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The Most Life-Altering Act of Self-Care You Need to Try

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Solitude and self-care have become a commodity. Markets are trying to sell us face-packs that can restore blemishes on our skin and mental imbalance. Ridiculously expensive “silent retreats” with their life-changing testimonials drive us to believe this is what we need to live a better life. There’s a special tea you should drink during your “me time.” This overpriced bath salt will help you get a life-altering meditative bath.

I often wondered if solitude and self-care are just a capitalistic fad with no gains for me. It sounded like something only pseudo-spiritual gurus would advise. I detested spending time alone and considered it a waste of my time. The real truth was introspection was terrifying. Spending time alone with my thoughts sent a shiver down my spine. I turned many stones to never run out of company. 

But all of it had to change when I moved for college and began to live with my extended family. They had demanding jobs that didn’t allow them to come home before dinner. And my classes were lax – I could manage to get good grades by only going twice a week. This bound me to spend my days alone in a quiet two-bedroom flat.

This time, there was no running away from my thoughts. You can only watch so much TV to drown out the noise of your own brain, you know? But in a few months, my loneliness converted to solitude. It wasn’t easy. I was often lonely. I had to sit and make peace with my own self, tackle the monster of my self-reflection, and gain a forced self-awareness that only solitude can bring about. 

Now, I guard my time alone with a fierce force. It is non-negotiable and necessary to maintain my sanity. And it is no surprise that I am happier than I had ever been before. Company is still frequent, but I have the audacity (and craving) to shut my door.

“If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” – Dalai Lama

It is not just that solitude helps you increase concentration, productivity, and self-awareness. I believe it is a radical act of self-care. Finding time alone with the stimulation of the technology devices we have amidst us is challenging. It is not only out of comfort-zones, so many times it is also out of reach. How much easier it is to just keep texting, watching, emailing when you’re alone rather than just being with yourself and not doing anything? I get it. I have been there – it gets hard to prioritize “me time” when there’s so much on your plate. 

Here are 3 ways you can create time alone – even if you have a jam-packed calendar:

1. Weekend Disconnect 

I set time aside each day to turn off my phone, my laptop, and my brain. But I know it is not possible on some days. Life can be demanding. Work gets too much, or my family needs attention. The way out is to make time on the weekends to disconnect. It might be only one day, but that day would be non-negotiable. It is much easier to find time once a day in the week to disconnect rather than to find time every day. This time is for you to unplug. No notifications, no work, no distractions. You can do anything you like with this time – wander around the block, nap, write, paint, etc. You create a space of silence where you can hear yourself.

2. Get Up For You 

Getting up early is a goldmine of getting things done. Instead of getting up earlier only when there’s a big presentation at work, get up earlier for yourself. Just half an hour to yourself every morning can do miracles. You can also sleep a little later to carve out this time, but I’d recommend the early mornings rather than the late nights. Don’t check your phone, laptop, or emails at this time. Completely unplug. If some nagging problem’s solution comes to you at this hour, I wouldn’t be surprised. Solitude does wonders for all kinds of inner and outer dragons.

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” – Jean Shinoda Bolen

3. Schedule Pockets of Alone Time 

If none of the above work for you, mark some time in your calendar just for yourself. Schedule it without guilt or embarrassment of not doing something rather “productive.” This time alone is the most productive use of your time. Trust it. 

I maintain a schedule of going to the park alone after lunch every day. It is only 20 minutes, but my brain feels brand new after coming back. And you don’t need to go anywhere to carve this me-time, just ask everyone not to disturb you unless it’s an emergency. There’ll be none 99% of the days. 

If you are having an incredibly hectic day, couple your me-time with lunchtime. Don’t spend it checking emails, running errands, or deepening networks on LinkedIn. Spend it with yourself. Eat alone without phones or screens. 

At the end of the day, you’ll be grateful that you made some time for solitude. Negotiating a mindless task for spending time alone is the barter in which not only you win – your relationships prosper, your work improves, and you become a better version of yourself. So, do it, have the courage to shut the door.

Rochi Zalani is a staff writer at Elite Content Marketer who relishes fresh poetry. She talks about books, poems, and the troubles of everyday life. If you believe there is nothing that cannot be cured by some Mary Oliver poetry or a F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode, subscribe to her weekly newsletter.

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Life

The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.

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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.

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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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