Modern life is depicted as being busy. Being busy means you are doing something right. Always on. Always working. Always available. But at what cost. Staying occupied is great, but taking some time off is key. Your happiness and mental health is something that needs to be a priority in your life.
Although it’s often easy to put others needs ahead of your own, this is not sustainable in the long term. It’s important you look after you. And no, this isn’t about always being self-centred. It’s about taking time to think about how you treat yourself. About how you think about yourself and your efforts. It can be too easy to feel like a failure, when in fact, you’re doing just fine.
Be Honest With Yourself
There at times in life when your plate can feel too full. Stresses and tasks pile up unfinished. This is not uncommon, but if you start to feel overwhelmed step back and take a breath. See if you can identify a small problem and tackle it. This sense of accomplishment can help motivate you as you tick items of your list. If there is there just simply too much to do be honest about what needs to be done and what can be dropped. You might realise you’ve simply stretched yourself too thin and need to pare some things back. This is not a failing. You don’t have to be all things to all people. Reach out to others around you and seek help. This is not a sign of weakness. It’s a strength to be able to recognise what is possible and work towards realistic and achievable goals. Speaking up and standing up for your needs, makes life a lot easier in the long-run. Being tenacious requires self-reflection and you are far stronger than you know.
Taking some time to acknowledge what is going right in your life is very powerful. How often have you assessed your life and actually noted the areas in which you are succeeding? If you’re struggling to think – start small. Friends, family, your health, your skills, the attributes others like in you – these are all things that can enrich your life. Jameela Jamil recently kickstarted the I Weigh campaign, and it’s a great way to focus on the positives in your life. Instead of measuring yourself against the ever shifting and impossible standards of the media, the idea is to weigh the good things in your life. Taking some time to simply relax, and unwind, can help shift the feeling of weight that hangs over so many people.
Change Your Mindset
The idea of switching your thought pattern is of course, this is easier said than done. And sometimes, when things get tough you might need some professional help – there’s no shame in that. But you can do little things to make your journey easier for yourself. We’re constantly bombarded by messages. How to look. How to act. How to be. What if instead, you put that energy into feeling good and spreading that positivity to those around you. Put some time aside to care of yourself. For some writing down thoughts can help, or getting outside, or talking to friends (no phones allowed). Meditation can also be a great way to help rewire thought patterns. Sit down with a pen and paper, and figure out what is important to you. And be honest. At the end of the day it’s about building a life you are happy with and proud of. Focusing on the positive aspects of life has been shown to increase how positive you feel about life. Letting things go can help create clarity and relieve stress. It’s likely that you’re not aware how much stress you are carrying. Even now, your jaw and muscles might be clenched, you breathing laboured. Release your jaw, drop your shoulders and take a deep breath.
We’ve all heard how eating well, sleeping well, and exercising are hugely important to boosting mood. But creating meaningful connections, and engaging in things you are passionate about can help too. Socialising with others is a fantastic way to reconnect with your community. Building friendships takes time and effort, but it can help you to feel rooted and supported. Give yourself the time to explore what feels right for you. There is so much pressure on everyone to be perfect, but instead we should be striving to be kind. Not only to others, but also to ourselves.