After work on Friday I found myself scrolling through social media, thinking to myself – I really have to write a blog tonight. I looked at my laptop and felt hot tears stinging my eyes. I couldn’t bring myself to open it.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve piled a huge amount of pressure on myself. I started taking on practise coaching clients and pushed myself to keep up with blog writing all while working a full-time job.
I am loving how much I’m learning through coaching practise, I love writing here and of course, I love my day-job. But… I’ve been putting too much pressure on it all.
I want to give 100% in all areas, and I think it took my mini melt-down on Friday night to realise that, as much as I hate to admit it, this simply isn’t possible.
I also took a closer look at my thoughts. Those “I have to….” thoughts. Did I really have to write a blog? No, of course not. Do I really have to do any of the things I’m doing? No, I’m doing them all by choice.
Having that little moment of clarity gave me some perspective. I never want writing here or coaching to become an obligation, I’m doing both because I love them. Those tears and that feeling of ‘I can’t do this’ were a clear sign that I needed to take that pressure off.
So I did. I decided to prioritise some self-care. I lit a candle, played some music and read on the sofa. Dan came home armed with ciders, steak and ice cream (have I mentioned he’s the best boyfriend ever?) and we had a quiet evening together.
Then earlier this morning (Saturday) I went to a yoga class, got lunch in town and treated myself to a coffee and brownie back at the flat. And now… now I feel ready to write.
These pauses, the evenings and mornings when we give ourselves space to just be are so important.
At the moment I feel very much lacking in this and having any sort of obligation feels uncomfortable, so reminding myself that I am in control of what I do with my time has been helpful.
Also just giving myself permission to take the pressure off helps. Remembering that no one will care if I miss a blog or two. I can rearrange other commitments. It’s all about prioritising and right now those priorities lie with my own self-care, coaching training/practising and my day job. Those are the things I want to give my all to.
I guess the reason I decided to ditch my planned blog for today and write about this experience instead is because I know I’m not alone in this. When I talked about this pressure and the need to listen to ourselves on Instagram I got so many comments from others agreeing.
So, If any of this is resonating with you, you find yourself thinking ‘I have to do X’ or you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, here are a few questions for you to ponder…
– Do I really ‘have’ to do X right now?
– What is my purpose behind what I ‘need’ to do?
– Do I need to do it or do I want to do it?
– What would happen if I hit pause and took care of myself instead?
– What is my mind/body crying out for right now?
– Who am I doing X for?
Take back control of your to-do list, prioritise, take the pressure off. Allow yourself to focus on a few key things (rather than all the things) and give yourself a damn break.
With this in mind – from now on I will be listening to myself more and not letting myself get to that breaking point again. This may mean less blogs here while I focus on coaching training, self-care and work.
I want to keep this space on the Internet a place of joy – somewhere I want to be, and if I keep pressuring myself to stick to a rigid routine I’ll lose that.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this – do you put a lot of pressure on yourself? What signs tell you it’s time for a break?
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