Have you ever created a vision board? 

A dream board, or vision board, is a collage of images, pictures and quotes that depict your dreamiest dreams and loftiest goals. These visual representations of our dreams are meant to be hung where we see them often and used as a source of motivation to reach high and aim BIG. There is an actual science behind creating these boards and creating a space that actually brings our visions to life. 

What we focus on expands. When we put that frequency out into the universe, it manifests and comes back to us. 

Maybe you created a vision board for 2020. Covered with photos of the islands of Greece or the mountains of Utah. Maybe you included a photo of your dream home and added your favorite Brene Brown quote. Big dreams for 2020. 

We aren’t even halfway into the year, just a touch into Q2, and these visions seem to be on pause. A cloak of uncertainty lingers heavy on our hearts right now. 

Maybe you are left wondering, “What’s next?” 

You aren’t alone. We’ve seen countless articles from the CDC, The Boston Globe, Psychology Today and more about the effects of COVID-19 on our mental health. The impact that uncertainty has on our anxiety is palpable. Add the on-going stress of new information daily and our nervous systems are pushed pedal to the metal, without a brake pedal in sight. 

Pause with me for a second. Deep breath in. Long, slow breath out. 

Rather than add to what we cannot control, let’s pivot our mindsets to what we know is true. Let’s focus on what we can do to press on the breaks and plan for the visions that didn’t make it on our 2020 vision boards. 

What can we control? Here are 3 things you can do TODAY to gravitate towards a more positive mindset:

Sleep

We all know we need it, but stress can often cause the quality and duration of our sleep to go down. Try unplugging a few hours earlier at night. Grab a book. Take a long bath. Tidy up the house. Write down your goals for the next day (a personal favorite of mine). By unplugging from the constant stimulation of our phones and news stations, we produce  both serotonin and dopamine receptors which help to combat anxiety/depression.

Nutrition

I’ve talked about the value of focusing on nutrition, especially when it comes to navigating and acknowledging crappy feelings, in my Life on Hold: Coping with Coronavirus Precautions post a few weeks ago. 

Being stressed out or feeling emotions we often don’t feel comfortable with (sadness, anger, etc) can cause us to resort to binge eating or excess drinking. The body and mind are looking for sources of comfort. 

I encourage you to get creative in the kitchen. Eat more leafy greens (which also increase our serotonin levels) and up the hydration station. Aim to drink 8-10 glasses of water today to help flush your system and let your brain know that we are not in flight or fight and it’s ok to put that break pedal on. 

Mindset

No surprise here and I’ve talked about this before, but mind your mindset. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that when we catastrophize, we start to believe in the worst case scenario. 

Well, without a plan for what happens if this becomes the case, our brains go into overdrive. We are left overwhelmed and spinning. Mindset really is everything. 

It’s why the vision boards work so well. Because vision boards focus on how we want to feel. Not just the material items we can physically touch (those can be great too) but the real reason vision boards work is because they ignite a feeling inside us that lights the fire and motivation towards a positive mindset. 

So how do you want to feel as we continue to navigate the blursdays and the uncertainty of 2020?

It may not be the Tony Robbins quotes/extravagant trips vision board you prepared for, but you are driving the car of your life, and you get to choose what to fill it with. I promise you, filling it with positivity will make the drive a lot more enjoyable. 

If you are looking for ways to turn the key and ignite that positivity, let’s set up a call to re-vision your 2020 board.

Mind your strength,

Melanie Shmois

Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S

Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.

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