Happy Sunday vibes! As per usual, I’m all cozied up with a blanket and a hot cup of coffee–but today, I’ve spiced up my coffee with a teaspoon each of cacao powder and chaga. Raw cacao powder is high in magnesium, giving it relaxing and calming properties, while chaga is a natural immune booster that can help reduce inflammation. Both of these are great to help relieve sore muscles, which is exactly what I need after yesterday’s hot yoga sesh. Not to mention cacao, chaga and coffee all have an earthy flavour profile, so they make a tasty combination!
I am feeling super excited to write about today’s post, because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last few weeks. Ever since I’ve graduated from school, I’ve been going through what I think is an existential crisis. (Although, let’s be real: ever since I was born I’ve been going through an existential crisis.)
There are days where I’m ready to be a “grown up” (whatever that’s supposed to mean), and to start settling into the real world, and finding my place. I’m ready to go to work, cook dinner, clean the house and have some routine. And then there are other days, where I think to myself, “What will I do for the rest of my life?” “Is this it?” “Will I ever accomplish enough or make a difference?” “What’s my purpose?”
…And then I want to Neverland the whole situation and stay a kid forever.
Does this resonate with you?
With all these feelings, my anxiety went from fairly non-existent, to sky high, and I was going weeks where I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I tried mindfulness techniques, exercise, calming teas. They all helped a little, but nothing was alleviating the uncertainty I was feeling about the future. So I made the decision to start seeing a therapist.
And it’s been such a great experience. It’s given me the freedom to better get to know myself, and better understand who I am and what I want. When I tell people that I’m seeing a therapist, a lot of people immediately feel worried for me–obviously there must be something completely wrong with me if I’m seeking professional help, right? But there’s not, and I think when everything in your life is not going wrong, is when you should be seeing a therapist.
1. It creates self-awareness.
One of the best gifts I’ve gotten out of therapy is self-awareness. The psychotherapist I’ve been seeing works a lot with body language and has been teaching me to understand what my body is saying, and how that comes across to others. For example, when I say, “yes I want to do this”, but my shoulders are hunched and I’m getting smaller, it becomes clear that I don’t want to do this, but maybe feel like I’m obligated to do this. Self-awareness is key for living as authentically as possible. When you understand why you do something, it becomes easier to break the habits that don’t serve you and introduce new habits that will.
2. Boosts your confidence.
I realized after working with a therapist that I am a chronic people pleaser. I say yes to everything. It often leaves me feeling drained, exhausted and irritable. Being aware of the trait has allowed me to start creating boundaries, to start asking for what I want, saying no to what makes me unhappy and getting comfortable with confrontation (when it’s needed). This feels incredibly empowering! We’ve also worked on how to use body language to express assertion and confidence.
3. Validates your feelings.
This is such a weird time in your life. And as a millennial, it feels especially confusing. We’re out of school, unsure of what we want our lives to look like, without the support of our school friends and our parents, loaded with debt, unable to buy a house or get a job in our field. At 25 my own parents were married, a year later they had kids. For most of us, that timeline doesn’t make sense. We feel lost. Therapy validates these feelings. What you feel is normal. Better yet, therapy gives you the tools you need to cope with those feelings and turn them into a productive energy.
4. Provides you with self-care time.
You know I’m all about the self-care–and therapy is a great way to get your ‘me time’. Seriously: you get one hour to talk just about yourself, to someone who is qualified to give you the advice you need to live your best life. Yes please! And that’s not selfish: taking the time to work on yourself allows you to show up better for your partner, your family, your friends. It makes you the best you.
5. Helps you clarify what you want–and don’t want–from life
Does any twenty-five year old really know what they want? Our generation has a longer life expectancy, we’re expected to change careers more than once, we’re getting married later in life, and having kids (if we have them at all) much later than our parents did. There is a lot of question marks for our future. But there’s a lot of freedom too. Unlike generations before us, we have a lot of opportunity to explore what we want from ourselves, our partners, our jobs. We don’t have to settle. We can take the time to really understand what makes us happy. Therapy helps us hone in on what we want.
6. Focuses on the present.
At the end of the day, it’s important to just be in this moment and experience it. It’s great to have a five year plan, but you really have no idea what will happen, so stressing about it isn’t much help. Therapists use mindfulness techniques to ground you to the present, and to accept situations as they are. This has been so beneficial in helping me with my own anxiety and uncertainty of the future. You don’t have to have all the answers. Take a deep breath. It will be okay.
I hope this helps anyone who has been feeling lost lately–let me know in the comments whether therapy is something you’d consider or something that you’ve tried before. As always, make sure to subscribe to the blog if you haven’t. Enjoy your Sunday + I’ll see you next week!