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Don’t be so hard on yourself

For the last 7 weeks, we have talked a lot about your “yes”, “no”, “ideal week” and staying true to yourself. We have also seen a major upheaval in every day life in the past two weeks with COVID-19. Even if you are practicing these habits often, sometimes you are going to still make decisions that may send you back to overwhelm and you may start to be hard on yourself. I encourage you to pause again – and give yourself some grace. Finding rhythm and escaping the overwhelm is not a one-time accomplishment. Try to give yourself some grace and be willing to try again tomorrow. One of my favorite lines from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (a favorite childhood book/movie) is: Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?  Join me this week as we practice 3 ways to not be so hard on ourselves when we end up back in the place of “overwhelm.

  1. Listen to your own advice.  If you were talking with a close friend or family member and they were telling you about all they were trying to do and how overwhelmed they feel, what would you say? Would you say, “Oh yes, that is because you are a failure and always end up overwhelmed again. You can’t ever seem to get it right.” NO!  Don’t let your past “failure” define who you are and who you will be. Give yourself grace and listen to the advice you would give your best friend, sister, brother, son or daughter.
  2. Take a break. One of the best ways to get back into focus and rhythm and to not be so hard on yourself is to step away from what you are doing. I know it seems impossible when you have a never-ending task list but it’s essential if you are going to stop being so hard on yourself. This may include taking a short walk or turning on your favorite music for a “dance break.” You may want to pray or meditate on what you know is true. You may want to call a close friend or family member. You may want to take a nap or go to bed early.  Or perhaps you do several of these! Regardless, in order to stop being so hard on yourself, it’s important to take a break.
  3. Try again. You may want to try again in an hour or maybe tomorrow. End your day (or week) taking notes on what worked and what didn’t work so well. Reflect on areas that are particularly challenging for you and find people who will support you in finding rhythm and “balance” again. Ask for help and be willing to try again. As someone who struggles with perfectionism (and sees it SO clearly in her 3 year old daughter…), I know the tendency is to just “give up” since we didn’t get it right the first (or second or third time), but this does not define us! No, we will never be perfect but we can be effective and focused on what is most important to us and we can move away from being overwhelmed.  Choose one thing to do differently tomorrow – and do it!

What are you going to do this week to practice not being so hard on yourself?

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Photo by Jordan Sanchez on Unsplash

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