Although the zeal of new year’s resolve has probably waned for most as we leave January behind, I wanted to share a more sustainable resolution with you today.
While I refer to this idea as a wellness plan of sorts, it truly has become a way of life for me. It’s what I like to call the bullsh*t detox.
Before I elaborate on this so-called detox, let me preface by saying that I am no life-coach, guru or mental health expert and I definitely haven’t figured “it” all out just yet. I am simply a work-from-home mother of two (more specifically, a hot-mess mother of two who feeds her family GMO products, mutters WTF on a daily basis and may or may not occasionally indulge in a cocktail before noon ).
I have dealt with anxiety and depression most of my adult life and by trial and error, have discovered many coping mechanisms. So far, this cleanse has most effectively guided me to the path of happiness and mental stability. While I know the ultimate goal is to reach such a high vibration as to become completely unf*ckwithable, I would like to believe this detox is a decent starting point.
Given I am a millennial , many of my more mature peers may take this piece as a simple regurgitation of common knowledge. Nevertheless, I hope this will, at the very least, be a useful reminder to those reading.
The Detox Premise
The premise of this detox is primarily driven by intent and the constant evaluation, or keen tuning, of one’s mood and emotion particularly as it relates to non-essential, leisurely pursuits and activities.
So, how does one approach this cleanse? Begin by asking yourself these two vital questions……
How are you utilizing your spare time?
How do these activities make you feel?
In our fast-paced, over-stimulating society, spare time is a hard commodity to come by. But when you do have free time (even ten minutes), are you filling it with activities that nurture your soul and boost your mood? Or, are you using such valuable moments to mindlessly engage with bullsh*t?
Define What Bullsh*t is to You
Because our universe is so beautifully diverse, “bullsh*t” can mean many things to many people. In simplified terms, my idea of “bullsh*t” is any non-essential activity that evokes a negative mood or emotion. Regardless, the goal is to gradually eliminate these counterproductive episodes from your life experience- life is simply too freaking short and precious to waste it being miserable.
Within 31 years of life, I have identified a few culprits that I would like to bring to your attention. And because we are all so deliciously unique, I realize that while these pursuits trigger negative emotions for me, this may not be the case for you.
I am not claiming any of the following diversions, or anyone who engages in them, to be wrong or unenlightened. I simply know that in a hectic and uncertain world, it is easy to get caught up in the comforting familiarity of habit and routine…even when these habits are self-destructive.
Given the origins of our Puritanical society, I have personally discovered it almost inherent to pride oneself in masochistic tendencies where negative emotions (especially feelings of guilt and self-loathing) are the accepted norm in one’s self-dialogue. In expressing my revelations with you, I hope to encourage a more intentional and joyful approach to life.
By eliminating the majority of negative distractions in my life, not only have I become a happier, more appreciative person. I have become more connected to the true essence of who I am and what I want.
So here are some of my main triggers….
In a television era inundated with lifestyles of the rich and famous, is it any wonder many of us feel our lives will never be enough?
Let me be clear; I am totally not above flipping through cable television only to be lured in by the eye candy that is The Kardashians or Real Housewives. In small doses, this sort of entertainment can be a nice break from the sometimes boring , not-so-glamorous life of a middle-class mother. As I was elbows-deep in sh*t diapers one day, however, it occurred to me that I was beginning to resent what I began to deem as a ho-hum, thankless existence. With no nanny, no full-time makeup artist or personal entourage of stylists, personal trainers and chefs, I was somehow feeling that my life didn’t measure up.
Then in the fall of 2016 , fed-up with the political circus of the presidential election, my husband and I decided to cancel our cable television subscription. As an unintended result, I no longer had access to networks like E! or Bravo and therefore could no longer spend lazy Sundays in bed vegging out on some of my favorite reality shows. I will admit that I did miss the luxury of cable television for about a month or so, but I quickly found much better ways to spend my time. Not only did my productivity increase, but I began devoting more time to hobbies, Yoga, meditation, and books. Most importantly, I became much more appreciative of things I had previously taken for granted.
The Fitspo Industry-
Much to my disappointment, admiring fitness models with chiseled abs every spare moment of the day will not give you, the observer, chiseled abs. In fact, it might even make you feel like a fat cow and possibly ignite body dysmorphic disorder as I can conclude from first-hand experience.
Don’t get me wrong; I am a dedicated gym-goer who gets a high off of feeling healthy and strong. In fact, for a brief moment in time, I actually dabbled in the fitspo sector myself. That is…until I realized all of the unhealthy regimens I had to endure to have washboard abs myself. As a result, I developed an obsession that was far from the ultimate health I was trying to achieve.
So how did I nurse my body and my self-image back to health? I stopped following most fitspo media outlets and began listening to my body. While I still occasionally peruse the web for new workout routines, I don’t inundate my daily life with unattainable imagery and I sure as hell don’t participate in any oppressive fitness or diet plans (which I found to be completely counter-productive to my health goals).
24 Hour News Channels-
While it’s never a bad idea to have a vague idea of what is going on in the world, there is no need to listen to the same fear-inducing story for hours on end.
With good intentions of staying up-to-speed with politics and world news, I used to keep my television tuned to 24- hour- news channels while going about my daily chores……not such a good idea for someone with anxiety issues.
Slowly but surely, I began to feel the weight of the world’s problems on my shoulders. Every passing day began to feel apocalyptic for me , and I began to fear for the future of my children- essentially paralyzed in my ability to parent with any sort of joy or hope.
Then, during the soap opera that was the presidential election of 2016, my husband and I decided to cancel our cable television. I really believe it was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Now, I get my news in a brief, one-hour format from our public broadcasting station – no more wallowing in fear and political divisiveness.
Given Facebook launched my Freshman year of college, I have spent my entire adult life with social media and after thirteen years, I am quite over it all. At best, social media has been a way to network with other bloggers and industry-related professionals ( this is exactly why I don’t delete my account). For the most part however, it provokes political contention, social drama and a never-ending “my life is better than yours” contest….no thanks!
While I now know , from a personal perspective, to use social media very sparingly; as an entrepreneur and marketing professional, I understand the potential monetary value of platforms like Facebook and Instagram. So in a futile effort to gain more followers for my business accounts, I trudged through my hatred of social media and “played the game” so to speak. That is…until it all became too soul-sucking for me to bear.
No matter how beautiful my photos, relevant my hashtags or clever my captions, I couldn’t seem to gain any decent traction. It seemed with each follower I gained I lost ten, and I began to take it personally. Somehow, I became delusional enough to believe that my follower count defined not only my success as a blogger , but also as a human being (pretty effing bonkers).
Then over the holidays , I gifted myself a break from all professional, social media endeavors, and let me just tell you… it felt absolutely incredible. It’s like a giant burden was lifted from my chest.
I felt so much more connected to my children, engaged with the world around me and I even began to feel more inspired. Even better? Abstaining from Instagram had no impact on my earnings, because the majority of my business comes from search engines anyhow. Lesson learned: there are many different ways to achieve success as an online entrepreneur which don’t require making yourself miserable….pick what works best for you.
Ultimately, I think the most important takeaway from all of my incessant rambling is this: stop spending so much time focusing on what others are doing and live your truth.Stay closely in tune with your emotions and use them as a source of guidance.
Are you spending your free time engaged in diversions that make you feel depressed, unworthy, guilty or anxious? Just effing stop the madness! Imagine what a better place this world would be if more of its inhabitants were truly happy.
Now get out there and design some good vibes….make the world a happier place.