Have you loved you today? When life hits you like a tsunami and you feel engulfed, it’s so important you give yourself a break. Everyday things like eating, sleeping and socialising may be difficult, but it’s okay to struggle. Know that it won’t last forever.
There are few things more precious than your mental health, so it’s crucial that you become a priority in your life. Stop worrying about all the things you can’t control and put yourself at the top of your to-do list. Taking care of yourself is the one thing you can control. It’s not optional, nor selfish, but rather a responsibility in order to be able to live, work, and look after those you love without burning yourself to the ground.
When you press pause, you can take time out to reflect in a healthy way. Relax — you’ll figure that thing out.
Rather than listening to your inner-critic, develop an awareness of your thoughts. Replace those thoughts with more accurate statements. If you find you can’t distinguish what’s true from what isn’t, the solution can be found in asking yourself, as the rightfully-popular saying goes: what advice would I give to a friend?
Thoughts alone are not the reason behind worry and unhappiness, but when you identify yourself with them and become enmeshed, you struggle.
You don’t have to control your thoughts — you just have to stop them from controlling you.
Remember that you are not your thoughts, so turn the volume down, and simply acknowledge them. When you do this, you’re not allowing your thoughts to control or define you.
Whatever place you’re at in your life, you can sometimes feel as though you’re not as accomplished as you’re expected to be. When this happens you might engage in comparison, and end up feeling inferior to those around you. You feel frustrated, unhappy, or inadequate with how things stand, and convince yourself you’re not good enough. You end up descending down the comparison spiral and before you know it, you’re completely overwhelmed.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” — Theodore Roosevelt
It’s part of human nature to question our lives, to feel unhappy and, unfortunately, to compare. But nothing healthy comes from measuring yourself up against others.
Be mindful of when you’re making comparisons and acknowledge its toxicity. Offer yourself some kindness instead, show some self-compassion; remind yourself that you matter, and you are enough.
If you’ve ever found yourself crying into your hands wondering why life is so hard, you are definitely not alone. In this day and age it’s quite easy to get overwhelmed from managing all the things that need your attention. So before you question all the things you haven’t done or aren’t doing, get some perspective first. For instance, our work lives have become increasingly demanding, presenting us with complex challenges at a near-relentless pace. Likewise, no woman has ever had to do so much on her own as the modern mum.
Stop with the pressure. You’re doing your best
Regardless of who you are and what you do, we all feel the squeeze sometimes.
At the very core of self-kindness and mindfulness is the truth that we’re all just doing our best. Life is hard — so don’t beat yourself up if you weren’t as productive as last week, or if motherhood is feeling a bit heavy lately. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, be patient and compassionate. It’s okay to choose what works best for you, and to say no to things that will harm your wellbeing.
Get to know yourself better: find out what you want and what you don’t want. Observe what motivates you and what best alleviates your stress and anxiety. Take time out, eat well, exercise, meditate, and practice good sleep habits.
What’s the one simple change you could make to feel less overwhelmed everyday? A proper lunch break? An early night? Less news consumption? You could try to keep the first and last 30 minutes of your day free for self-care.
Be mindful of the fact that you can’t do things all the time. It’s okay to rest, and even if you’re resilient, you still need a break. We all have days when we feel hard-pressed.
During these times, don’t dwell on negative thoughts and allow them to consume and overpower you — rather, be kind, practice self-care, and nourish yourself. As the old Buddhist saying goes, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection.”
So the next time you’re feeling pushed against your limits and guilty about it, take it as a cue to be kind to yourself.