Tag Archives: Family

Spring Self Care Ideas

Hello friends!

I made something for you – with spring coming up soon and everyone in a panic over this COVID-19 virus spreading – here are a few things you can do for self care. I hope you enjoy!

Self Care Ideas

Misconceptions About Borderline Personality Disorder – Payton via In The Flux

Borderline Personality Disorder is probably one of the most stigmatized yet underrepresented mental illnesses out there. What people know about BPD, if anything, is often times cherry-picked and wrapped in Hollywood style dramatics.

This exaggerated idea of us even finds its way into the mental health system. Many mental health professionals don’t want to work with us, believing we are too hard to treat or just don’t have experience with Personality Disorders.

Which leads me into the first misconception…

1) It’s impossible to treat us

This stereotype often found in the mental health community is definitely not true. DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), one of the most successful therapies used for treating people with BPD, was created in the 1980s by a psychologist named Marsha Linehan, who also had BPD herself. And this has been the preferred treatment for BPD ever since.

In addition, there have been several studies done that show BPD can get better with age. I personally can’t attest to this, as I am 21, but only time will tell.

  • BPD is only found in Women

Although 75% of people diagnosed with this disorder are women, there have been reports that indicate that there may be more men with BPD than expected. Many of them possibly being misdiagnosed with something else such as Bipolar Disorder or PTSD.

  • We don’t feel empathy

Having low empathy is not one of the following nine symptoms of BPD:

  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by extremes between idealization and devaluation
  3. Identity disturbance: Markedly or persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
  4. Impulsive behavior in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging
  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-harming behavior
  6. Emotional instability in reaction to day-to-day events
  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness
  8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger
  9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

Although, some may see these symptoms and equate that to having low or no empathy. People with BPD are often thought of as having ‘3rd degree burns over 90% of our bodies’, as coined by Marsha Linehan. Meaning we feel everything. Everything we do and feel is in extremes, which can include empathy.

  • Everyone with BPD is the same

There are nine symptoms and out of those nine you need at least five to be diagnosed. So, there are countless combinations of traits one could have. So someone with BPD can have completely different symptoms compared to someone else who also shares the same diagnosis.

Plus, we’re still human. We all experience things in different ways. This disorder is also on a spectrum. So, someone might experience all nine symptoms to a severe degree, compared to someone who might only experience five at a lesser degree.

  • Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder are the same thing

I can see how these often get conflated. Firstly, BPD is a personality disorder and Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder, but they do share some similar symptoms. For example both disorders experience mood swings, albeit in a different way.

Often times, when people use the word ‘Bipolar’ flippantly, (think ‘Oh she’s so Bipolar’), the mood swings that they’re talking about are more in-line with someone who has BPD. We experience mood swings several times throughout the day, everyday. Some can last just a few minutes, to a few hours, or sometimes a few days.

As with Bipolar Disorder, I don’t have personal experience with this, so I don’t feel comfortable speaking on it, but here is a great article highlighting the difference between the two.

To be inclusive in bringing awareness to mental health, we must speak about the lesser-known or ‘scary’ mental illnesses and challenge these stereotypes. You can’t paint people with one brush. We are individuals with different feelings and experiences. Although, as pervasive and unwanted these symptoms are, we can still love and be loved, feel joy and happiness, and experience life.

I encourage you, even if you have never personally struggled with a mental illness, to challenge these biases that permeate our society. Everyone has been touched by mental illness in some way, whether that be you personally, a family member, or a neighbor. With a history and culture that hasn’t been very kind to us, education is the key to disrupt and change these unfair stereotypes.

Author Bio: Payton is a lifestyle blogger over at intheflux.com where she talks about mental health, social issues, and lifestyle and wellness topics. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Money Stress and Budget – Hannah Coe

January is often the month that we’re skint and money stress is at its high. Overspent on Christmas and no money left for the New Year… December pay checks are usually paid before Christmas, which although great for the Christmas budget, isn’t as good for the bills. To top it all, January is also a longer month so it means longer to wait till payday.

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom though!

By following a few simple tips and adapting little changes in your life you change it all.

Preparation is the key to success

It’s true! Have you ever heard that saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’?

I know what you’re thinking, this sounds like hard work… It really isn’t and just stay with me.

Create your budget

You don’t have to be elaborate with this, all you need to do is write down all of your incomings and outgoings.

