Three years ago I would have laughed at the idea that aromatherapy could help me. I thought it was a scam, a waste of money, and that it would only work if you believed it would (the placebo effect). And maybe it is, but I am now grateful for aromatherapy. I still know little about it scientifically, but what is important to me is that after a long day, when I get home, sometimes it is difficult to relax. It can be difficult to leave the stress of school and/or work especially in today’s world where work is so intermixed in some people’s homes. With working full or even part time remotely, it can be challenging to know when to quit or learn how to separate work and life.
Shame, shame, shame. This term seems to be thrown around a lot in conversation about mental health. It is something that I remember hearing Brené Brown define as an “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”
“Make small obtainable goals!” is what we hear most of our lives growing up in school from teachers. I’ve never really thought about this until this point in my life where I am trying to grow and make changes in my life to be happier and live a calmer life. An example I’ve heard in therapy is that if someone wants to start going to the gym in the new year, they usually make a goal to go 3 times a week. If they currently go to the gym 0 times a week, 3 times is usually way too many to start out with. In a lot of cases, it is better to start out with 1 day a week as your goal. This is more attainable and if you achieve it, your brain will be happy. When we divert too far from routine, our brain gets scared and can sometimes just not accomplish the goal at all.
Material things bring me joy. Having too many things however is a source of anxiety. Every time there is a holiday where gift giving is involved, I try to ask for items that can be “used up” and thrown away such as nice skin care, food items, or different things that I would like to try but wouldn’t normally purchase for myself. This way I can accumulate less items, because once they are empty, I can throw the container away. One of the reasons I do this is because I have a very difficult time donating and throwing things away. This can range from clothing to random objects or house décor.
I have struggled with wanting to try to change the people I care about most. I pick up on this attribute when I am difficult on my siblings and family members. Wanting them to try harder, be better, make smarter choices, has always been cycling through my mind. It is difficult to see the people close to you hurt, stuck, or upset. Sometimes I feel like I know what steps they need to take to keep moving forward, but when they do not attempt what I suggest, or simply do nothing at all, I get upset. My mindset is that one must always keep moving forward because the world does not stop for one singular person. I understand that this is not how everyone’s brain works. People will not be able to think how I think or do what I do simply because I know it will help. Sometimes others need more time before they realize they can start to change or how to turn things around.
I have never been the “type” to go to therapy. I like to deal with my problems on my own and keep things to myself. Starting a big new chapter in my life and dealing with existential dread and shifts in my long term relationship were what finally gave me a push to really consider going to therapy. I am lucky that this new chapter in my life provides me with a good health insurance plan, so I am financially able to go to therapy.