Recharging your energy- Let go of guilt
To round off this series, I have a golden rule of mine that - once I started following - I became more productive and generally more at peace with myself and the world.
As a former master procrastinator, I had finely honed my skill to riddle myself with guilt about choosing not to do the things I 'needed' to get done and 'relax' instead.
After all, I'd been doing this since year 7 so by the time I was an adult I had gotten so good at it, I didn't even realize it was an automatic button that got pressed every time I chose to relax. After, after all, there's ALWAYS another task on the list, something we could be doing instead of sitting down and resting, we just choose what's urgent and what can wait.
A keystone in my discovery of my own self improvement, was learning to let go of guilt and actually allow myself to do whatever it is I wanted/needed when I didn't feel I had the energy to get the 'important' things done. When we're spending mental energy guilting ourselves during relaxation time, we don't really get the benefit. Therefore, we avoid our responsibilties for longer and more often, trying and trying to feel more energetic and ready to deal with them. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's felt the drag of this and how it simply doesn't seem to work. It actually gave me such relief to enjoy my relaxation time properly, guilt free, that I needed half as much time to relax as usual.
Afterwards, I often felt surprisingly ready to get stuck in to my to do list and meet it with more enthusiasm. As always, this is a practice and something I had to work at but as I got better at doing it, the results were also greater! I realized it was just as important to follow this principle and allow myself the freedom of guilt free relaxation, regardless of what was on the back burner, as it was to dedicate my time and energy to do the tasks required to keep life flowing smoothly.
Now I know what you're thinking. NO, this doesn't mean you get to bludge all the time because you feel like it. This is the shaddow side of discipline that many people miss. Discipline is not just about slogging it and forcing yourself to get through something you don't want to do, pushing yourself to your limits. It's about crafting the type of mindset and lifestyle that fills all of your needs, internal and external. Making conscious choices that help you manage your energy refills and expendatures.
When you practice something like this, you really begin to discern when you actually have some fuel left in the tank to get things done
(i.e yeah, okay, I'm not so tired I can't do this /
am I just being whiny today and over-dramatizing how I feel? /
I know I'm gonna feel so much better having this task finished so it's worth pushing on)
And when you genuinely need a break
(i.e I want to strike a bargain with the devil to get out of my responsibilities today /
I'm on the verge of a breakdown /
I really just need an hour to relax before I get on with this)
This is a valuable skill that is undervalued in todays society.
I have been at both ends of the spectrum. I've been a lazy procrastinator who doesn't want to have any obligations, work or otherwise, doing the bare minimum to get through my day so I could go home and take a nap. I've also been the person who worked 4 jobs whilst studying, maintaining a relationship, all household cleaning and owning an high shedding, anxious and reactive dog. Both ends of this spectrum were exhausting. I felt exhausted all the time. In fact, I think I felt exhausted for 10 years straight. My journey out of exhaustion to the place I'm in now is down to many things, but believe me when I say, this one simple thing, made a huge difference and had a profound domino effect.
I hope this series has been helpful to you and given you some new tools to work with, stirred some new thoughts or changed your mindset on what it really means to re-energize yourself.
With love, light and gratitude