3 Warning Signs You Are Living On Autopilot

Teen Therapist | Family Counselor | Depression & Anxiety treatment | Foundations Family Therapy | Fuquay Varina & Raleigh, NC

Did you know living on autopilot is a real thing?

It happens when the human brain actually reverts to a subconscious mindset to save energy. This is beneficial in many ways! Can you image what it would be like if we had to pay full attention to all of the little things we do each day? This is why something like brushing your hair can be done fairly mindlessly.

These consistent habits and behaviors become stored in your brain for future use. So, day after day, we don’t have to really think about the motions of brushing our hair or teeth. This is living on autopilot in a beneficial way.

On the contrary, this subconscious mindset can create a void when it effects the bigger things in life. Here are some red flags you should look out for to make sure you aren’t living life on autopilot…

Self-Care Is Lost

Do you give so much to please others than you forget about what YOU need? Is your life so focused on a routine that gives and gives to others that you put yourself last? If so, this could be a sign of living on autopilot.

You Don’t Feel Accomplished

Does it feel like time flies by? At the end of the day do you feel accomplished or exhausted. Someone living on autopilot doesn’t practice mindfulness. Overtime, it can feel like precious days, weeks, even years can pass you by without ever truly living.

You Don’t Ask For Help

This goes hand-in-had with self care. Modern day moms are especially guilty of putting to much on their plates. We tend to overcommit because we love our children so much. We forget how to say “no” or ask for help when we need it.

Get Back In The Drivers Seat

The good news is you can break the predictable cycle of living on autopilot! It starts with aligning your thoughts with your reality and making a step in the direction of change. It is always easy, but were here to guide you on the path of living a more fulfilling and rewarding life through mindfulness.

3 Ways To Be Present During The Holiday Season

As we approach the holiday season, let’s take a quick second and do a self-check.

How do you feel about the holidays? … Excited, stressed, anxious, frustrated?

The holidays emit SO many different feelings! Some based on family situations and others can be chalked up to current life stressors. Sometimes, the reality of the holidays doesn’t quite measure up to what we had envisioned. So, how can we be truly present amid the presents and turkey dinners?

Try these 3 ways this holiday season..

Prioritize and then Say “NO”

Reflect on past holiday seasons and think about what is important to you. It might be attending that one holiday party with your best friend. It could be having a conversation with your grandmother or attending a religious service. It could be reconnecting with a favorite sibling for drinks. Whatever it is, do those things and say no to other things.

It sounds simplistic, but it helps create calmness in this chaotic time of year where we feel that we must do ALL and be ALL which we don’t typically feel other times in the year. If there is an event that you feel that you need to make an appearance, but you aren’t thrilled about going, you can set boundaries. Think about how long you are going to stay. Who you will communicate with and who comes with you?

Slow down

This relates to all aspects of the holiday season. If our minds are racing about what we need to do while we are trying to engage in another activity, it will leave us feeling rushed and stressed. It’s helpful to use the five senses to really engage with whatever you are doing. It’s about being mindful.

For example, if you are baking cookies: how does the dough feel in your hands? What do you smell and see around you? If someone is helping you, what are they saying to you? What does their face look like?

Focusing on the five senses is especially helpful when related to food and the holidays. Many times, we overeat and then feel regretful afterwards. Take a small bite of what you are eating and really savor the flavors. This will help you acknowledge are you eating just to eat or eating because you are hungry.

Listen to your body

Pay attention to what your body is telling you during the holidays. Sometimes we forget to do basic self-care such as making sure we are drinking enough water, getting enough rest, and exercising. If are traveling for the holidays, make sure you take time to get out of the car and stretch. When you are visiting with family, take a walk with them to enjoy the holiday decorations. Try to maintain as similar of a routine as you can such as when you go to sleep and when you wake up to help when you return to daily life post- holiday season.

Interested in learning more ways to be present this holiday season? Let’s talk more! 

Renee Pugh, LCSW