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Self Care Tips

Junk in the Trunk

Karen Rowinsky - Wednesday, May 16, 2018
My friend, Leslie Jenison, suggested this topic for a tip. I like the rhyme in the title but rather than today's slang, I'm thinking of the trunk full of junk we keep in our head. For many of us, that trunk has a good bit of regret in it.

I recently listened to a podcast on NPR of a TED Talk by Kathryn Schultz.  In this compilation on the pursuit of happiness, Schultz describes how our understanding of regret impacts our sense of well being.

So many times we regret something we've said, an action we've taken, or even a thought that has occurred to us. Or, we may have regretted the opposite: not speaking up, not taking action, or not thinking. When this happens, we can be really hard on ourselves and make ourselves miserable.  

Many of us keep these regrets in that trunk in our mind and regularly berate ourselves with them. We pull them out to undercut our confidence and get in the way of our happiness. Is it time to rethink your regrets?

Schultz recommends the following when thinking of regret: 

  • Comfort in its universality, everyone has regrets.
  • Laugh at ourselves, even if it is dark humor.
  • Remember that with the passage of time, regrets often can fade.
  • Regrets remind us of our goals and dreams and are proof that we strive to do our best.
  • Finally, we can feel pain with regret but we shouldn't hate ourselves as a result of it.        

Self care is about using our regrets to remind us we are human, to learn from them, and then to clean them out of our "trunk." 

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