The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Category: Self-care (page 1 of 22)

Finding Peace Using Meditation

In stressful times like these, it’s important to find ways to tune out the extra noise. Personally, I can’t leave the news on for too long. The noise we hear affects our energy and mood & I’m very mindful of what I’m hearing during my “off” hours. Background news or negativity can be draining even if we don’t participate or pay attention to it.

This week’s post is my low-key way to introduce or encourage you to consider meditation.

Unfortunately, people get discouraged by numerous myths about meditation.

“It’s too woo woo for me.”

“I can’t quiet my mind because I have too much to do.”

“I don’t know where I can do it. Don’t I need a meditation room?”

(No you don’t need a meditation room but if you’re interested in decorating a peaceful area in your home or office, I got you! Read: 4 Ways To Inspire A Peaceful Environment)

What helped me ease into a meditation practice was listening to guided meditations. I use the Calm app, which provides free and paid memberships, and it’s a perfect lifesaver when you need visual or audio imagery to help calm the eff down. I also use the sounds of waterfalls or rain as background noise when I’m writing (heads up creatives)!

Need ideas of where you can do a 5-minute meditation?

-After dropping off the kids at school (in the car or at home).

-On the train, plane or airport (especially if you’re a nervous traveller)

-During a break at work

-Driving to pick up lunch

-Waiting in the drive-through line

-In the shower or tub

-While working on deadlines at work (reports, grants, audits)

Plus, research has shown that guided meditation can help calm children and babies. A therapist told me how a client and her baby responded when she played a guided meditation during their session. She said the client’s baby stopped fussing, fell asleep during the session and the mom was obviously relieved. Try playing meditation music during your kids’ bedtimes and see if you notice a difference!

I have attached a link to a YouTube video introducing you to an easy 5-minute guided meditation. You don’t have to sit cross legged or close your eyes. Just sit comfortably, breathe slowly and focus on 5 minutes of peace. You’re welcome!!

 

Perfectionism: Why It Isn’t Your Friend

A popular cop-out I have heard in personal and professional circles is the idea that “perfectionism” is healthy.

“What’s wrong with having high standards?  Isn’t perfectionism a better work ethic than laziness?”

I truly believe that perfectionism is the WORST form of self-abuse. In my history of working with addicts I understand that there is a “feeling” most substance users are trying to achieve. They want to numb out, have more energy, forget everything, be social or feel sexier, to name a few.

For perfectionists there is no high. There is no end result. IT IS A NEVER ENDING CHASE. A goal may be reached (entry into college, perfect grades, completion of a project) but a true perfectionist still won’t feel “worthy” after accomplishing goals. Just like a codependent person needs someone to fix, the perfectionist needs to feed their self-worth.

With this constant chase comes brutal self-punishment. Other dirty little words like “should”, “failure” and “ought to” keep our inner critic busy.

Rule #1: Don’t SHOULD on yourself.

perfectionism

When our personal demands (powered by brutal self-punishment), affect our self-worth, problems arise. Low self-esteem leads to……wait, I don’t have enough time to discuss what that leads to. You get the picture.

In my personal and professional life, I discourage the use of the word “perfect.” It’s unattainable. “Perfect” sets up unrealistic expectations. And we all know what happens when expectations are set too high. DISAPPOINTMENT!

So what are some solutions?

  • Take the word “perfect” out of your vocabulary. Now.  Thank You.
  • Think of what “perfect” used to mean to you. I understand that some projects for work and home need to be up to a certain standard. Are these projects now considered “up to your standards?” Could you say “I’m pleased with my work? I’m proud of how this project came out.” Isn’t that a more “loving” statement than “My work was perfect.”
  • Think of where you use this word? Do you use this with your spouse/partner? If so, please stop. Remember what I wrote earlier. Perfect is unattainable. It’s unfair to place that standard on someone as important as a spouse/partner. What is “perfect?” Someone who doesn’t cheat on you? State that as a boundary. (What are boundaries? I have a post for that too!)
  • Do you use this word with your children?  What type of pressure are you placing on them by asking them to do things perfectly? Is it more realistic to encourage them to “do their best?”  Most adults suffer with perfectionism due to demands placed on them as children. Click To Tweet

In summary, less pressure can be placed on us and people around us if we set reasonable expectations for behavior. Choose more loving expectations and prepare to receive more loving results!

 

 

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