I think there’s something about our generation, that feels like we need to be busy all of the time. We’re in the era of the girl boss, and hustling, which is great and inspiring, but is our constant need to be out hitting goals and constantly working, having an effect on both our physical and mental health?
I found that I was guilty of this when I started to realise that, whenever someone asked me ‘how’s work?’ I’d feel like I’d have to reply with ‘SO busy.’ Even if I wasn’t busy, and had spent the previous afternoon watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix and staring at my laptop waiting for my inbox to ping.
I feel like I have to justify myself all of the time, that I do in fact work hard and by that, I feel like I have to always say I’m busy. I always feel like people give full time bloggers and YouTubers a hard time, and they get slated for not having a ‘proper job’ and are ‘talentless.’ People I know, have told me, that my job isn’t hard, or it isn’t a real job (all the eye rolls) and I guess my stubborn nature feels like I have to prove people wrong, by always saying I’m super busy, even though I know how hard I work, and why do I care so much about other people?
Well that’s a post for another day.
Anyways, this constant need to feel busy, or to be smashing goals, has sometimes left me feeling unsuccessful, that I’m a failure, or that I’m useless cause my brain just won’t seem to function. I’m so guilty of comparing myself to other people, especially other bloggers, and thinking ‘well they’re doing that, so why aren’t I?’ Or beating myself up when my head feels like a big bowl of jelly and won’t produce a good idea.
I used to feel a little jealous when I’d see people talk about how they were up at 5am to start their day, or had three hours sleep cause they were so busy, but recently, I’ve realised and yes it has taken me this long, to realise that everyone is different and you have to do what works for you.
One thing that I found very useful from my CBT sessions, was the importance of a good work/life balance. After suffering with low moods for the best part of a year, my therapist said she wasn’t surprised when my life revolved around work. The only ‘fun’ thing I was doing, was going to the gym, which isn’t really that fun, let’s be honest.
Those sessions did make me realise a few things, and I do feel like I have a bit of a different outlook now, which is good and something I feel is a bit healthier and positive for me.
Today, I wanted to write about some things recently I have realised, mainly for myself to look back on when I have the guilt for having the weekend off, or for sacking off work to catch up on Love Island on my lunch. I also thought this might help anyone else who like me, feels constant guilt when not working, or beats themselves up when they’re not being productive.
So let’s get started…
1. You Are Entitled To A Break
As I mentioned above, I do suffer a bit of guilt when it comes to my job. I feel so lucky to be doing what I’m doing, that I feel like I’m not allowed a break because I have such a good job. Of course, every one is entitled to a break no matter what your job is, you can’t work 24/7 that’s just not healthy, even if it is the best job in the world. Me denying myself of a proper break, was harming me and essentially my job, and when I thought about it, back in my old jobs, I had annual leave, two days off a week, even in the evenings when I left work, that was it. Work done for the night. However, I don’t do a quarter of that now, it made me think that I am allowed a break, and I should take them more often. We all should. Having a break doesn’t mean you’re lazy, or not working hard enough, it’s actually good to do it.
2. Working Out Your Own Routine:
For so long, I’ve felt almost restrained to a 9-5 mindset, feeling like I have to work in those hours, or again, I’d feel guilty. However, I realised that the beauty of being self employed is that you can set your own routine. Whether it’s working in the morning, or evening, or having a break in the middle of the day, it’s what works for you. Everyone works differently and sometimes you just need to realise that that is okay, you set the beat to your own drum and do what works for you. It doesn’t even need to be about work, you can set your own routine about anything and I think that was something I used to forget, I used to think I had to do what was the popular way of doing things, when instead you’ve just gotta do what’s right for you.
3. Do More Of What You Enjoy:
As part of my CBT sessions, my therapist got me to make an activity diary, so she could see what my day to day life entailed. As I mentioned above, the majority of the week was spent working, and she told me that it no wonder I was suffering with low moods and negative thoughts. She told me to work out what I found enjoyable and start working this into my day. Whether it’s reading blogs whilst eating breakfast, or watching a film in the evening, or whatever you enjoy doing, you should try and incorporate this into your everyday life if you can. I often feel guilty for doing things I enjoy, so this needs to stop, and if anything, it’s good for you!
4. Don’t Compare Your Success To Someone Else’s:
Social media means that comparing ourselves to every Tom, Jack and Harry out there is very, very easy. Hands up who has felt a failure after scrolling through Facebook, or Instagram, and wondering why you haven’t landed your dream job yet/got engaged/married/had kids/go on amazing holidays/win awards/etc….. it’s so easy to look at other bloggers, and think ‘why don’t I have that?’ ‘Why did that brand not work with me?’ You can drive yourself a bit crazy, and it’s something I was so guilty of doing. You can’t compare your success with someone else’s, because we all get to things differently. Just because something isn’t happening right now for you, it doesn’t mean it never will. Your success could be different to someone else’s, for example, someone’s idea of success is having a job where you wake up at 8am every day, or is home by 6pm every evening, someone else’s could be winning The Nobel Prize. You just can’t measure your version of success with anyone else’s.
I used to compare myself to very successful bloggers, and youtubers, and think why don’t I have millions of subscribers, but I try to not focus too much on anyone else anymore. Instead focusing on myself, and working out what I see as a success. Instead of perhaps seeing something and being sad or jealous, I use it as motivation to work harder, and remember how hard that person has worked to get to where they are. There is no ticking clock, or any rules that says you have to reach certain goals at a certain point, you do you.
I know all these things may seem pretty simple, but they really have made a big difference to my mindset recently.
I guess I’ve realised that although your job is super important, looking after ourselves is more so. You can’t perform 100% at your job if you feel like you’re running on 10%, your health should always take #1 priority, and you should never feel guilty for that!
Do you have any tips or advice for dealing with the constant need to be busy/successful?