I normally start with my income at the top and outgoings below. I split my outgoings into fixed costs (bills etc that I have to pay) expected costs (food etc) and then unexpected costs (random spends).

When I filled this in for the first time I used my spends from the previous month to get an accurate idea of what I was spending.

Income:

Wages:-

Outgoings:

Fixed costs

Rent:-

Gas & Electric:-

Water:-

Internet & TV:-

Expected costs

Fuel:-

Food:-

Subscriptions:-

Unexpected costs

Clothing:-

Household bits:-

Days out:-

Random:-

That’s a very basic example of a few things that I will include on my budget overview sheet. There will be more things on your overview and how you categorise them is up to you.

You may be wondering how this will help to reduce stress but it puts everything into perspective. By having everything written down in front of you, you can clearly see where your money is going.

Cutting your budget down

So, you can now see where you’re spending your money and some areas may have shocked you already. My food spend for example was A LOT more than I thought it would be. Because I just put everything on my card I hadn’t realised how much it was until it was staring me in the face!

Look at all your outgoings and think if you could reduce them.

Fixed costs like rent/mortgage will be harder to change but can you swap your utility bills to a better deal? Have you actually tried?! It’s actually loads easier than you think. And trust me, I do it every year! And you can cut your bills easily year on year.

Expected costs is an easy one to cut down, do you need that subscription that you’ve not actually used in the last few months? If not then cancel it! Set yourself a goal of cutting your food bill down by £10 a month, just do it little by little. There’s no point saying you want to half your food costs in the first month because it’s probably not going to happen. Hats off if you do though!!!

Unexpected costs are those random spends and do we really need them? Things like no spend months can be fab when trying to reduce these spends.

How to reduce your spending

Now that you’ve created your budgets for each category, you need to start actually spending less. It’s no good just saying you’re going to spend less, that will just increase your stress!

I’ve already mentioned a few things like switching your utility provider and taking part in no spend months. There are also fab challenges such as the 365 day penny challenge that encourage you to start saving more.  

How can all of this reduce my money stress?

Creating a budget puts YOU in control of your money. And yes, you may think you are already in control, but are you? Do you know, without looking, how much you spend on food every month for example. Write down your estimated spends first and compare this to your actual spends. I thought I was in control but was surprised at myself!

One tip that I use is taking my budgeted money out of the bank and having it as cash instead. By spending cash instead of card it feels more real. You see the money leaving your purse and how much you’ve got left. This is known as the cash envelope system by Dave Ramsey.

Does it work?

YES. In the 6 months or so that I have been actively budgeting I have cut my expenses by about half. By ‘actively’ I mean looking at my spends at the end of each month and reducing them for next month.

All of this motivated me to spend just £500 on Christmas this year, you can click on my blog to see how I got on!

I’d love to know how you find budgeting and if you’ve got any questions feel free to send them my way!!!

Author Bio: Hi, I’m Hannah, a 27 money and lifestyle blogger from Manchester. My site is focused on how I live my life in a frugal – some may say ‘tight’ – manner. It features some amazing freebies and bargains that I’ve found over time, including a page of live freebie
links so you can get your hands on them to! I also share my money saving tips and tricks that I have discovered through my own personal journey so far, I do work in accounting but have no financial training or expertise! Everything I write is my own personal opinion.
Social Media Links: blog twitter facebook instagram

Love and Lust – Megan Whitsett

The feeling of falling in love. 

It’s having a special someone on your mind 24/7. It’s craving their attention, their voice, their touch. It’s wishing they were there with you every day, holding you, whispering sweet things in your ear, and telling you how much they love you. 

Is this love? Or is this simply the feeling of falling in lust?

When I met the man I would one day call my husband, I fell in lust almost immediately. He was handsome and kind and all the things that qualified him as perfect in my mind. I had to stop and tell myself that I was being silly, and I couldn’t have fallen in love with someone so quickly. I had to force myself to shut off my feelings about him, shut off the lust, for a moment, and look at who this guy was. Ask myself whether we could really be right for eachother, and not just feel right when he holds my hand.  

In my case I was able (With the help and guidance of my parents) to determine that he could be right for me, he truly was everything I wanted in a man. I wasn’t just seeing the potential he had to become a great partner, be he already displayed the traits of BEING a good partner. 

So I allowed myself to lust for a little longer. I allowed myself to enjoy those giddy feelings of new romance. The overwhelming need to be near him, to feel him. And eventually that lust changed, it changed into real love. 

