May 4th: Do the Difficult Things

How many of us have felt anxiety on a Monday morning? The creeping sense of dread amplified by procrastination and work we put off last week is debilitating and paralyzing. I have found myself in this position countless times in my life. I procrastinate on things that may take me 10 minutes to complete and find myself filled with dread for hours and sometimes days over that 10 minutes of work. Currently, I have been procrastinating on studying for a certificate at work. I put it off for so long that even thinking about it paralyzes me and fills me with dread. This dread will continue to consume me until I take action. Yesterday, I chose to take action. I put aside my emotions and started studying. 10 minutes passed which turned to 30 minutes and turned to 2 hours. The monster of work that was in front of me now felt manageable. 

Sometimes, what relieves anxiety and dread is to take the first step and do the work. Once we get past our emotions of fear, anxiousness, worry, and regret – we can start working. Once we begin, the anxiety minimizes and the dread disappears. Only through action is this possible. 

Override your emotions of dread and take the first step towards a project today! Do the work no matter how fearful or anxious you are. 

May 3rd: Dopamine Detox

Do you ever feel foggy in your mind? You have a million things running in your head and you feel a sense of not being present or lacking clarity?

I feel this way a lot of times. I am the type of person that needs constant stimulation in my brain. I am comfortable when there is a podcast, YouTube video, or music playing in the background at all times. This habit is so extreme that I never spend more than 30 minutes in silence (which feels horrifying to admit). Even my showers are occupied with podcasts in the background and my cooking is supplemented by a good Netflix binge. Although, this can be momentarily gratifying – it is terrible for my brain and my mental health. It makes me feel foggy and distracted. It also makes me feel like I have no free time (scrolling in social media and watching content eats away at my time).  It turns out I am not the only one that has this issue. Talking to my sister and my friends, I noticed a lot of us are addicted to our distractions. We cannot turn away from our phones for too long without reaching for it again and again.

This is way, I decided to do a dopamine detox.  Dopamine detox or a fast is a day where you do not have access to anything that brings instant gratification: social media, content (Netflix, YouTube, etc), television, porn, alcohol, drugs, etc. It allows for certain things such as journaling, reading, and walking. 

I personally allowed myself these things:  I can write for this blog, I can journal for myself, I can eat healthy foods, I can study and work, and  I can talk to friends and family. 

I feel a sense of clarity that I haven’t felt in a long time. I actually feel like I have free time rather than just letting the day get away from me. In moments where I have been tempted to reach for my phone out of habit, I have been just staying still or writing in my journal. It has been a really great experience so far but, it has also made me realize how many hours I spend on mindless activities. 

If you can, please do a dopamine detox for one day. The clarity you will feel will be worth the efforts. 

Be comfortable with silence.