all do.
If you are looking for some suggestions on how to clean-up or improve your life or just try to figure out how to possibly make things a little better, then here are some of my suggestions. Usually I will just blurt out my trifecta: Diet, Yoga Chiropractor!!! But, I thought, now I would expound on the possibilities a little bit more than that so that someone might benefit from it.
Don’t think that you can just pick up the entire list below and do it all at once. Not going to happen. Look through the list and find one that looks good. Work on that, integrate into your life, and then add another one. As you get going then you may find that making two or more changes may work together, but do not rush it, otherwise setbacks may seem like a negative thing and ending setting you back. Be realistic. Know your limits. Pace yourself.
Take the Time to Take Care of Yourself
You may even have to give yourself permission to do so. Never ever feel guilty about taking care of yourself. No one else can do it for you. No one else will do it for you. Only you can take care of you, so YOU will have to take time out for yourself in order to take care of you.
You cannot help anyone else if you are a complete and total wreck. You can only serve others if you are well. You could even inspire others to do the same by showing that you are trying to take care of yourself too.
If you have kids then you will also be setting a good example for you kids too by showing them that taking care of yourself is something that is important. I have a daughter and I try to show her that.
Taking Care of Your Mind
- Everyone is fucked up in their own little special snowflake way, but everyone IS messed up. You are NOT alone. I am messed up. My wife is messed up. We are all struggling in our own way and we all need support. You are not alone which is something that you need to remember.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help. As an introvert, I know it is difficult, but people cannot help you if they do not know you need help. We all need help sometime.
- Everyday is a new day. Today is NOT yesterday. Today is NOT tomorrow. Do not look to the past. Do not look to the future. Only look to THIS moment now, because NOW is the only moment you have, so make the best of it.
- There is no failure. There are only moments to challenge yourself to grow and learn, and to better yourself. These are all moments to learn from. You will have only failed if you have stopped trying to learn from those growing opportunities. Remember, there is a tomorrow where you can try again, and you will be one step closer to achieving your goals.
- Change takes time. It will not happen this week or next month. It will also NOT be easy. It is going to be hard work, but it will be worth it. Working towards making yourself better is always worth it.
- There is no shame is getting a therapist. My wife and I have gone to one and I am thinking about going back to one. If you are thinking of it then you do need one. Go. Take care of yourself. You are the only one who can.
- Start a meditation and mindfulness practice. Reconnecting to oneself and claiming your inner peace is a great way to start your day and to start taking control of you life. If you are centered then you will find life and the more difficult moments easier. Your yoga studio may be able to help with this too. There are mobile apps for this. Insight Timer is one that my wife and I use on Android.
- Seriously, get enough sleep. Sleep is what is needed for a healthy mind. If you are tired then that is evidence that you mind is suffering. Know your body’s requirement for sleep and try to honor it as well as you can so you can be ready and balanced to face the cruel, cruel world.
- Read a freaking book! Really! Take some time to read. It is good for your mind.
- Learn something new each day.
- Listen to calming or positive music.
- Go out for at least a little social time each week. We are social creatures and we need some socialization to feel good.
Taking Care of Your Body
Fix Your Eating Habits
Fix your diet. Food is healing. If you pollute your body then you are polluting your body and you shall suffer for it emotionally and psychologically! Talk to a doctor and see a dietitian or nutritionist if you can when you start to look at the food you eat and your eating habits. It can be dizzying once you start to really get into it.
Start to read the labels on your food and then get ready to cry. Once you start looking at the labels for the foods that you eat you will never look at your food the same again, which is a good thing. I am NOT kidding when I say this, but when you start this process you will start to see that most foods available in the grocery store are trying to kill you. Let that sink in for a moment.
You will want to eliminate foods with added sugar, high fructose anything, hydrogenated anything, fried anything, flour anything, as well as anything high in sodium/salt. Start by replacing one bad thing with one good thing.
Look for non-gmo and organic food if you can. Lingering pesticides and other chemicals can cause physiological reactions which can be bad for you. You should also wash your fruits and vegetables if you can just to make sure.
The best ways to have food is:
The ways you should absolutely avoid cooking food if you can help it:
- deep fried
If you are not sure about where to start when looking at fixing your diet, then a great place to start is the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) which aims to eliminate all possible foods which could possible cause you physiological problems, especially targeting potential foods which cause an inflammation response. Try that for a few months and then you can gradually phase in the foods your like to see how you react.
Fixing your microbiome can have radical changes to your mental health. Recent research found a correlation to autism and our microbiome. So, start taking a probiotic and a prebiotic to help support this process.
