Wow, today was a hot day and according to the weather forecast it’s only going to get hotter.
Compared to some areas of the country, though, I know this heat wave is really nothing. I don’t know how I would survive if I lived in an area that got hotter earlier in the year and stayed hotter longer than it does in New York. Of course the NYC heat has its downsides too–there’s the humidity, and (even worse) the fact that once the temperature gets up past 80, everything starts to stink. The smell is truly nauseating. I guess we all have our burdens to bear!
On Sunday I mentioned that I wanted to do a little bit of detoxifying, but not in the traditional sense. To be honest, I think detoxes and cleanses (I always associate the two) are a little bit ridiculous. After all, we have organs in our body whose sole function is to detoxify and cleanse, and I don’t think spending a few days consuming nothing other than expensive bottles of juice is going to do a better job of cleaning out my body than my kidneys already do. I’m more interested in eliminating some bad habits from my daily routine. A behavioral detox? Whatever. My mood has been pretty foul lately, and I feel like more often than not, I’m tired and cranky for reasons that I’m not really able to identify. My thinking is that maybe by keeping tabs on some of my negative or unproductive behaviors, and possibly replacing them with positive or productive behaviors, I may be able to change how badly I’ve been feeling. You know, turn my frown upside down.
Let’s start with some of the behaviors I think could stand some detox action:
- Waking up too late to eat breakfast at home, having to buy something on my way to work as a result, and eating at my desk as I begin my workday;
- Getting angry and annoyed over little, inconsequential things that really don’t even deserve my mental energy;
- Overall sleep hygiene;
- Avoiding dealing with things that are bothering me or productive things I could be doing by spending too much time on the internet;
- Skipping a snack in the afternoon or grabbing something sweet for a quick energy boost instead of making an effort to get a healthy snack that would sustain me longer.
Obviously some of these things need to be addressed in a more long-term fashion–things like avoidant behaviors are not something I can change overnight, and may be linked to something else that needs some investigation. But there are a few things in this list that I could realistically start working on immediately. In order to avoid getting overwhelmed and making this whole process counterproductive, I want to pick one thing to work on at a time, and when I feel ready, move on to the next thing.
First on the list: getting annoyed. The goal here will be to let at least one thing go every day. It’s healthy to feel connected to your emotions, but dwelling on things you can’t change (especially when they are very small things like the elevator taking a long time, or the train running slowly) is, ultimately, counter-productive. So I’ll be trying to recognize the thing that’s bothering me, and then let it go so that I can devote that energy that I would be spending getting annoyed on something more positive.
Do you have any behaviors that you think could stand to be detoxified?