Thought of the Day: Monotony

Monotony

Thank you to all my readers for your kind patience with my erratic posting schedule this April and May. The various bank holidays in England and my trips away have wreaked havoc to my usual routine. There is so much to share with you but it seems that there are not enough hours in the day to fit everything in.

Continuing my journey on self-compassion, I have tried to be kinder to myself by being less critical when I don’t achieve 100%. Yet, I have not been able to stop an encroaching sense of guilt for not completing things I have set out for myself; such as my blogging and dedicating time for other projects that I care about. Though I had previously recognised it would be a long journey in developing self-compassion, my impatience with the lack of progress is also holding me back which then slows me down even further…

In the past few weeks, I have also developed a trapped sense of monotony: the everyday churn of waking up, travelling to work, work, commuting back home or going to the gym, chores, washing and, sleeping. This feeling does not go away, even when my routine has switched up, such as seeing my friends and family during the holidays. No matter way I do, I couldn’t seem to shake this feeling of monotony. 

Monotony

When researching this topic, there is a clear link between boredom and monotony, but in my opinion, they should not be used interchangeably. As previously written on the blog, it is possible to embrace boredom from time to time; it can be used to stimulate creativity. However, I believe that monotony is chronic boredom and tips the scale to negativity. There are others who have argued otherwise and believes that monotony frees up time to think about other stuff.

Monotony is defined as “lack of variety and interest; tedious repetition and routine.”

I believe the key emphasis is on “tedious”. Monotony impacts an individual differently, where some people cannot live in monotony and require frequent and or excessive changes in their lives. I believe I am one of those people, so much so that I would get upset if I have the same lunch and/or dinner two days in a row (but I am fine having the same breakfast every day; don’t ask me why!…)

On the other hand, other people become used to it. It is also possible that certain monotonous activities can become an “addiction” because it is so comforting, such as a drinking a cup of coffee/tea in the morning, or having something sweet after dinner. I struggle to agree with this argument and rather melodramatic. Can’t something be routine without it being monotonous? There is nothing wrong with seeking comfort in predictability but can monotony be negative to our mental wellbeing? 

Routine vs. Monotony

From the readings (though there is not much on this topic), monotony is bad. However, there are many advocates on the positivity of monotony whereby it is possible to make life simpler and calmer because monotony creates a structure which results in a calm feeling and removes decision making. The simplification of your life helps you conserve energy for things are more important. 

However, I fundamentally disagree with those arguments. This is because I believe that the articles confuse routine with monotony. The fact I brush my teeth in the morning and night is good for my dental health, or going to the gym three times a week is good for my physical and mental wellbeing. Yes, it takes away decision making and allows my mind to wander (similar to boredom), however, this is a routine, not monotony. Routine is monotony without the feeling of “tediousness”. For example, I really dislike dusting the house and associate it with something negative – whenever I complete the task it feels very monotonous. The fine line between routine and monotony is, therefore, in the mind. It is important to recognise the signs and then be proactive to change it. 

Mental Health Check

Through the course of writing this blog post which has taken me several weeks; I have had the chance to step back and assess my mental health and I believe that the following may have triggered my negative mental state. 

  • Lack of reading – I have been struggling to find a good book to get my teeth into. I was reading “Start with why” by Simon Sinek but was couldn’t engage with the book, so I thought I would change it up and read “Little History of Philosophy” by Nigel Warburton, but was not taking much in. Finally, reading “Unnatural Causes” by Richard Shepherd kicked me back into my reading routine and mentally felt better and refreshed.  I am really surprised by how reading has become such an important part of my mental health. Others have also found that this can help with monotony. [Note: not paid for the links, just thought I would be helpful!]
  • Lack of Time Out – As an introvert, socialising is really tough. I love spending time with my friends and engage in deep meaningful conversations but it takes a toll when I am doing it multiple times a week. I was not listening to myself and allowed social obligations to dictate my diary instead of being strict with my time and recovery
  • Lack of Routine – As emphasised previously, having a routine does not equal to monotony. With many friends visiting and travelling to Vienna & Barcelona, I did not follow the comfortable routine I have developed over the past few months, particularly when spending weekends to visit art galleries or museums; (I had to squeeze in a lot of activities in one day rather than time to reflect after the visits). This has also meant that I have not spent much time with my boyfriend which is never a good thing! 

By failing to recognise the importance of routine and checking into my mental health, things that were pleasurable had become monotonous and negative.  

Other Tips & Ideas to Break Monotony

There are others who have suggestions on how to “escape the monotony of life”.

  • For those who are adventurous, I would suggest checking out this article. Clare Healy focuses on the need to being outside and also travelling, such as becoming a weekender nomad by visiting and staying in other cities to break away from your normal routine. 
  • For those that need convincing that you are number one and it is important to invest in yourself, read this article here. It is a great article on overall life tips (not necessarily to tackle monotony). The key take away points are that you should always invest in yourself, whether a nicer holiday away or learning something new – you are always worth those extra pennies. Take risks and own your own time.

In the past few weeks, I have read more and tried to resume my routine of going to the gym and galleries. I can feel myself slowly recharging and become my more positive self, and not surprisingly, life is feeling a little less monotonous! Have you ever experienced monotony? How did you overcome the negative mental hurdle? As always, I would love to hear from you! 

With Sweet & Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken x

P.S. For those who are sporty, a sports example of routine vs monotony can be found here

Thought of the Day: Self Compassion

Self Compassion

Happy Sunday everyone and welcome back to another long read on the Pineapple Chicken Blog. Last week, we discussed confidence and it was a chance to embark on a long but hopefully positive journey. However, this week I seemed to have taken a step back. It was a particularly difficult week and I could feel that I was not myself.

