September can often feel more like the New Year than January 1 st does. Along with the change in season comes the change in our schedules – getting back to work after enjoying holidays with family and friends, getting ready for back-to-school, or refocusing on routines. The flipping of the calendar can bring a sense of hope and excitement for what’s to come. It can also bring
on a sense of anxiety or even dread as we try to align our schedules with our priorities, which is easier said than done.
Adding to the usual anxious feelings of summer coming to an end is the very real struggle with post-pandemic generalized anxiety and social anxiety. Common complaints are “I can’t get motivated”, “I feel stuck”, “I’ve lost confidence”, “I feel disconnected from myself”, or “My mind won’t stop replaying and overthinking things”. Instead of feeling present and grounded, many of us are feeling increasingly anxious and stuck.
To move in the direction of living our lives from a place of authenticity, the most important things we can do for ourselves are the following:
1. Take time to get in touch with what’s truly important and meaningful – that is, clarify our values.
2. Get clear about what is getting in our way – life situations, unhealthy habits, or difficult thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories.
3. Learn what influence stress and any life traumas have on all systems of our bodies and how to heal from them.
4. Learn about tools and skills that help us to handle difficult thoughts and feelings effectively, engage fully in whatever we are doing, and appreciate and savor the fulfilling aspects of life.
It's easy to keep brushing our mental health aside and saying we'll get to it one day. But why not start now? When you take care of yourself, it benefits you and all those around you.
If you need help with guidance through this process, Colleen O’Grady offers a complimentary 30-minute virtual or in-person consultation.
Getting clear about what our values are, knowing what’s getting in our way, learning about the effects of stress and trauma on both our bodies and psyches and how to heal, and learning skills that teach us to live in the present moment instead of the past or the future, will enable us to meet the challenges of living a life of authenticity.