As a therapist, I am constantly coming up with gems on how people can change their mood by shifting their thoughts. Yet, I RARELY TAKE MY OWN ADVICE.
Realizing this, my first thought was: “does this make me a hypocrite?!”
As I peeled back the layers, however, I realized that this happens because I’m often thinking of others and their needs, instead of my own.
Training as a therapist has helped me become a better listener and lend myself to others, but sometimes it’s not exactly easy to switch this mode off in my personal life.
And so, the other day, my neglected needs hit me like a truck.
As soon as I woke up, I was depleted, my energy was low, and I was irritable. Being in that mental state had me filtering everything through a negative lens.
I looked at my day and KNEW it as going to be AWFUL- my optimistic soul was crushed by this. In a couple of minutes of being awake I had managed to sell myself into the story, and was ready to drag myself through the rest of the day.
I took a couple of deep breaths and remembered that I DO have the tools to change this. I made a decision to have a good day instead. It took some time to convince myself to get into action, but I did it one step at a time…
“Hey Google, play something happy,'' I shouted from my bed.
I allowed the music to fill my apartment and eventually, me.
As I started to make some movement to the beat of the music, my next step was lighting my favorite seasonal candle- white pumpkin. I took a deep breath in to inhale the sweet scent that filled the air. I could feel myself calming down.
I put on my athleisure (super cute workout clothes) and was ready to get productive! I may not have been feeling my best that day, but I was already starting to take on a different attitude. These decisions were minor, but important enough to help make some changes in what I had previously predicted was going to be an awful day.
I tidied up my apartment, did my laundry, and got rid of the clutter that was adding to my anxiety.
I brewed my favorite cup of coffee and started to dance to the happy tunes that surrounded me.
Before I knew it, I was on my way to a day that now had a different tone to it, and it was all because of a few simple steps.
No big spa day. No money spent.
I just listened to my body and what it was craving. A moment to gather my thoughts, center myself, and give my soul some much needed TLC.
Dr. Claudia Caprio
Be Kind to the Mind