The feeling of waiting up to make sure he got home from work safely. The feeling of having him listen when I’m upset, of bringing him food when he’s sick in bed, or him telling me I’m beautiful even on days when I’m not pretty. 

Of course with this love, the lust didn’t go away entirely. If anything it got stronger. But lust is natural, it’s instinctual, it’s not a bad thing. But it does need to be restrained. making decisions based on lust will only lead to regret. And we nearly let our lust ge the better of us more than once. 

We decided that the best course for our relationship, was to save ourselves for marriage. We weren’t even going to kiss before our wedding day.

Even though we decided that our love would be stronger if we put restrictions on our lust, we still found ourselves in some places we didn’t intend to go. Lust is strong! And even the most determined people with the highest ideals can succumb to it. 

The more we worked to keep our lust in check, the more real our love became. Because we knew we weren’t just here because of lust, we knew that even without being together physically, we still wanted to be together. 

Loving him was like nothing I’d ever experienced. It was a feeling, but more than that, it was a decision. I saw this man, who I had undoubted feelings for, who I couldn’t imagine not being in my life, and I made the decision to love him. 

The two of us decided to love each other for the rest of our lives. We got married, and we make the decision everyday to keep loving each other. 

It’s the feeling of missing him all day when he goes to work, and finally getting to smother him in kisses when he gets home. It’s still making him a warm dinner, even when I’m upset with him. It’s knowing that no matter what happens, he will always be there when I wake up in the morning. 

What started as simple Lust, has transformed into the truest, deepest love for my husband.

Author Bio: Megan is an avid reader, and writer, slowly working her way through the challenges of becoming an author. She writes fiction, dabbles in poetry, and tries to keep up with her two blogs. In the process, learning more about making her writing great, while making connections with other writers and bloggers. In the midst of the ever changing busyness of life as a newly married mother of one, Megan tries her best to make time for her passion of writing. With the added task of growing her online presence through blogging, and freelance writing.

Distraction in the Modern World – Taryn the Dragon

Greetings to The Unsanity readers from Taryn The Dragon in South Africa. I work full time in the Data industry, study part time and blog on the side. I’m quite new to blogging and this is my first guest post. I’m super amped to have this opportunity. Thanks so much Koral Dawn.

dragonballWhat you need to know about me

I have depression and anxiety and a host of other chronic illnesses that have had a huge effect on my life. In 2019 I entered therapy to deal with all of the stress. I’m on a journey and I have had to take a deep look at myself and the world around me. There is an underlying theme that comes up often with mental health issues is that of mindfulness: Being conscious or aware and present in the moment.

Recently I have been watching videos that could help me become more in tune with myself. Observing people like Dr Gabor Mate, Alan Watt, Dandapani, in the hopes of understanding what mindfulness truly means. I know it sounds cliché but it has been quite a revelation. You can find my musings about this journey on http://www.dragonscodex.net.

Let’s talk about the world we live in

Adulting does not come with an instruction manual. Even great parenting does not quite prepare you for living in this golden age of technology. Information at the click of a button. Friends on WhatsApp (1 billion users) or WeChat (697 million users) or Facebook (1.59 billion users). Strangers on Twitter (320 million users) or Instagram (400 million users). Family just a Skype (300 million users) call away. [1] How do we actually get anything done? What I’m saying is that we now live for the thrill of ‘Distraction’. And this is why we need to cultivate a mind-set geared towards mindfulness.

How to move beyond distraction

Have you ever looked at your device and just thought “FFS ~ now what!?”. That’s a very good indication that you need to start practicing mindfulness for your own sanity. Let’s explore a few mindfulness concepts to aid you in your daily success.

Stop making excuses

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

Do what you say you are going to do. If that means going to the gym at 5am, do that without fail. You are building trust with yourself and in so doing gaining confidence in your decision making.

Control your awareness

Multi-tasking is great but it splits your focus and actually makes it harder to allot sufficient time to a specific endeavour. If you’re working on a proposal put the phone away and close your emails. The world will not fall apart if you give yourself 20 minutes to do something. Focus on this one thing. If your attention drifts bring it back to what you are doing.

Meditate

Image by CadreLuxe from Pixabay

No I don’t mean go assume the cross-legged sitting asana and chant endlessly, unless that’s your jam. I mean have some quiet time to get away from the noise. Be still, sit with your thoughts, have a nice cup of coffee. Be comfortable doing absolutely nothing and being alone.

