As we prepare for our upcoming Holiday Detox & Yoga retreat, I realize that I’m in need of a mental detox as much or maybe even more than my guests. It’s easy to get caught up in the pace of life, of things, of that constant need to be engaged (hello smart phone, not making me smarter, just making me more co-dependent)… Help! I need to stop, disengage and RETREAT!
I find that if I’m looking at magazines, surfing the internet, watching TV…it makes me want. Want things that I don’t need (honestly I don’t want a new purse or couch or shoes…I’d rather save my pennies to travel); want a better body, hair, skin (I’m quite happy with my body, my hair, my skin and I like my smile most of all); want a relationship/friendship that makes my heart sing every second of the day (I have a wonderful family and amazing friends that make my heart sing…just not every second of the day…those other seconds I actually need to be living my life).
I had a guest at a recent retreat who confessed she routinely fasts from Facebook, because when she “imbibes” she feels a deep discontentment that she isn’t enough. This was a young woman with a great career, good friends and family connections and a beautiful yoga practice. She seemingly has it all.
That made me realize that the essence of social media is glossing over the truth…most of us don’t post our truths, our mistakes, our letdowns. Because that tends to be reality…and who wants to see those status updates?! When I look at Pinterest, where everything is glossy and perfect, I want. I want that kitchen, hairdo and well behaved child. I’d like to live on Pinterest, at least until I figured out how to make the dog biscuits from scratch, apply my make-up flawlessly, and decorate my home using wine bottles that I transformed into a chandelier.
Here are a few suggestions on taking a mental health detox:
- Be careful about the TV shows you watch, our families, our homes, our sex lives will never quite live up to the “as seen on TV.”
- Listen to your music, commercial-free.
- Keep your interaction with social media to a minimum.
- No fashion, home decorating or celebrity gossip magazines that make your life feel like less.
- Put down your phone unless you are talking to the people you love.
- Step outside and notice the beauty of nature.
- Be present as you do the mundane things, driving, grocery shopping, washing dishes.
- Really listen to your loved ones.
- Practice yoga, meditation, being still.
- Find gratitude in the things that normally make you crazy.
So my advice to you as we prepare for this JOYOUS time of the year (we do tend to forget that in the mad rush to get things DONE), is to take a step back. Take a breath. Look around at your family, your friends, your animals, your home, your job, your life…isn’t it all truly amazing and wonderful? And it might not look perfect, but it is PERFECT… It’s yours.