This week, we personally are going through some big life changes. While these life shifts are good things, they still cause us stress, lack of sleep, and anxiety. In the past, these pivotal life-altering moments would overwhelm us. Once engulfed, it became harder to fight the anxious and intrusive thoughts. This time around, we decided to dig deep and focus on some key mental wellbeing reminders. Repeating these reminders and focusing on them is helping us to remember these fundamental truths (at least in our eyes!). We wanted to share in case you are also going through challenging times and needed some wellness reminders.
1. Don't Invalidate Yourself
When times are tough, it’s easy to invalidate yourself. Some common ways that we personally invalidate ourselves is by minimizing the role that we play. We perceive others as doing more and we feel that we are less. This is even more true when the other person is doing something that we can’t. Then we end up feeling guilty and ashamed. However, you’ll find that many times, people actually see you as the person doing more! It’s critical to recognize when you are invalidating yourself and to not perpetuate this cycle. What you are doing is enough and you are adding value that no one else can! All roles are important, after all you can’t have an Oscar worthy movie without all the people behind the scenes!
Another way we invalidate ourself is that we tell ourselves that others have it worse and that our feelings and needs don’t matter. Then we force our mind, body and soul beyond their limits to compensate. In the end, we are left with a huge physical and mental debt and even more anxiety and feelings of worthlessness. Do not do this to yourself! We all have different thresholds and tools at our disposal, don’t compare yourself to others and recognize that we’re all different people. Further, very little is so critical in life that it needs your immediate attention. So instead of pulling an all-nighter or stressing because you forgot to do something, take care of yourself and realize that everything will be done in its own time. You got this and you owe yourself some kindness and patience! You would ensure that for others, so do it for yourself!
2. Words are powerful
We believe that words have tremendous power and impact over our lives. When we speak to ourselves negatively, we tend to feel down and like we aren’t enough. When we say things like “I wish I did more today” or “I can’t believe I only did the laundry and I didn’t get the dishes done” we tend to feel as if we failed. We forget all the positives we did and only focus on the negative. Instead, we need to learn to focus and draw out the positives. Instead of saying “I wish I did more today” we can say, “wow I am proud of all the things I was able to do today”. Rather than “I can’t believe I only did the laundry and I didn’t get the dishes done” we can say, “I’m glad I got the laundry done! It will make doing the dishes tomorrow easier”. Speaking to ourselves with intent, kindness and forgiveness can do wonders for our self-esteem and overall attitude.
3. Others are important
This is another core concept at Tomodotchi, we’re all about community and pouring into one another’s proverbial cups. We believe that validation and understanding from others is liberating. When we feel that we aren’t enough or that we have made a mistake, it can be hard to remain positive and hopeful. Personally, we tend to berate ourselves with negative thoughts and emotions. However, we have found that being able to share these vulnerabilities and insecurities with the right people has been tremendously uplifting. They support us, they validate us and they relate to us. They help you recognize that you are not alone, that you are more than enough, and that many of the negative feelings are self-imposed. Ultimately, they make you realize that you are your own worst critic and that they still see you as the great person you are!
As a note, many times, we get caught in the fallacy that this support has to come from family or in-person friends. Personally, we have our Tomodotchi Wellness Warrior Group, and this group encourages and cheers for one another through the internet. While we have not met in real life, we are a family connected by the bond of mental health. Having the encouragement from people who can relate to our struggles is powerful.
Personally, if a loved one tells us that everything will be alright and that this too shall pass, we tend not to believe them. In our head, we think they have to say that! Hearing those same words from an unbiased 3rd party is almost more validating. After all if this group supports us then we feel that the majority of folks in the world do too. Please feel free to join our tribe, we would love to have you.
4. You define your success
This was a very hard concept for us to understand in the past. As people pleasers we placed the opinions of others before our own. Our definition of success was defined by what we saw on TV, social media and from what others told us it should be. In the end, this led to a very one-dimensional view of success. We felt that if we didn’t get straight A’s, make the most money or get the best promotions that we had failed.
In the end, when we really sat down and thought about it, we realized none of these accolades actually brought us happiness. In order to achieve these things we exhausted ourselves and became a person that we didn’t even recognize. We were giving up time with loved ones and we lost our individuality. When we asked why we did these things, we couldn’t think of a personal reason why we wanted to attain these things we considered success. We realized we were living for someone else’s version of success. Once we figured out what made us truly happy, we have been able to find much more success in life. All due to the fact that now we define our own version of success.
5. It doesn't matter how you get there
When we worked in the corporate world, one of our favorite sayings was “while the Ferrari is nice, the Camry will get you there”. Meaning that, while you could spend days trying to get something absolutely perfect, your original product will produce the exact same effect. We’ve found that most times, people don’t even look at the bells and whistles you so painstakingly made anyways!
This is something we have carried over into our daily life. Many times we start with lofty goals and ambitions. Things like getting through all the laundry, deep cleaning the floors and cooking a healthy nutritious meal. Then as we go through the day, life happens. People need rides, spills happen and the dog got into the mud. Suddenly the day is over and we find that only half the things are done. We then have a choice, do we stay up late into the night and stress or do we make some compromises. Running an automated vacuum, doing just the essential laundry and ordering delivery may not seem ideal. However, it gets you were you need to be! Remember, not everything in life is going to be perfect and it’s ok to adjust. You’ll always get where you’re meant to be and we have found a certain peace with that.
During difficult and challenging times, we need to practice awareness. We need to be aware when we aren’t speaking kindly to ourselves, when we are holding on to perfection and when we are being unrealistic. Life is about adapting to the situation and this calls for self-kindness and patience. When the anxiety hits, we hope these reminders can help you. Some other things that help us are grounding tools, which help us get out of the immediate negative and allow us to find the positive. Additionally, when we know big life changes are coming, we like to work with our therapist and wellness team to come up with a new game plan to accommodate the added stress. Remember to be kind to yourselves, practice patience and ask and get the help you deserve.
When times are tough and stressful, it’s important to remember to not do the following: invalidate yourself, speaking negatively to yourself, isolate, view success through the lens of another and demand perfection. Ultimately, be kind and understanding to yourself and be willing to adapt and pivot.
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As an added bonus for our readers, we like to include a game of where are the Tomodotchi Pets. They’ve been hidden in 2 of the pictures within this post. Can you find them all? See below for what they look like!