Get clarity

Know what you want to achieve. Know how you are going to achieve it. The easiest way to do this is to make a list or keep a journal. And always note your achievements as they keep you on the path you want to travel.

Walk away from energy vampires

Ain’t nobody got time for this! To quote Dandapani: “Treat energy the same way you treat money. It’s a finite resource that needs to be wisely managed and invested.”

Uplift others

Image by Grae Dickason from Pixabay

When stuck in your own mind or even your own world where things are not quite going according to plan, do something for someone else without expecting any benefit in return. By uplifting others you uplift yourself. You’re present in a beautiful moment that will keep you going through difficult times.

Embrace change

All of these concepts require some effort on your part. It means you need come to terms with changing your life. As for me, it has helped me find this lovely Zen spot where there is less stress, more energy and more love. I’m really enjoying it this balance.

[1] Attribution for stats: https://makeawebsitehub.com/social-media-sites/

Valentine’s Day and Holiday Coping – Lexie Wohler

When holidays such as Valentines Day come about, do you find yourself getting down in the dumps? Does the thought of being around a large crowd for Valentine’s Day or any holiday frighten you, or make you anxious?  Does decorating for the holidays stress you out? How about preparing for a family reunion with a dinner? There are some things you can do to make yourself feel better.

You don’t have to always host the holidays at your house. Try to limit having people over for any holiday get together, if having a party makes you anxious.

You don’t have to decorate extravagantly for each holiday either. Only put out the decorations that you have the energy and time to put out. Be sure to pick out some of your favorites so you get to enjoy them.

You can limit the number of people that you invite if you decide to host a holiday dinner party. The less people you invite, the less stress you put on yourself.

Make the dinner menu simple instead of extravagant. If you keep it simple, and make something that you enjoy cooking, it makes it more enjoyable to prepare. If people don’t like what you’re cooking, they will just have to live with it for one day, or they can leave if they don’t like what you’ve prepared. Leave the choice up to them.

If you’re down in the dumps about any holiday, specifically Valentine’s Day, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a meal that you really enjoy.  Or make your favorite meal. Eat the meal in front of the TV or watch your favorite movie. Have a cup of your favorite wine or whatever drink that you enjoy, whether it’s non-alcoholic or alcoholic. Enjoy yourself instead of dreading the holidays. The holidays don’t have to bring you down. Remember that you are in control of the way you feel.

If you find yourself down in the dumps about not having anyone to spend Valentines Day with, don’t give yourself too hard of a time. Rather enjoy the time that you get to spend by yourself. Think of time alone as precious time with yourself. Enjoy the quiet moments that you get to have. If you learn to enjoy being alone and appreciate the time that you have, then you will learn to cherish the time that you could eventually have in a relationship. Finding love takes time, so don’t rush into anything that you’re not sure of. If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t rush it. Whenever the right person comes along, you’ll know.  

Take each day as it comes. Try to enjoy the holidays. Not everything about the holidays are bad. Just adjust your thinking. Instead of thinking negatively, try thinking positively. It will help you relax more. Take time away from the stress of the holidays to find yourself. Focus on yourself instead of focusing on how stressed you are. Make sure to find things that you enjoy doing that coincide with the holidays, so they can be more enjoyable for you. Don’t put pressure on yourself, just let things happen as they happen.

Remember, it is ok to feel down in the dumps during the holidays, just don’t stay in that place for too long. Don’t let it ruin your day, or your outlook on the holidays. It is ok to feel stressed, but don’t let it take over your thinking. Try your best to enjoy your life, no matter what holiday might be coming up.

Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity and you can find a few of her pieces scattered throughout my website. ❤

Fun Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day – Lexie Wohler

When Valentine’s Day comes up, you sometimes worry about what to do for your significant other. You may want to do something nice, but if you’re strapped for cash, then it can be even more difficult to figure out what you will get your significant other. The important thing to remember is that Valentine’s Day is not about the gifts that you give to your significant other.


Here are some ideas as to what you can do for a Valentine’s Day date if you don’t have a lot of money.

