I’m an easily overwhelmed human at the best of times, but when I’m busy it gets even worse. Don’t be too surprised if you find me rolled up in a duvet burrito attempting to hide from the world/my responsibilities. Recently I’ve been trying to get better at balancing blogging/studying/life. I’m learning to let myself rest and not feel guilty for it.
It’s easy to feel pressured to constantly be working. Social media can often portray and encourage this go go go lifestyle, but ya know what? It’s not always possible nor is it practical. As cheesy as it is, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to let yourself rest otherwise you will get burned out.
A super simple example… It’s Sunday and this blog post should have been up by now. Normally I would be very stressed that it isn’t up yet, but is a blog post going up a few hours late the end of the world? No, so it’s not worth stressing over.
I could have written/scheduled this blog post yesterday, but I chose not to. After a busy and difficult week, I let myself take the day off. I didn’t set an early alarm, I went for a walk and spent time with family – and I definitely don’t regret it.
Let’s chat about some of the things we can do to make taking time off a little bit easier for ourselves…
I think a huge part of finding the work/life balance is setting boundaries. You can’t work every single minute of every single day, and it is important to know your limits and stick to them. Time blocking is one way you could do this – make a rough schedule of the tasks you want to complete that day and by what time. Then once it reaches that 6pm finish time (or whatever time you decide), shut the laptop and walk away for the day.
Stick to your plan – don’t force yourself to work later just because you may not have got as much done as you’d like to do. There is always tomorrow.
Listen to your body
This is so so important. Let yourself have an early night if you need it. Pay attention if your body is trying to tell you something. Got a ridiculously sore head? Maybe you’ve been staring at your computer for too long… Check up on yourself and make sure your basic needs are being met. We can’t prioritise our work over the basic needs of life, even if they don’t seem as important. Have you had enough to drink today? Have you got out for some fresh air? Those simple things will not only make a huge difference to your productivity levels but also to your mental health.
Make time for friends and family
When you’re busy or have a lot on your plate, it can be pretty easy to turn into a bit of a recluse (100% me). However, it is so important that you take the time to see people. A quick coffee with a friend can really turn your day around. Don’t feel guilty for taking time off to spend quality time with the people you love.
Remember you can’t do everything all the time
I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I guess what I’m saying is don’t set unrealistic standards for yourself.
For example, I love writing but I often struggle to take the “perfect” photos to go along with blog posts. In the past, this has meant I just haven’t published blog posts because I didn’t have the right pictures to go along with it. I didn’t let myself use stock photos, because I felt like it made me less of a real blogger. Well, I’ve gotten over that. This blog post has stock photos in it, and that’s okay. I think my words are more important than the photos that go along with them, so I’d rather share my words with a stock photo than let a million blog posts sit in my drafts folder.
Be a bit kinder to yourself
We will always be our own worst critic. Instead of beating yourself up, try to acknowledge the positives. Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to go stand in front of the mirror and give yourself compliments. Although if you wanna do that then by all means, go ahead – you are GREAT. It can be as simple as thinking about 3 things you did well that day before you go to sleep. Rather than focusing on what you didn’t manage to do that day, appreciate the things you did do instead.
If you’re having a rough mental health day, be gentle and don’t expect too much of yourself.
Make time for self care
You know that ever growing to do list you have? Chances are there is nothing on it to do with self care. Let’s change that. Schedule in some time to read a book, go for a walk or cook a nice meal. It’s so important to have downtime, it lets your brain switch off for a bit and reset.
Don’t get me wrong, I still feel guilty for taking time off. My brain still tries to tell me that I’m being lazy, but I’m getting better at ignoring those silly thoughts.
Constantly overworking yourself is not a sign of success. Success is working hard, being passionate and getting things done – but with balance and a healthy frame of mind. Acknowledge when you need to step away and take a break. It’s not easy, but it is so important.
Do you struggle with taking time off too? Do you have any tips and tricks that reduce the guilt for you? I’d love to know!
Are you all caught up? Take a look at my last blog post here.