The ultimate “sorry not sharing” secret to stress relief

by | Nov 8, 2018 | Self Confidence | 0 comments

Do you remember the last time you allowed yourself to stray from your to-do list and went to your favorite cafe to have a burger? When you read that, did this cross your mind “I can’t take a day off? I’ve got so much to do!”?
If your answered YES then trust me, you’re not alone. 
 
The thought of taking time off to do fun stuff used to freak me out. I used a to-do list as comfort. If I’d checked off all my needly placed check-boxes, by 6 pm I could pad myself on the shoulder and have a cup of tea. Only then I knew I’d done well. 
If I took a day off I believed that I had failed. I measured myself by how much I got done and I thought that time off was for fools. 
 
Now I think the opposite.
When you don’t allow yourself to take time off and go for a walk. Or to pack up a picnic basket with your favorite snacks. So you can spend a day with your family, laughing your ass off, at Disneyland. That’s what’s stressing you out. 

The ultimate “sorry not sharing” secret to stress relief

Why it’s important not to measure your self-worth by your productivity.

 

On a miserable day in fall I sat on my couch, cuddled up with a soft blankie and lost myself in a book. I haven’t been able to put it down or stop talking about and then it hit me.

“This is so good, I have to share it!

The book is ‘The gift of imperfection – your guide to a wholehearted life’. By Brene Brown. In my search for what causes people to stress. This specific quote caught my eye and I had to contain myself not to scream out loud “This is what I’ve been looking for!”.

The quote is: “We’ve got so much to do and so little time that the idea of spending time doing anything unrelated to the to-do list actually creates stress. We convince ourselves that playing is a waste of precious time”.

Can you relate to this? Does the thought of removing off a couple of check-boxes from your to-do list make you loose you shit?

If your answer is yes, it’s important to figure out why.

How you stress yourself out

How you think and tackle stressful situations will determine wether you’re stressed or not. Stress often coms from fears and I wanna share a couple of common fears with you.

You…

–   are scared of judgement if you let loose.

– pride yourself on your productivity.

– have forgotten how to stop judging yourself and take a day off.

– ‘Fun’? I’ve never heard that before. 

If you recognize any of those I understand why you’re stressed. Having to live up to those expectations can crush your happiness.

What’s worse is, when you measure your self-worth in how much you can get done on a Tuesday. It leaves you with the feeling that you’re not good enough.

Visualize this… You’re feeling off and decide to pop open a chilled can of coke and take five minutes on the couch. You’re all snuggled up when your honey comes home and tells you. “Are you slacking again? If you don’t get all 12 things on your to-do list done by 6 pm, you’re a looser and then you can go find love somewhere else“.

How would that make you feel? First, you’d hide his beer so he’d need to drink water while watching the Pittsburgh Steelers. Second it would make you feel like a looser. Third, you’d be right back in the stress game. Why? Because your spouse made you believe that you need to earn his love and time to relax.

This was a trick because your spouse wouldn’t tell you that. He loves you and understands your needs. Yet, you know who don’t?

You.

When you don’t allow yourself to take time off you tell yourself that you don’t respect your needs. You stress yourself out.  In the story above,  your spouse is  you. Why? Because you’re the one telling yourself that you’re only worth loving if you stay busy. Before you think ‘I do love myself and I respect my own needs!’, then answer this.

If you respect yourself and your needs, why do you overwhelm yourself with a plate that full? 

Your lack of self love and understanding for your needs to take time off, is what’s causing you stress.

Why taking time off to ‘play’ will rejuvenate you 

What do you think happens when being productive is so important to you that doing what you love takes a back seat? You run out of gas. When your car is out of gas you fill it up again, right? Why? Because your car can’t drive without gas. Duh. The same goes for you. When you’re running around doing errands you run out of gas. How do you re-fill your gas?

 If you wanna know the secret, you have to do a drumroll…

You spend time to rest and play!

Spending time laughing and doing what you enjoy the most, is the best way for stress relief. When you take time off to play and have fun, you’ll rejuvenate yourself. Then you can come back to work with more energy and a refreshed mind. You gotta admit, it’s a win win.

Eliminating fear of failure:

Don’t worry. I understand if you’re resisting to make this change. New things can be scary. To overcome this fear you need to figure out what fears stand in your way of taking the leap and making the change.

As we reviewed, taking time off will actually make you more productive. There’s really nothing to loose! So let’s dive in and define your fears.

To replace your fear with something better, you have to get them out of your head and down on paper.  When you get your fears out of your head and on to paper, it’ll be much easier to change them into something constructive!

So bring out pen and a fresh piece of paper or download my free workbook to overcome stress and fill it in there.

Now imagine you’re wearing a lying detector machine and that you have to answer the following questions truthfully!

– What fears hold you back from taking time off?

 Does certain peoples opinions make you believe it’s not okay to take time off?

– Were you told to work hard as a child?

-Were you told to only take time off if you got sick?

Way to go! Now you’ve discovered what fears hold you back. The next step is to replace your fears with kindness and self love.

Choose one of the fears you wrote down. Answer the following question with that fear in mind.

– Is my fear realistic? 

– Is this a fear that I’ve been taught by someone else? (Did any of your close relatives have this fear?)

– If I take the time off that I need, will my fear come true? Why? Why not?

Have you answered all the questions above? Good. Now to the final step. Replace your fear with kindness and understanding.

Here’s an example of a fear that I had:

Fear: If I don’t work hard every day and take time off to myself. I’ve failed. I’m not allowed to take time off.

Is your fear realistic?: Is it realistic that I’m a failure because I take time off to myself that I need even thought I’m not sick? No it’s not. It’s a bunch of baloney.

Where does my fear come from? When I was a child. My mom taught me that I could only take a day off if I was sick. That’s why I believe that I can only take time off if I’m sick. 

See how my fear is actually a projection of something I learned as a child? What I learned doesn’t serve me now, so I’m gonna turn it into something that does serve me now.

Replacement of kindness: I deserve time to relax and play any time I need. Regardless of how much I’ve worked and how much I’ve got done. I love myself and respect my needs to rest and play.

Practice this every time you’re held back by a fear and ‘poof’ your fear will disappear and your stress will dissolve.  

How do you like to have fun?

Can you name 1 activity that makes you relaxed and have fun? Something that makes your soul happy.

If you’ve forgotten what a hobby is or how to relax. Now is the time to rekindle your love for that side of you. 

List anything that comes to mind, that’s something you’d like to start doing! I found a list of hobbies if your need some help to refresh your memories.

http://www.notsoboringlife.com/list-of-hobbies/

Choose at least 5 ways you can play and rest.

I’ll tell you mine.

I love to paint and the feeling of walking inside a panting store. Choosing the perfect canvas and driving home to put paint on it fresh, brings me so much joy. 

What’s yours?

Make a plan:

To make all this work, it needs to become a habit. Now that you know what fun hobby you’d love to take up again, let’s make yourself accountable.

Every Sunday I encourage you to take 30 minutes to yourself to make a plan for the following week. Like you schedule in everything else, you gotta schedule time to rest and play.

If you think you might skip your scheduled down time, ask someone else to help keep you accountable.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Which part of this post resonated with you most and why?

What can you do today to turn that insight into action right now? 

Leave a comment below and let me know. 

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. 

With great love, 

XOXO 

Anna 

Lær hvordan at du med simple redskaber kan håndtere dine negative tanker, så du kan få overskud, føle dig selvsikker og leve livet med lethed.

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