Sometimes things don’t go as planned because of reasons outside of my control and other times it’s my fault that things don’t work out. No matter what the reason I’m always pretty hard on myself. I’m your typical type A – I like things a particular way, I like to know what’s going on and I like to have a plan. As I get older I realise that while this is one of my main strengths, it can also be a weakness.
My personality, my motivation and my need for planning are huge contributors to my successes in life – my degree and qualifications, my awesome job, my blog and the house that we’ve just bought. But these traits can also cause me a lot of stress and mean I can be really hard on myself.
I’ve had a tough couple of weeks – some days have been overly busy and other days I’ve just been in a bit of a funk. Monday was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Monday was the birthday of my best friend who died – it was his third birthday since his death but it just doesn’t seem to get any easier. On his birthday and on the anniversary of his death Myron and I try go out for Nando’s to celebrate his life – it was our favourite meal to eat together.
Sometimes it’s harder than others and this time I ended up crying, in Nando’s, while eating a burger. We finished up our meals and headed home where I proceeded to cry even more – this time in the shower (it’s my favourite place to think and reflect). Anyway this post isn’t about grief and losing a loved one – although I do think I’ll write about that when I’m ready (almost 2.5 years on and I’m still not quite there yet). My tears for my beloved best friend ended up turning into tears of stress and then anger at myself for not having the next day’s blog post done.
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I try really hard to stick to a schedule but it doesn’t always happen. This year my main goal for my blog is to get really consistent with posting – something that hasn’t happened yet due to a variety of reasons. So there I was crying in my bathroom when Myron came in, sat me down and talked me through everything. He let me cry for my friend – the real reason I was upset – then helped me calm down and focus on the next issue. My blog. Truth be told, I wasn’t going to get any writing done that night, certainly not any high-quality writing so I just had to accept it and let it go. I was exhausted, sad and drained so it was okay to not keep working that night.
But then the niggly you could do better feeling came back – yes, I couldn’t work that night but if I’d prescheduled everything last week like I’d planned then this wouldn’t have happened. That’s when I realised there was no point thinking like that – it doesn’t help me, my blog or my readers. What’s done is done and I wasn’t going to post the next day. I breathed, I accepted it, I gave myself a break and then I moved on. I got into bed, put my electric blanket on and read a book (Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home) and watched YouTube videos for the rest of the evening. It was as blissful as that night could be.
While I’m a long way from being kind to myself ALL the time, I feel like I had a little breakthrough that night. Be kind to myself and giving myself a break, combined with saying no to things I don’t want to do and saying yes to more things that scare and excite me (two topics that deserve their own posts) will hopefully help make life less stressful and more fulfilling.
MY TIPS FOR BEING KIND TO YOURSELF
- Let yourself be sad/mad/angry. But only for a limited time.
- Treat yourself – whether it be a manicure, a hot bath, an ice cream or an hour of YouTube watching.
- Accept what you can’t change and realise that most situations won’t be as bad tomorrow as they seem today.
- Recognise and celebrate your achievements and successes.