July 8th 2019
A little Monday chat to help you get through the week~
After a recent chat with a close friend, I was inspired to talk a little bit about the process of learning to be easier on yourself. In this chat, my friend and I discussed how weird being a young adult can be and how we feel like we are often running a marathon in which there is no finish line. Whenever there is so much in front of you in life, it is so easy to feel like you’re racing around without a destination in mind and that can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt whenever we do stop to give ourselves a breather.
For me, I find that I always feel a twinge of anxiety whenever I am not doing something productive. I find myself feeling incredibly uncomfortable when I allow myself to sleep in and don’t leap straight up to start working. I have become my own boss and my own worst critic.
That realization was the wake-up call I needed to start learning to be easier on myself. By pushing myself so hard I was in a constant state of anxiety. I felt dread at the thought of leaving bed in the morning as a result of my daunting self-imposed to-do list and I knew I had to make a change. However, being easy on yourself is something that doesn’t always come natural to people and, for me, I had a lot to learn (and still do) in order to give myself the rest and credit I deserved.
I have started off being easier on myself with a few small life changes (these have been working for my current life situation, but will change once my employment situation changes or any other life changes disrupt my current schedule):
- I eat breakfast at the counter before I get productive
- I allow myself 2 hours at the pool with my mom in the mornings when I have nothing urgent to work on
- I take breaks away from my computer/email
- I stopped holding myself too strictly to my 12:30PM posting time
- I try not to work while I’m eating
- I try to do at least one active or outdoor activity a day
- I stop working by 7PM if nothing time-sensitive comes up
These changes have really helped me give myself time to decompress and focus on me and, as a result, I feel like my productivity has actually improved! Who knew that you could actually be more productive by trying to be less productive!?
However, despite the improvements these small changes have made, I still have a lot to learn in terms of being easy on myself. Because, you see, being easy on yourself is a lot more than what you do physically, but also mentally. Mindset is a large part of being easier on yourself and, for me, that is where I struggle the most.
Even when I am taking breaks and trying to enjoy myself, I often find my mind bouncing back to thoughts of how I am being a lazy bum and not advancing my life in any way. I guilt myself for enjoying simple pleasures in life, even on weekends and when spending time with my family and that is definitely where I am still learning to be easier on myself.
Over the course of the last few weeks, I have been trying a few new things in terms of self-talk to help me feel a little less pressure on myself. Here are just a few things I try to recenter my mind on whenever I find myself in a stress spiral:
- I ask if a task is self-imposed or imposed by someone else. If it is self-imposed, I try to remind myself that, as my own boss, I have a say in when this gets done.
- I remind myself that, if there is no work to be done, I should not create some.
- I say “I have completed what I have intended to and I am done for the day” to signify that I have done enough and to put work away. (this is a great thing to say to yourself if you are self-employed or work flexible hours)
- I dictate that weekends are me-time and are not time for work, unless it is necessary (which is rarely is)
It is honestly a lot of slapping myself on the wrist until I snap out of the negative self-talk and allow myself to be comfortable where I’m at.
I think the number one thing I’ve learned in my journey to being easier on myself is that we aren’t running a marathon and there isn’t just one finish line in life. By the time we hit one finish line, we are already running for the next so it is okay to take my time and letting the journey of life play out as it is meant to.
The right things will come to me at the right time and what is meant to be will be in due time. No amount of driving myself crazy will make life happen any faster, so it is better to just enjoy the ride and be open to abundance.
How do you handle times when you’re too hard on yourself?