Do you ever have moments where you stop and question the way you’re living? I do. In fact, I have them frequently.
I was visiting home, which I do nearly every weekend since the majority of my college/lifelong friends live there. I had promised myself I was, for once, going to get work done on a Saturday instead of laying around and watching movies on TNT or Friends on Netflix. Saturday morning rolled around, I got up, went to an appointment, and was filled with ambition to get my things done and relax later. Then I walked into my house, sat down on the couch, and told myself I’d only watch one episode of Friends and then go get my things.
In the episode, Rachel Green turns 30 and is horrified because her twenties are over and she hasn’t done what she’s supposed to and she hasn’t met the right guy. As she tries to coax herself out of anxiety, she tells her everybody else, not to worry because she has a plan, which is tracked down to the very last detail. Suddenly, though, she begins to panic because her plan has to start right there, right now, and she’s not ready for that. Cue a major breakdown.
Suddenly, I found myself sitting on my parents’ couch, wearing sweats, and on my fifth episode of Friends that day. I wasn’t doing anything and even though I have a plan for my life, I didn’t feel ready to crack open the books and prepare….and I was annoyed (with myself, actually). I was tired of not doing what I said I was going to do.
I had said I’d watch one episode, 3 hours later, I found myself almost finished with Friends season 7 and it was 2 pm…nice. Have you ever had this kind of moment where you’re sick of yourself getting in your own way?
Let me tell you, I have had millions. Sometimes every month, I feel like I need to change my outlook because I make grand plans on a weekend, then Monday’s alarm goes off, and I’m just looking to get through the day so I can relax later.
So what do you do to get out of this schlump? I’m here to tell you, so we can start doing it together.
1) Start by pulling out your planner and making realistic goals. Checking things off a list is probably one of the most satisfying feelings ever. Sometimes I find myself being overeager and my days have 25 things I need to accomplish, and I’ll tell you now, it’s not possible. Make your list short, concise, and realistic. You know yourself and how long it will take you get it done. Be fair to yourself.
2) Cut the snooze button, folks. I adore my snooze button, but I’m realizing it just encourages procrastination if you can’t even get out of bed on time. Plus, the more you get finished in a day, the earlier you can go to bed and you won’t even need a snooze button anymore!
3) Have long term goals. I can’t express the importance of this enough. Live for something, and while it’s important to be present to what’s ahead of you daily, it’s also important to know, at the very least, what direction you want to go in. Also, sometimes making goals with a friend helps because you have someone to keep you accountable, as well as a support system.
4) Be your own best friend. We are so, so incredibly unwilling to be kind to ourselves. So start treating yourself like you’d treat a friend. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes, get a new lotion, take your vitamins, go on a run, eat your veggies, read a book, and spend some time being mindful (prayer, journaling, meditation, etc.). Stop waiting for someone else to tell you you’re worthy of love and start loving yourself.
Being able to check things of a list and work toward long-term goals, while also working on self-care is about having balance and being realistic, both of which are keys to being mentally healthy. While there are going to be days that you should just sit around and Netflix binge (call it a mental health break), if you are wanting to achieve something and tired of sitting around not doing anything, then get up and go do it. Ten times out of ten this will relieve anxiety. And if you still have anxiety, ask yourself if it’s something you can change… if you can’t? Take a deep breath and let it go.
They say brevity is the soul of wit, so I’ll leave it to Nike to do the trick: JUST DO IT. I know we can.