Happy Sunday ya’ll! Looks like I’m finally getting into this whole lifestyle blog. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while so it feels nice to give people advice and share my life with you guys.
Anyways, today’s post is on the topic of mindfulness. More specifically mindfulness practices for stress. This is something my past self would have loved to have. Like I’m not even kidding you, she would have been eternally grateful for it. I am someone who had to learn the hard way in dealing with stress. I went to a cut-throat high school, so academics were intense. And it made me an intense person. I thought that a social life and my other aspirations were not possible. Seriously I remember being in middle school and thinking to myself, “WTF is a social life?” I literally cut people off and spent all my time in school. It was sad.
Overtime I developed a list of daily practices that continue to do me service. Some of these tend to be more often than others but it depends on the situation. I didn't include meditation because that's an automatic piece of advice I give to everyone and I wanted to find other ways as well. That's not to say meditation isn't useful. If anything it adds to any of these practices. So without further ado here you go.
I can’t tell you how much this simple technique has helped me in life. As a creative, you’re taught the power of breathing. It keeps your nerves down and you find your inner power. I’ve had many situations where I’ve used this because I can build a lot of anxiety around performances and school. I am reminded that everything’s okay. That it’s all in my head.
2. Positive Affirmations
This might sound cheesy and totally weird but it’s helpful. For those who don’t know what a positive affirmation is it’s a series of statements to affirm your beliefs. Hence affirmations. For example, if I want to decrease my self-doubt and fear about a particular goal I would say or think to myself “I deserve happiness and peace in my life.” It helps the brain from thinking too much and focus on taking action. We live in a world where people believe that the impossible is not possible. The truth is that one creates their reality. Their perception of the world is their perspective.
Now when I say exercise, I don’t mean killing yourself with cardio. I mean doing some type of movement that you enjoy. For example, I love to run, dance, lift weights and do yoga. It stimulates my brain and allows me to enjoy the present moment. Our culture makes us think that we must work out seven days a week and kill ourselves doing insane workouts. When really it’s about eating plant based and allowing positivity into your life. Otherwise all those workouts will go to waste.
It also helps me develop project ideas. As I run, I see images run through my head of possible theater productions or combinations I could do. I might sound insane for writing this part but it's true.
4. Recognize You’re Doing Your Best
This is a realization I came to a few weeks ago. I can get really into a project that I forget I have a life and friends. I want everything to go well and throw everything I have into it. In other words, I become a perfectionist. This definitely happens with my workout and school routines. I want things to go a certain way. Otherwise I feel like I’m slipping on thin ice.
Hence know that you are doing the best you can that day. You don’t have to be an overachiever. Just do the thing you set out to do with intention.
5. Getting Enough Sleep
I know what ya’ll are thinking: “Geneva…what are you asking of me?” Well I’m telling you because it helps. Also it’s important. The way to minimize stress is to manage your time well.
The best way I do this is to nap if I don’t get enough sleep the night before. I also make sure to set up my day so that I am not staying up doing work late at night. This is something I’ve started to do as I was desperate to decrease school and family stresses. For me, that means not using technology, saying positive affirmations [yes the affirmation thing came back again], and putting my faith in the universe’s hands.
6. Let Go
This is something I’ve alluded to before but it’s important. This means letting go of things that aren’t in your control. That not everything has to be perfect. This year I realized that I needed to let go of past resentments. It was building my current stresses and not making me feel like a great person. Don’t get me wrong it was, and still can be, painful. But as people we want to feel free not stuck in a mindset that isn’t serving us.
I’ve been working on this for a few weeks now and it’s been doing me wonders. I’ll make sure to write a post on this later.
With all these being said, know that there will be times you’ll slip up. The point is that you get back and up and start again. That failure’s a learning curve. I hope ya’ll have a wonderful night/day wherever you are. Namaste.