Find The Things That Make You Feel Like You, And Then Go And Do Them
Does anyone else ever get bogged down in the everyday stuff that has to get done? You know, the cleaning, the working, the grocery shopping, the cooking. The stuff that mounts up on your ‘to do’ list. The list that never seems to get any smaller.
You know the stuff I mean.
It’s not like any of this stuff is exactly pain-inflicting. I mean, sure, everyone has their frustrations about work, and no one actually enjoys waiting in line for the checkout when the person in front has a full basket and all you have is one avocado. It’s more that all these things are just so god damn time consuming!
I often feel like my day is over just when I’ve finished everything I needed to do, with no time left for anything else.
Yes, you could say that this is just down to poor time management. But hey, we all let things slide every now and then. I’m also fully aware that in the grand scheme of things, I’m pretty commitment-free. I often wonder how parents, especially, find any time for themselves!
Somehow, in just getting through the things I need to do, I seem to never be left with enough time for the things that I want to do. And that, I found out, is not really too sustainable.
The thing that I’ve realised is that everybody has something that makes them feel like them; something we can do only for us that fill us with life again.
The analogy I always think about in my head is a computer game. You know how in a lot of games your character has a ‘health bar’? Well, when your health is depleting, what is it that you do that gets that bar back up to 100%?
For Super Mario, it’s mushrooms. No judgement…
Some people need to be by the sea, others like to get a facial or a manicure. It could be painting, pilates, walking, podcasting, reading, travelling, baking, whatever! I could sit here for hours and write a list of things to try, but it’s so subjective to what is right for you.
It’s not about being active or anything, and this isn’t me trying to tell you that you’re not doing enough with your time or that you should be out doing more. That’s not what I’m saying. No, this is about finding whatever it is that grounds you, hits that reset button, and leaves you feeling ready to get back to all those things you need to do.
Ok. I know that this might not be anything new to some people, that you might have read something similar in a self-help book, or that maybe it kind of sounds like common sense. But this blog is all about no bullshit life advice, so here’s some things I’ve learned about this.
Firstly, you might not actually know what it is that makes you feel like you. I’ve been there. I remember one weekend in particular where I got up, showered, dressed, and then realised I had no where to go, no one to see, and absolutely no idea about what I actually wanted to do.
It was literally horrible, so much so that my flatmates returned to me sobbing on my bedroom floor. It can make you feel pretty out of touch with yourself when you realise that you don’t even know what it is that you enjoy doing.
Don’t stress. What I’ve found that helps in these situations is just to try something. Even if it doesn’t end up being the thing you do every time you need a break, trying a few different things out will leave you with a far better likelihood of finding the things you actually do enjoy than not doing anything at all.
Secondly, don’t do what you think you’re supposed to do.
At my age – nearly 30 – I know heaps of people that spend their Saturday mornings doing yoga, before brunch with their in-laws, followed by an early night with a glass of red wine and a book.
If that’s what works for them, awesome. But it doesn’t have to be what works for you. It’s kind of scary, and can feel a little selfish, putting yourself first and asking yourself, ‘What do I actually want?’ But everyone else does it, so why shouldn’t you?!
Finally, and I think this is the most important bit, you have to actually make the time to do whatever it is you want to do.
You said you’d go to after work drinks on Friday evening. You’re supposed to finally be catching up with that friend you haven’t seen in ages over the weekend. The mountain of laundry really needs to get done before next week.
I get it. Sometimes we make plans. But if we keep letting our lives be overrun by all these plans, that’s when we wear ourselves down.
Tell your colleagues you’ll make it next Friday, re-arrange with your friend for a different weekend, or just leave the laundry for another day. The world won’t end if you listen to your gut when it’s telling you that you need a bit of me time.
I’m guilty of sometimes forgetting to do it. I like to keep my word to people, and be there when others need me. But every time I do go and do something just for me, it makes me feel amazing afterwards, and I tell myself that I should remember to do it more often.
That’s why I wanted to write this post. As hopefully some inspo for your, but also as a reminder for me.
It’s like what Julie Andrews sung in (in my opinion one of the best films ever made!) The Sound Of Music: “When I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favourite things, and then I don’t feel so bad”.
Don’t just remember them though, Julie. Go and bloody do them!