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Todays blogpost is about an important topic, and it’s something that I struggle with. Not ashamed to admit it, but I find it so hard to take a step back in life. I’m always looking ahead, finding out what has to be done next, always working and perfecting my work and I hardly ever take a break to breath. Life is special and wonderful, but it can be so rushed at times. Sometimes it feels like it’s consuming me and life gets a bit rough. I will be sharing a few of my reasons to take a step back, followed with my personal tips to take that step back and to relax. Hopefully it’ll work for you, as it does for me!
The world can wait
Mental health is one of the most important factors in life and I’m so happy that it’s becoming a more and more discussed topic. I feel like the influence of your mental health on your life wasn’t taken seriously. I was always someone to push my feelings aside to do my best at everything. It felt like the emotions and feelings were holding me back, so pushing them aside seemed like the better option. But oh, what was I wrong. It all comes back in once and you’re completely consumed by all the emotions. In the previous years (and especially this month) I’ve learned that the world can wait. Your mental health or even physical health is so much more important than that important assignment, the meeting with your friends or that important day at work. It is so hard to say “no” when you really need to, but it’s okay not to be okay. You just need to take that time to relax and reload to face the day again. It’ll be okay, but it takes time.
Appreciate the little things
When we’re so busy and looking ahead of time, we can lose track of the little important day-to-day things. At least, I do. I used to not appreciate the chirping birds in the morning, the sunset or sunrise, or just the time spend with family and friends. Since I’m taking some time, every day, to appreciate these things: I’ve become so much happier. There is so much in life to be grateful and happy about, and it’s so easy to overshadow them with negative thoughts. Stop to smell that one special flower, spend some time with your friends and family, or just enjoy the sunset at night.
Stop perfectionism and high expectations
It’s kind-off funny that I’m giving you advice about this topic, since I am the most perfectionist person with extremely high expectations of myself. But you know what, it’s not making me happy. I get migraines, need to throw up in the morning, because the pressure, the perfectionism and the high expectations are just too much. Good is good enough, that’s what I’m trying to learn. Ambition, and a hard working mentality is great, it’ll help you in life and you will see the results: but there’s a turning point to when it’s not healthy anymore. I’ve crossed that point, and need to take a few steps back, put things in perspective and get my mindset healthy again. Because yes, good is good enough, and the world won’t crash down on you when you didn’t get that result that YOU expected of yourself. Probably, others won’t either: it’s just you. You are your worst enemy when it comes to perfectionism and high expectations. And if you do have that friend in your life that crashes down on you with criticism and negative thoughts about your results or anything in life: is the friendship worth all of these things? I used to have a relationship like that, and I feel so free now that I don’t. Not saying that you have to exclude them from your life, but try and think of the possible negative influence they have on you.
Now, it’s easier said than done to take a step back. I have a few things that help me taking that step back, or to pause sometimes. It’s a work in progress, but it helps me get my stuff together and keeping my mind calm and healthy as much as possible.
I think this is something every does once in a while, to escape our world and to get our distraction: watching a movie or a tv show. It’s a great way to get your mind off things and to stop for a second. Some of the tv-shows that I love to watch are The 100 (the new season is almost here!), Grey’s Anatomy (have watched since season 1 and I still love it), Riverdale and I recently started to re-watch The Originals because I stopped somewhere in the middle of season 1. I used to watch Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf and The Vampire Diaries but they all have had their series finale!
I have been an active person since my mid-teens, but fell out of love with exercising about a year ago. I’ve been back at it for a couple of weeks and it really helps to empty my mind. It’s a great way to get your (daily) exercise in, keeping you fit and in shape and I really do believe it’s great for you mental state as well. I don’t talk about my feelings, I just keep them inside and exercising really helps me to process those feelings or to process the day/week. You don’t need a gym membership or to go all crazy exercising when it’s not really your thing. An inexpensive way to get going is running, or do some work-out videos at home: I love blogilates for my at home workouts! Yoga is another thing that helps me a lot, doing yoga once a day keeps me sane and ready for the upcoming day. I love Yoga With Adriene when I’m doing my yoga at home!
Something else that is helping me to get distracted and take that step back is reading. I mentioned before that I’m not really a reader anymore, but I’ve met some people that got me back into the love of reading! Read any genre that you like: a roman, a thriller, non-fiction or fiction or maybe a self-help book. There are some great books out there that can help you with taking a step back. I’m about to read “The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down” from Haemin Sumin and I think it’s a great book to help you in that process. I might write a review after I’ve read it!
Another thing that might help is finding some people that are in the same situation. You might feel alone or misunderstood, but I promise you: there are other people that are going through the same thing. You are definitely not alone! It’s hard to talk about problems or feelings in public, so what about finding some internet friends? I’ve met some lovely people online and I can tell them everything because they understand. They may not go through the same thing, but they listen and friends that listen are amazing.
I hope this blogpost will help you to take that step back, or to think about it. If you have any other tips, reasons or recommendations please share them! I’ll love it if we can help each other to find our quite space.