When we were vacationing in Hawaii last week I tried to take a much needed break from my computer. So much of my life is run on the computer and I often get sucked into a mindless hole of Pinterest and online shopping. In the name of being honest I think it’s important to share that I suffer from chronic anxiety and often get overwhelmed by tasks others deem standard. I get anxious about things that are so far in the future and like most people I have a job that requires me to plan things sometimes many months in advance. In dealing with anxiety I have looked for different ways to help me relax my mind and one of the best tools I have been using lately is the act of being present.
I have talked about this before, but as I really try and incorporate this into my daily life I have noticed a shift in mindset. For me, being present is about taking a step back and being very conscious of what you are doing in that moment. Not in 45 minutes, or next week, but what are you doing right now? Most of the time the tasks I am overwhelmed by aren’t in that moment. I will be trying to write a blog post, while stressing about paying bills and thinking if I have everything ready for some far off photoshoot. Obviously this causes anxiety as your brain can only focus on so many things at once and all the thoughts other than what you’re working on feel like clutter.
Focusing on being present kind of feels like a weight off my shoulders. When I was at the beach in Hawaii I still took photos and posted to my Insta Stories, but I had so many moments of just reading a magazine, or talking to Daniel without thinking of what I needed to do next. Obviously it is a bit unrealistic to live everyday life like you’re on vacation, but I think a lot of the time we put added stress on ourselves that doesn’t need to be there. No one is telling you, you need to post to Instagram three times a day, sometimes I don’t post for two days if I feel like my content isn’t what I want it to be. Yet for so long I had this voice in the back of my head that made it feel like I was failing if I wasn’t following a routine that works for other people.
This seeps into so many aspects of our lives. I have a friend who recently went through a breakup and I feel like all the ideas of what her life “should” be like trumped the actual breakup. Because we are programmed to think so far in the future, not just in the present moment its like she lost all of these things that could have been, not what she had right at that moment. I have found if I stop and take a second to think what do I need to get done right now or how do I feel right at this moment in time it gives me some clarity and frees up my mind. A lot of days I don’t want to go to work and if I think of that the second I wake up my morning is filled with anxiety and that is energy waisted that could be used for something else. I know this is a very wordy post, but I really believe that I started this blog to share what I love and that is so much more than cute apartments, flowers and food. I love how powerful our minds are and I am always looking for ways to shift my focus and find more contentment. I know a lot of us share that daily struggle of wanting to be happier, more successful, or to find love and its important to know even the people who appear the most together are likely just trucking along going through the struggle with you! So I challenge all of you, whether you feel anxious or you’ve never had anxiety a day in your life to allow a little space in your mind by focusing on your present moment instead of everything you have to get done today (I promise you it’s really really hard). Maybe instead of starting the day with a lengthy to do list, you will start with one task and if you get that one thing done then your day will be a success. Sometimes that note on my to do list is make myself a priority, or take a 30 minute walk. We are so programmed to go go go and it’s equally if not more important to always take care of yourself and your wellbeing first!