We can all get a little down sometimes, and even begin to slip into thoughts about what we’re really doing with our lives, if we’re on the right path and whether we’ll ever get to where we want to be. Am I the person I want to be? Will I get to where I want to go? Am I doing enough to be able to ever achieve either of these things? I’m all too familiar with these thoughts on all sorts of a scale; I worry if I’ve done enough research for my essays, I stress about not publishing enough blogposts a week, I beat myself up for not eating the ‘right’ things or not going to the gym as often as I should. The key theme of these awful habits seems to be a fear of not having done enough in whatever capacity.
I can't believe I'm alone in suffering from this form of anxiety, so I thought I’d share the way that I’ve managed to beat, or at the worst of times suppress it. At the start of the year I decided to buy myself a notebook and write down three things I was proud of having accomplished every day. These little notes ranged depending on the type of day I’d had and what challenges I’d faced. I don’t tend to reveal much of the ‘personal’ on this blog, but as it’s relevant to this post it’s probably worth mentioning that I have my daily struggles due to variety of enemies that dwell in side me. I was diagnosed with ME last year, and I am continuing to live with Crohns Disease and Osteopenia. Sometimes I have to be reminded that I can’t hold myself to the same standards as others because I physically cannot survive on 8 hours sleep a night, have to be careful about how I choose to spend my small reserves of energy and know full well that I’ll never be able to keep up with the average healthy 21 year old.
We all have our own challenges in our lives which we might fight behind closed doors or out and proud, but the thing is that as long as we are each aware of what we’re facing and that we’re doing the best we can, why don’t we cut ourselves some slack?
So when I write down the three things I’ve accomplished each day it’s not always about how healthy my diet was, how long I went to the gym for or about the amounts of uni work I got through because I simply can’t push myself to get that far every day of my life. I don’t think anybody can, nor should. While I’ll always have some good days when I can boast about how much I’ve achieved, other days I will be proud of being able to pull myself out of bed and having a shower when I really didn’t feel like it. I’ll make a note of the days when I’m smart enough to prioritise self-care and take a step back from everything else. I’ll happily write down in my little notebook that I managed not to feel guilty about having a lazy day because not feeling guilty about looking after myself is an achievement in itself which should be recognised!
Of course I’m not going to turn into a couch potato just yet and will keep striving to be the best and most proactive I can be, challenging myself in all sorts of ways but at the same time I’m not going to let myself feel bad about the days I don’t quite feel up to facing the world. Staying in bed all day is an achievement of some sort and sleeping 18 hours straight (not even my personal record) is an accomplishment because not everyone can do it!
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