TIME TO RESET YOUR “SELF”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing seems as it was. Our usual routines of work, exercise, family time, visiting with others, shopping and leisure activities have all drastically changed. Even though many of us feel stuck at home, we can still find ways to feel like our old selves again … maybe even better!
Let’s face it, we all deserve to feel good about ourselves despite the uncertainty in the air.
Here are some useful tips to reclaim–or even improve upon–the old you:
When we look back on past happy or successful moments, things look a bit brighter. We were happy; we were successful; we will be that way again! Looking through our rear view mirror at those funny or successful moments help us reset and learn to cope better with things temporarily outside our control.
We are all in this situation together, so we should be sure to stay connected emotionally even though we are physically separated. Our mobility has shrunken, but why not love and have fun with the ones we can connect with even if it’s just electronically? This includes family, neighbors, and former buddies from exercise, work, clubs or school. They are essentially all extended family and have been instrumental in making us the person we are today. Each of them can help us remember to enjoy ourselves, be ourselves and let our true essence out.
What better time than now to seek what we love to do and what we always wanted to do? As we grow in life our needs change and maybe it is time to give old pastimes a face lift (or find some new ones)? TV, video games and social media are okay in small doses but what about that hand-me-down watercolor kit or sewing machine in the back of the closet? Our hobbies are a true extension of our personalities. It is an activity where we can channel our creativity and feel like a new person again by creating something personal and unique.
We all know how to multitask but how about slowing down enough to look at our reflection. No one is made just right. So, why not learn to like what we see and stop focusing on the flaws. When was the last time we really complimented ourselves? Started today by making a point of taking a second look in the mirror and finding traits as well as features you can fall in love with.
Many external factors try to dictate what we should think, feel and like. We are not sheep, but individuals who can decide for ourselves what we truly want. Why not just look inside at our own preferences, history or beliefs? No one can tell us how or what will make us happy so take a moment to check out of social media and find the key to personal joy within ourselves.
We are all perfectly imperfect. Once we understand and accept our flaws, we can roll with the punches. Knowing, as well as living with, our limitations can lead us to finding resources. We are more able to admit fault, embrace our humanness and ask for help. The greatest by-product of self-acceptance is the ability to live a life free of lies, reactivity and denial.
Like a twelve-step program, we all need to stay focused on our side of the street. If your side of the street needs some sprucing up, why not start spring cleaning now. Over time, cobwebs build up in our mind which keep us from making positive changes. If we want to be our best, this is the best time to look and begin revamping choices, behaviors and attitudes, as well as our physical environment.
We now have the time to rethink, rebuild or refurbish our friendships. What about our relationship with ourselves? Hitting the reset button when it comes to our friends might be easy, but what about finding that friend inside ourselves? Why not begin with learning all we can about ourselves? Feeling good about what we are doing, spending quality time by ourselves, making healthy decisions and creating new boundaries will help us learn how to trust and rely on ourselves. Gradually we will notice that we can be own best friend and trusted support person.
Arlene K. Unger, PhD is a Telehealth Psychologist in Private Practice in Dana Point. She has been a contracted staff provider with Mission Hospital/SCMC since 2005. Arlene serves on the Mission Hospital Medical Staff Wellbeing Committee. Her other articles, blogs and her book about Mindfulness: “Presence of Mind – Mindful Affirmations” can be found on her website: www.drarleneunger.com. Quatro/Arum and Sterling Publishers have published Arlene’s popular self-help books which can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble: “Sleep,” “Calm,” “Courage,” and “Happy,” as well as her co-authored books “How to be Content” and “How to Make Space”. Dr. Unger is also an online therapist for several internet platforms for clients in California.