by Victoria Alercia-Casella
Your thoughts lead your day – Begin your day by reading a positive quote, doing a meditative exercise to repeat a mantra, saying a prayer, or identifying something positive that you are looking forward to doing that day.
Just start with 1 – We often feel overwhelmed by a huge to do list as soon as we wake up in the morning. With any goal you have for the day, just start with 1 so it feels manageable and achievable. (for example: house chores,1 load of laundry; work, 1 phone call, email, task; personal- 1 healthy meal, 1 round of exercises, etc.)
Take a break when needed – Listen to your body and your mind when it feels exhausted. A lot of us will not give ourselves permission to relax until we feel like we have been productive enough but sometimes we end up being more productive after we give ourselves a break. Something simple would be going outside for a short walk, sitting outside in the sun, or drink some water and a healthy snack.
Be kind to yourself – Try your best to stop your critical voice and remind yourself that you are doing the best that you can. Compliment yourself on something you did well today or something you accomplished.
Remember everything changes – There are moments in life where we feel stuck and helpless. The reality is that everything changes. When you feel like you are stuck in a permanent situation, remind yourself that most things are temporary. See if you can develop a plan on how you can make small, simple changes moving forward.
Choose wisely – Not everything and everyone needs our response. We only have so much time and energy for the day. Be mindful of where you choose to use your time and energy. It’s okay to say no to commitments and instead say yes to yourself and your self-care.
Lead by example – In moments when you feel like everyone and everything around you is consumed with negativity, be the change you wish to see. It’s the small, random acts of kindness that sometimes adds up to make the biggest difference. It also doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. You can send someone a text message to let them know you are thinking of them, bake something for your neighbor, etc. Positivity can spread as quickly as negativity does. Also keep in mind that others may be struggling as well and when they respond to us in a negative way, we don’t necessarily need to take it personally or make judgments about them, we can wish them well and move along our way.
Don’t forget to breathe – Sometimes in the most stressful of moments, one of the simplest and helpful things that we can do is just breathe. It can help get us out of chaos in our heads and bring us to the present moment by focusing on our breath. There are several apps that you can download on to your phone. You can also do this by spending time in nature or identify any relaxing focal point to concentrate on.
Release – We can’t be strong all the time. Vulnerability and emotions can be uncomfortable but we often forget that if we keep emotions inside for too long, we may end up causing more damage. You don’t necessarily need to share your struggles with the world but you can take some time for yourself and journal out your thoughts to release them and gain clarity. Allow yourself to cry in order to cleanse your body. There are also many positive individuals in our community- take a step and reach out to one, maybe just starting by following a positive social media page of a group, then call or email them.
There is always something to be grateful for – I think we can all agree that sometimes life can be really difficult and it throws things at us that we never saw coming. Try to begin and end every day by identifying at least 1 thing that went well and 1 person that you are happy to have in your life. Hang a dry erase board in a common area of your house where all family members can join in or make it more personal by writing in your journal or posting positive quotes on your mirror to read every day.
Victoria Alercia-Casella is a licensed professional counselor
who has worked in the mental health field in the Lehigh Valley
for over 14 years and says her ‘purpose and passion is to help
others to recognize that they aren’t alone, to remind others h
ow important it is to have their voice heard, to ask for help and
to focus on self-care.’ Her practice is currently located in Easton.