  • Figure out a meal that you and your boyfriend or you and your girlfriend both love. Then get the ingredients and cook that meal for dinner. Complete the ambiance with their favorite flower and candles, maybe even ice cream for desert. They don’t have to be expensive candles, or ice cream either. 
  • Surprise them by cooking their favorite meal when they come home from work. Then they will least expect the surprise. They will also remember it and cherish it forever. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be something extravagant like Chicken Marsala. It can be as simple as barbeque wings and a glass of Moscato or sparkling grape juice.
  • Order take out of your favorite restaurant and eat at home. That way you don’t have to worry about cleaning up and doing dishes afterward.
  • Sometimes there’s nothing better than watching a movie and curling up on the couch next to your favorite person instead of going on a date night. Some couples love to just be with each other and enjoy each others company instead of going out on the town.
  • If your girlfriend or boyfriend loves chocolate, then go get them their favorite kind. Chocolate is sometimes called a girls best friend. But men love chocolate too.
    If your girlfriend loves flowers, then surprise her with them. Even a single red rose is a symbol of your love and affection toward her.
  • You can even make gifts for your boyfriend or girlfriend. A homemade gift is something that they will always remember. It can be a homemade card, a sweater, or anything that you can think of.
  • A foot massage, or back rub given to them by you is often times a girl’s favorite gifts. It can even work for the guys too. Sometimes all we need is a ten-minute shoulder, foot, or back massage to relieve the stress and tension of the day at work.
  • Trust me, even though guys love to help their girlfriends relieve tension by giving them massages, they too appreciate it when we reciprocate and give them massages too. They may not ask for massages very often, but most men appreciate a nice massage. Even if they say they don’t want one right away, try massaging their shoulders and see if they relax more. They may not want the massage to continue for as long as us girls do, but it’ll go a long way.

There is no gift that won’t be appreciated by your significant other. Whatever you choose to do for them for Valentine’s Day, let it come directly from your heart. Just enjoy each other’s company. It shouldn’t be about the gifts. Being together is the best part about Valentine’s day.

Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger on The Unsanity and you can find her numerous other posts through my website. ❤

Freebie Friday, Instagram Story

You guys – It’s Friday again, can you believe it? I am so happy!

I have a special freebie for you today for all of those who have Instagram and use stories alot. It’s called Mindfulness Bingo. If you use it, please tag me in your stories!

Mindfulness Bingo Freebie 2/7/2020

Six Ways to Feel Your Best This Winter – Amy Jackson

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Are you a fan of winter? I personally love the chance to break out my fluffy jumpers and to enjoy a hot chocolate, but what I’m not a fan of are the darker nights, the increased amount of illnesses in the air and generally feeling a bit under the weather. So when it comes to winter wellbeing, how can we make sure we’re feeling as good as we were during those summer months? How can you keep your physical health in check while taking good care of your mental health too? Well, I’ve done a little research and put together six of the best wellbeing tips to keep you feeling great all through the winter! 

1: Maintain a healthy diet

While in the colder months, it can be tempting to reach for the comfort foods and sugary snacks, but this isn’t necessarily the best thing to do for your body. One of the easiest ways towards winter wellbeing is to make sure you enjoy a healthy diet. Plenty of fruits and veggies are an absolute must, as it will keep your immune system in check and ensure that you’re taking in those essential vitamins. Even though it’s colder, it’s still important to keep hydrated too, so ensure that you drink plenty of water and don’t have too much caffeine. 

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash
Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

2: Wash your hands

When it comes to winter wellbeing tips, hygiene is a must. Winter is a time of year when we become more susceptible to viruses, and in some cases, it can be difficult to avoid them, especially when everyone in the office is sick. You can stock up on supplements and vitamins, but ultimately, the most effective way to avoid catching these pesky illnesses is to wash your hands. Hand sanitiser is great in the short term, but you’ll find a number of them don’t actually destroy viruses, which is what the common cold is. You’re better off washing your hands with soap and water before eating, touching your face, or preparing food. Ensure that if anyone in your house is unwell that they follow the same rules too! Keep towels separate, regularly clean surfaces, and ensure that cups, plates and eating utensils are properly cleaned too. 

3: Keep moving

It can be tempting to stay curled up on the couch watching Netflix during the colder, darker nights, but it’s still important to keep moving during the winter. Regular exercise will mean that your joints are kept mobile, and it’ll help you stay warm too. Of course, you don’t have to go hard with high intensity workouts if you don’t want to – gentle exercise such as yoga is still just as effective! 