CBD oil is your friend. It may help with anxiety, stress, pain, and many other things. It can also help with sleeping. I have never slept well and it has been life changing for me and my ability to sleep.
There is only NOW to start taking care of yourself.
Right NOW You are in the perfect shape to take charge of your life and to start taking care of yourself.
YOU CANT DO IT!!
YOU WILL DO IT!!
- Movement is life. Get exercise every week – cardio is necessary. Walking is a great start. I have a 2.1 mile walk I try to take a few times each week. Start with whatever works for you.
- Take Yoga a few times a week which will most likely help in some way for all for all of your life issues – physical, mental, emotional. It is one of the most transformative physical practices you can do. Tai Chi or Chi Gung would also be great substitutes.
- DDP yoga is a great power yoga based practice which gives amazing cardio too. The best of both worlds.
- Go to a chiropractor. Chiropractors make sure your nervous spine and nervous system is working well. I love my chiropractor.
Take Care of Your Relationships
Surround yourself with positive and supportive people and cutout the negative people. You have the right to do that. Life is too short to allow toxicity in it. I have had to do it too. Having negative people in your life can drag you down and effect you in powerfully negative ways. Stress can effect you in physically, emotionally, and physiologically. Stress has biopsychosocial effects.
Family is no exception to this rule. It is your life and you do not have to suffer with people just because you are related to them. You DO get to pick your family. Just because someone is related to you by blood does not mean they are your family. Family is not just who you are related too. Family is the people who really care about you and support you when you need it. It is a reciprocal relationship.
Here are 3 things to consider with unhappy romantic relationships especially new ones:
- Unmoderated Expectations
- Romantic Myths
- Negative Emotional Responses
1. Unmoderated Expectations
We all may have unrealistic expectations of our partners based on assumptions and expectations which have not been moderated by what our partner’s actual availability is as well as that powerful and exciting NRE (New Relationship Energy) which has us not thinking clearly.
Every partner we have is going to be different. Clarifying how available a person is and adjusting your expectations based on that availability is important otherwise there will be much pain for both of you. If you expect one thing and they cannot give you that then no one will be happy and that is not a great way to start a relationship.
Talk. Spend time telling each other what each person:
- is capable of giving
- is capable of receiving
- is available for
… and then base your relationship on the realities of your existing real relationship and not the one you have in your head. In a sense, negotiate your relationship parameters so it is all clear to each you, and then your expectations can then be set to your real partner and not your imagination.
If you partner cannot be available to give you what you need then you may need to find a different partner or and to find another partner which can fulfill your needs in that area. There is no harm in saying no to a relationship for now that cannot make you happy. Perhaps, when life circumstances are better for either of you then a relationship which might make you both happy might be possible. Forcing it will NEVER work. Allow it to happen when it can and not when you want it to otherwise only pain will follow.
Saying no to a relationship or ending an existing relationship that is not making you happy does not make your relationship a failure. Almost all relationships will end at one time or another. What will make them failure is when you fail to communicate. Ending a relationship that has run its course or that cannot work is what needs to be done for both of you to be happy. It is the mature and responsible thing to do. Prolonging suffering is not a good relationship modality.
To sum it up:
- Good communication
- Correct expectations
- End the relationship when neither can be happy.
2. Romantic Myth
Perhaps, another potential reason for some severe relationship anxiety that people might feel may be because of the horrors of monogamy that can have us have believe that all of our happiness depends on another person. That horrific and most harmful romantic myth that finding that one magical person in all of the world will make us happy. That – you completely me – thing. That idea that we need someone else to make us happy or to complete us. Or that idea of a one true love. If we let this one go then we may never find love again. It is not a real thing. It one of the most powerful societal lies that destroys people and relationships.
This harmful myth puts an incredible amount of pressure on you and your partner for everything has to be perfect otherwise your relationship is a failure. This is insanity for all relationships are work. Anyone who says otherwise is lying or selling you something.
Only you can make you happy. Those other special people that you allow into your life are there only to bring joy to your life in specific ways that complement your own self cultivated happiness.
3. Negative Emotional Responses
I wrote an article on my blog on managing jealousy which is not the subject of this section, but the steps there may be useful to those of you who are dealing with some negative emotions in relationships:
- identify the trigger of the negative emotion or response
- identify and clarify you emotional response
- identify and clarify the reasons for that response
Once you know the reason for your emotional response, it can be easier to deal with it, although that can still be a difficult thing to ascertain, but such internal work can be powerful and enlightening for you and your partners.