In Fear of Losing My Mind

It’s that time of the year, folks. The most wonderful, busy, hectic time of the year.

And I would hate to quote Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in my first blog post, but!:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

You like that? Well, c‘est vrai! (As my French teacher says! Sorry, it’s engrained in my head now.)
Translation: it’s true!

My point is: it’s easy to spread yourself thin throughout the holiday season. Or, if you’re like me, life in general. Whether it’s work, school, relationships, parenting, finances, commuting, becoming Beyoncé–THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD GETS HEAVY, MAN.

I know we are all #blessed, but we don’t necessarily have the means to book a trip to Fiji every time our necks start to get tight! So, here are 5 real things that help me “find my center” amongst life’s physical and emotional demands and most importantly, help me to feel more present in the moment.

1. Hit the Bottle
And I mean hard. There’s nothing like a couple shots of Fireball to warm you up and nothing like being blackout drunk to help you forget your problems–HA. I’m kidding! Sorry. Let the real list begin!

1. Breathe

Don’t move past this one like it’s irrelevant because we all breathe innately! It works.

The next time you have that deep feeling of irritation (you know, the one that is centralized in the [weirdly] hot, fire-y area of your body that suddenly exists between your stomach and your chest? No? You’ve never experienced that? Alright, just leave.) try taking a deep breath in through your nose, holding for 5 to 10 seconds, and then releasing. Now rinse and repeat. Minus the rinsing.

If you deal with a lot of ignorant people on a daily basis–this may benefit you tremendously. I worked in a restaurant for 8 years, alright? 

When you focus on your breathing, you focus on yourself. As the oxygen flows through you, you allow negative energy to flow out. Things don’t feel as overwhelming as they did a minute ago and the fire-y pit is starting to subside.

You know what, try it now. Even if you’re not particularly stressed. When’s the last time you took some time out of your day to just breathe?

Are you doing it? I can’t see you, so I don’t know. Here, I’ll stop typing and give you a designated spot to take 3 deep breaths–alright, slowly, now, go:

[insert breathing time]

2. Where the Endorphins at?

As Elle Woods once said:

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.

Endorphins do make you happy! When I’m stressed, irritated, and feeling unmotivated–working up a sweat and getting my heart pumping takes it all away. It’s science, guys!

I recognize that working out when you are tired isn’t always the best solution, but I also recognize that it works! Even when you least expect it. A few successful trial runs of this and I am now a workout addict.

Many are interested in anything that can serve as motivation to get “fit”–so the next time you’re feeling down, remember this as an option and go ahead and kill those two birdies with one stone, as they say.

Go outside and take a walk. Feel your feet hitting the ground! What else do you notice around you? Utilize your 5 senses! What’s the world looking like today?

Go play a sport! That’s fun, right? Maybe not for you. But luckily team related, grunt work isn’t the only cardio out there!

My favorite is getting in the gym and hittin’ da weights. I do a variation of work outs so things don’t get redundant and time flies. As well as endorphins! Works every time!

My last note on this, exercise is a good excuse for me to put down my phone and separate my mind from my technology. I love putting my phone in my locker and hopping on over to the stretching area, knowing I shall answer to no-one until it’s all over. (I say hopping because by this point I have had my pre-workout.)

3. Cannabis

Haha! I’m kidding, again! Because that is illegal here.

But for those of you living in areas where the use of this substance is condoned, I have heard its benefits are sensationally beneficial. Rumors of these benefits include: uncoiling of the mind, elevation of thought, expansion of outlook, and– making you giggle. 

4. Let the Lights Dim Some

Light a candle. Turn some music on. Set the mood! Whatever that means to you!

Give yourself some time to be alone with your thoughts and organize what you’ve got going on up there.

Write. Draw. Read.

Think of your brain as one, big, filing cabinet. Each folder is a category of thought and each piece of paper is the thought itself. Some folders are bigger than others because you’ve been focusing on that category more lately and the papers have built up. Files need to be sorted, people!

If you’re feeling like your thoughts are clustered, this is a good one for you. When I take the time to visually go through my “mental filing cabinet,” I can see what’s been on my mind the most lately. This form of meditation helps me pinpoint where my stresses and worries are coming from and consequently, helps me decide if I need to do some DELETING.

5. What’s in Front of You?

I get so caught up in my thoughts, I go hours and days before I “snap out of it.”

You can’t control everything, right? But you can control yourself. A simple yet relieving concept once grasped.

If none of the above appeal to you, try reminding yourself to just be present in the moment.

If you’re thinking about what your boyfriend or your girlfriend or your ex might be doing and what they last said to you, if you’re worried that you’re running behind and maybe you’re thinking about what you could be doing instead of what you are doing right now–just stop.

Stare at your hands! Stare at the lines in your skin! Stare in the eyes of the person you love and watch as they blink! (Is that weird?) Pick something and notice its details! Stare at the glass next to you and hope that there’s whiskey in it! What I’m saying is pick something that is physically, right in front of you and just look at it for a couple seconds, damnit! Now snap out of it! You’re present!

Be here and realize that your life is moment to moment and that your future is built off of these moments. You are an individual and you are here right now. Like I said, utilize all five of your senses! Interact with what’s in front of you now rather than what lies ahead or behind.

Life does move fast, Ferris. Let’s not get caught up and miss it!

____________________________________________________

Alright, it’s three in the morning, do I want coffee or no? I know there’s a bag of these dark chocolate pumpkin seed bars sitting in the cabinet…

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Natalie Szczechowski

An Integrated Studies Major at the University of North Texas, I'm a fashion and entertainment blogger with dreams of working in comedy. I created a show for UNT that is filmed in the style of The Office and Parks and Recreation. I wrote for, produced, directed, and hosted the school's late night entertainment show: Late Night at North Texas. I have acted in several short films and written one which I then adapted into a short story, "I Am Mortal." I am a freelance photographer and am lucky enough to be the Director of Business Development at Visible Agency, as well as work for my Mom's business, Tashi Brow and Skin Studio. My biggest flaw is that I spend money like I have it. But hey, things are always looking up!

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