4: Sleep well

Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial for winter wellbeing. We can often feel more tired in the winter, but actually, there’s no biological need for extra sleep at this time of year! It’s a no brainer that sleeping in or having naps during the day will make it difficult for you to fall asleep at bedtime, so resist the urge to stay in bed on those chilly mornings! Even though you don’t need extra sleep, making sure you still get a good nights’ rest should be high on your list of priorities. A good night’s sleep will ensure your immune system is in top condition and is also beneficial for mental wellbeing too. We all differ in terms of how much sleep we need, but the general amount is between 7 and 9 hours for adults. 

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash
Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

5: Keep your skin healthy

The colder weather can often mean that our skin is in need of a little extra TLC, so make sure you give it some! Dry skin can occur as a result of the colder temperatures and if you’re spending more time with your heating on at home, so ensure you invest in a good moisturiser to keep it feeling hydrated and soft. The same can also be said for your hands too – especially if you’re washing them more frequently. Pick up a good quality hand cream at the same time and regularly apply it throughout the day, including after you’ve washed your hands. It’ll prevent your skin from drying out, and will keep them feeling soft all through the winter!

6: Stay social

A lot of us think of holiday parties once we enter the winter months, but for some, it can actually be a pretty lonely time. No doubt the colder weather will make you want to wrap yourself up in a blanket and hibernate for a couple of months, however, staying social and keeping in touch with your friends will work wonders for your mental wellbeing. So don’t cancel those plans just because there’s a bit of a nip in the air – wrap up warm, get out there and enjoy yourself!

fbt

About the Author: Amy Jackson is a mental health and lifestyle blogger. Her blog Sassy Cat Lady focuses on her recovery from OCD, along with general lifestyle tips and advice. She’s a lover of cats, a good gin and tonic, and Taylor Swift. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Amy_May_J

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amymayj/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sassycatladyblog

Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/@sassycatlady

Learning To Slow Down in a Fast-Paced World – Zoe Thomson

Learning To Slow Down in a Fast-Paced World

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Convenience is wonderful. Having everything at our disposal, all the time. Never having to worry about opening hours when we have online shopping, or missing a TV show when we have catch up and streaming. But when everything is available 24/7, it means we have to be too.

People apologise for taking social media breaks, we’re overloaded with information, and if you don’t keep up with current events you’re left behind. We’re under pressure to be plugged in all the time and it’s taking a toll on our mental health.

We’re exhausted all the time because we’re not allowed to switch off. Every waking moment has to be filled with something productive so we can make more money, work more hours, learn more skills. And then we experience burnout, and we’re even farther behind, there’s no way we can catch up. It’s hard not to feel like we were doomed from the start.

Mindfulness takes the autonomy away from our day to day lives, and helps us slow down and truly be present in the moment. Practising mindfulness sounds like an easy task, but nowadays with constant stimulation and entertainment around us, it’s a real challenge to be bored. How many times have you picked up your phone today?

We weren’t meant to live at such a fast pace. When we slow down and take in our surroundings, we appreciate so many people and things that we might have previously took for granted. It’s better for our health, and it’s better for our relationships. Practising mindfulness helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so we’re better able to manage them instead of getting overwhelmed. We’re more tuned in to our senses and surroundings and we’re less likely to do something on autopilot because our brain isn’t distracted – or it’s not desperate for a distraction anymore.

Mindfulness is easy to practice daily and doesn’t require hours of your time. You can practice mindfulness wherever you are or whatever you’re doing. If you find yourself being pulled in every direction and your thoughts are scattered all over the place, start with some mindful breathing. If you can, go somewhere quiet. Take one big, deep breath. Aim for around 5 seconds. Hold it for a second, and then exhale, releasing the tension from your brow, jaw, and shoulders. Imagine the hundreds of scattered thoughts and noise leaving with the tension, and allow yourself to start from the beginning with a clear mind.

There are loads of other great mindfulness techniques you can practice every day or just whenever you feel stressed.

Focusing on one thing, and not having your mind in six places at once, will reduce stress. The stress that used to pile up and eat away at you doesn’t have any power over you now; because you have control. You might eventually find that you don’t get as overwhelmed with the fast paced world as you used to, and you start doing things with intention, instead of just doing things for the sake of it. You might learn something about yourself, about what you need and what you don’t need. You’ll learn that it’s okay to disconnect, and go down your own path. The easiest way to win the game is to stop playing. Instant and autonomous works for robots; not people.

Zoe

Author bio: Zoe Thomson is a freelance writer living in Scotland with her boyfriend and one spoiled pug. She runs her own mental health blog, No Light Without Darkness, and has published work on The Mighty and I am 1 in 4. You can find me here: Blog, Twitter