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Mental Health Check: Quarantine Edition

I’ve been trying to write this blog post for about a week now. Every time I get something down I end up deleting it. This one was the lucky one.

The topic of the day: overcoming your biggest obstacle — your mind.

With the whole pandemic going on, people have started picking up new hobbies, baking/ cooking new food, writing books, and creating their own business. It’s been very exciting for some and then stressful for others who aren’t doing any of those things.

I’m in the middle of the spectrum. I’m trying to keep my little writing business going by creating new content, opening an online store, and marketing my two books. But, I’m also stressed out because I haven’t been working on my WIP and other personal challenges I’ve been facing as of late.

I’ve been trying to work on this thing called “getting out of my head,” and it’s a bit of a learning curve. I thought with all the self-help books, memoirs, and actually attending a few therapy sessions that I’d be doing okay. But I’ve been hitting a roadblock lately and seeing a ton of people succeeding is not something I need to see right now.

So how can one overcome this overwhelming feeling that they’re a failure?

Set goals

Create certain goals for yourself. What do you want to accomplish in a day, a week, a month, or two months from now? What can you do to accomplish that goal?

I did this in my planner. I made a whole map and plan for my monthly goals. It’s funny because I got my planner back in February. I was doing a really good job setting goals and meeting them, then the pandemic hit and now I’m not using my planner and not setting goals.

I know that’s what is missing right now and I’m going to start working on that — starting tomorrow.

Create realistic expectations

You’ve made your goals now set a realistic timeline and also envision a realistic outcome. Will I actually be running a 5K by the end of this year? No! But will I easily run a mile without losing my breath? Maybe.

Setting a realistic expectation of your goals will help you feel less discouraged and disappointed by the results. This is a thing I’m currently working on in my personal life. I’m not saying this is easy to do. For some of you, you’re already doing that. For others, it takes practice.

One step at a time. We’ll make it to the 5k eventually.

Note: It’s okay to not do anything!

I mean… we’re in the middle of a PANDEMIC. If you don’t pick up a new hobby, create a new business, make a sourdough bread — you’re doing just fine! You don’t need to be doing all these things because everyone else is. I’m certainly NOT baking sourdough bread because I know I’ll completely fail at that experiment.

There’s a reason why I don’t have freshly baked cookies and cakes all the time.

But in all seriousness, if your goal is to do nothing but keep yourself alive, then you’re doing a hell of a job and be proud of yourself. 🙂

Celebrate your wins – no matter how small.

I feel like I forget to do this all the time and it’s about time to change! I think celebrating little milestones along the way to your goal is a great idea. You may be thinking there’s still a long way to go to reach the finish line, but you should also step back and acknowledge all that you’ve done to get where you are.

Acknowledge your feelings/thoughts

This is something I learned in therapy. The gist of it is basically recognizing what you’re feeling and what’s making you feel that way. Then rationalizing why your feeling that way. And then either just accepting that feeling and letting yourself feel that way for a little bit before moving on or finding a solution to make that feeling go away.

Basically, my therapist put it like this: when you’re a kid and you’re asking your parents to look at something you did, do you want to be yelled at and pushed to the side? No! You want to be acknowledged and understood. So… acknowledge your inner child — your thoughts.

Reach out to someone

Lastly, this is important. If you need help in any way, reach out!! Don’t wait until it’s been built up so much inside you that you burst. Take it from someone that has had two breakdowns in a single year alone. It’s not fun!

Lately, I’ve been doing this thing with my husband where I tell him that I’m too much in my head and we’ll talk about what’s getting me in my head. It helps a little. Of course, I have to do so much more than just talk but at least it gets it out in the universe and out of my head.

I still feel like crying, but at least I know if I do it’s not because I let it build up inside me.

Anyway, I hope all this helps you as it’s been helping me (little by little). Don’t feel like you need to do this in one day or one week. I’m still working on this myself.

Please do your best to take care of yourself. Don’t touch your face, wash your hands, and stay healthy.

Thanks for reading!

-Emi

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