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Sanity Breaks: Part 2

2 Dec

imageA while ago I created a post about the importance of taking what I affectionately call “Sanity Breaks.” I went on to talk about how magically delicious they were and how important it was to fit them into ones life. Like most people, I forgot to take my own advice. LOL : ]). As time went on, I got away from my healthy routine and fell into a super stressed, super anxious state. Everything was overwhelming … work, classes, my personal life. While I began not long ago to take steps to remedy these concerns, I also got the itch to “escape” … to just get away and disappear from the world with no distractions or responsibilities. Sometimes this is easier said than done. With the prompting of a close friend and a few coins I’d been saving up, I randomly booked a flight to the U.S Virgin Islands. I told a few family members and friends, then, just as suddenly, I left crazy Manhattan life and a sudden 20 degree cold weather snap behind.

As impromptu as this trip was, it was exactly what the faux doctor in my mind ordered. I went only for the weekend, but pulling the escape hatch on life was just what I needed. I went with no plans, expectations, to do list, morning alarms, or schedules. I just soaked up to some sun, ate delicious “home foods,” woke up according to my internal body clock, caught up with family from the island (St. Thomas), then on my last day, sat on the beach with my notebook and reflected. I was living a completely un-regimented life; the free-spirited hippie that lives inside me was overjoyed; she’d been stuffed away for a time. At the end of those four days, I felt amazing. It was in one of those moments of reflection that I had my lightbulb epiphany moment and realized, I had just taken the most epic “sanity break” ever! Not only did I get a change of scenery (and the chance to take the great photos included in this post), but I also got a chance to recoup, collect myself, and just recalibrate my mental / emotional state … It felt awesome. In the end, I rekindled my desire to start traveling while finding this long elusive sense of peace that’s been missing for quite a while now. This whole trip reminded me once again, how self-care and mental health check-ins are key to healthy living. The body can’t function on daily tasks if the mental core is frazzled. My take home lesson? Listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs and if it’s calling for a break … Don’t wait for things to fall apart before you act.

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“The Notebook” .. Because Let’s Face it … We All Need to Vent!

28 Apr

I have trust issues. I readily admit that. In the sphere of my life, of the tons of people I know as acquaintances, I have very few that I open up to fully. I’m like a labyrinth of emotional gates, each person with their own respective levels of access to my core, my feelings, my heart. I feel-out and analyze every person with which I may have to have repeated encounters. Quick snapshots of conversations, the way someone carries themselves, pointed observations on the way that person engages others, contradictions, etc .. all factors which I deem pertinent in deciding how open I choose to be. Most people (save for family and childhood friends) don’t make it past the friendly superficial, knowing little about me beyond inconsequential things like my favorite snack or the environmental dynamic (work, school, the supermarket, and so on) in which we engage. Summary? YES, I’m guarded … very, lol! I have a soft / trusting heart and I hate being vulnerable with people who don’t’ deserve it I’m unsure of. Besides, who likes having their feelings hurt? Hence the walls, either you’re in or you’re out. Everyone has their “thing” in relationships, both personal and social. This just happens to be mine.  And like many others, as you’ve probably guessed, it’s rooted from some deep seeded event(s) of my childhood, events that I won’t go into here, but were poignant enough that they played a part in the kind of adult I am today. So … what’s a person to do if they, like me, are leery of most people initially? How do you vent, process emotions, or find a sounding board when, the circle of people you trust enough to let your guard down with happens to be so small? What if you hate burdening loved ones, especially if the situation is particularly stressful?  Cue, the notebook.

Last summer, I came upon an empty, small, brown notebook at work. Being the dork that I am, I thought it would be a cute place to record fun, new summer adventures in the city. A nice little addition to the growing time capsule I keep at my mother’s house. Very soon however, it developed into something more. After a recent emotional setback, it became the place where I shared my anger, disappointments, fears, realizations, and thoughts. A vent book. It became a private place where I could pour out the entirety of my feelings without hesitation or reservations. No tapering or sugar-coating of the wording. No half-truths.  No biased opinions from others. No judgments. This notebook was 100% from my heart and allowed me to say all of the things I wanted regarding this issue, while also helping me face and process some hard realizations about myself and others in a brutally honest way. The peace I felt after each entry was amazing; my mind clear from the overwhelming and sometimes confusing journey of trying to “figure it out.” The puzzle pieces slowly clicked together. I had my answers. True catharsis in action. Take away lesson? Everyone needs a safe place to vent, particularly the sad moments in our lives. Whether it be confiding in a parent, friend, therapist, or even a notebook … please be sure you have a healthy avenue to release. No good ever comes from bottling up your emotions. Moving forward mentally becomes increasingly difficult if you remain mired in stressful, circulatory thinking. Find your positive outlet. Then? Let it go at a rate that feels good to you.

Today, the contents of my notebook have transformed once again. From hurt and disappointment, the pages have returned to its original purpose and is filled with exciting plans for the future, recent discoveries, personal musings, new goals, and thoughts of self-exploration. Personally, I feel my notebook works so well, because it’s written as an unedited thought stream. To heck, with punctuation and grammatical rules. I write it down immediately as I feel / think it. No revisions or rewording. It is 100% raw emotion of the moment. I haven’t gone back to re-read any of my entries yet. I’m still choosing to keep it as a time capsule of sorts. Someday perhaps, years from now, I’ll take a look back … and laugh possibly at how crucial / monumental everything seem to be at that time .. LOL .. Perspective, it can be such a funny thing : ]

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The Ghost of Perfection …

18 Mar

“There comes a point where, for your own well-being, you have to realize that you won’t be perfect today .. and honestly be OK with that” ~ by Angela Barimah

For the days when I take myself way to seriously …