I have been trying to lose weight for my own personal health and to feel more comfortable in my own skin. But let’s be honest, there are social pressures to look a certain way especially when I spend so much time on Instagram looking at other inspirational women. However, this week I managed to put on weight which was extremely frustrating. I tried to “fail forward” by telling myself that it was a poor result but I need to push myself for the next coming week and lose what I put on and more.

Though this is not the main reason for my poor mental health this week, it certainly was a catalyst and impacted my relationships with others. I was taking a lot of issues back home; though my boyfriend tried his hardest to get me out of this “funk”; it proved to be futile. I am very grateful for my supportive network, but messaging my sister and communicating it with my boyfriend made it worse. My feelings of inadequacy grew because I had to reach out for help and inconveniencing others. Frustratingly, I was unable to effectively communicate how I was feeling and I just “couldn’t just get over it”; which then furthered spiralled into negative thoughts on how I could not get anything right. Worst still important people in my life think that a lack of confidence is “unattractive” which went back to the topic of not looking attractive and I put on weight this week, and this was an obvious fact to prove my inadequacies…the spiral goes on. 

This is why I wanted to focus on self-compassion this week. I know that I am very self-critical, however, I believe I need this to push myself forward and be “successful”, “effective” and “high achieving”. I have days where I believe that things are going right and feel awesome but these are plagued by many more days when I look and the mirror all that is staring back at me are my faults and flaws.

Self Esteem

Through my research on this topic, it seemed to be important to distinguish the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion, they are very different and I have been too focused on the wrong thing.

Self-esteem is defined as your feelings about yourself (positive or negative), as well as how you think other people value you and feel towards you.

When we become concerned about our self-esteem, it is necessary to compare yourselves to others. This is how you judge whether you are “better” or have “progressed” further than your peers. My constant comparisons are: Am I earning enough? Am I as successful as them in my career? Do I have the same comforts/lifestyle as them? They have already bought their dream home, when will I ever afford mine? They are getting married, will I ever be married? Do I look as beautiful as her? How do I get myself as slim as her?   You are probably thinking, girl, get a grip! Why are you comparing yourself to others? Though it is clear that I am overly concerned with my self-esteem and what I think of others and what others think of me.

It is clear that my thoughts are negative and for someone who stresses out really easily, it is a double whammy of emotions (Something else to work on…). In such instances, the body’s primitive response kicks in – the fight or flight response. In order to motivate yourself, do you judge yourself harshly and yourself a mental kick to push harder (fight)? Or do you run away and avoid the situation altogether and just “shut down” (flight)? I certainly can recall situations where I have selected the fight or flight response, or flip-flopped between the two.  High achievers consider themselves with more at stake because it is necessary to maintain an image of competence or success. The faster you are sprinting any little bump along the road will trip you up and the harder you will fall and any trip is seen as a failure. 

Being over concerned about your self-esteem does not help to build resilience. Self-esteem is fragile and forces us to becomes dependent on the acceptance and praise of others. In the era of Instagram and a constant online presence; the search for instant gratification and recognition by others through “likes” or “followers” has had a negative impact on our mental health, particularly mine. I recognise the irony that I write a blog and have a presence on Instagram as well. I could just turn away from it all but social connectivity is also fundamentally a human trait. For me, I wanted to tackle the issue more head-on than to remove my online presence but noting that this is not for everyone. There are more and more books coming out on digital detoxes etc.

If self-esteem shouldn’t be the focus, then what is self-compassion and why is this a better model?

Self Compassion

Self-compassion involves applying a sense of warm, positive regard towards yourself. It does not differ from the compassion you give to others. It is when you can empathise and appreciate that things don’t always go according to plan and it is okay to make mistakes. Self-compassion is just when you do it to yourself.

Without it, you are faced with feelings of negative self-esteem. The feeling you are unworthy and in its extreme form could develop into addictions, unhealthy relationships, hollow success, or material possessions. I am sure my boyfriend would say I have fallen into the material possessions category! This can potentially go on to negatively impact your mental wellbeing and develop into mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. 

From my readings, I understand that it is necessary to work on my inner struggles and learn to love myself. Do not be mistaken that self-compassion is not self-pity. It is not an “excuse” card nor a lazy way out. It is not a sign of weakness. Self-compassion requires vulnerability and the courage to face our insecurities as this is the way to learn self-compassion and acceptance.

“The first step we need to take on the path toward self-compassion is to embrace the most simple and basic fact that when our emotional immune systems are weak we should do everything in our power to strengthen them, not devastate them even further,” – psychologist Guy Winch.

When talking about self-compassion, it is nearly impossible to ignore the research by Dr Kirsten Neff who has also published a book on this topic. I have not yet had a chance to read it, but if I ever get a chance I will give a review when I do! She defines that self-compassion has three components

  1. Self-kindness vs. self-judgment – it is being understanding towards ourselves and recognising that it is okay to be imperfect and that life will throw things at us, but that is okay. If we accept this as inevitable then we can be kinder and sympathetic to ourselves
  2. Common humanity vs. isolation – it is to understand that you are not the only one suffering and that all humans suffer. You are not alone.
  3. Mindfulness vs. over-identification – self-compassion requires taking a balanced approach to negative feelings. You have to be mindful of those who are suffering around you and putting your own situation into a larger perspective and try not to get caught up in your own negativity. It means you have to be open to your own emotions and not be judgemental.

If you are interested in learning more, there is a test to check how self-compassionate you areI got a score of 2.23, which unsurprisingly is considered low in self-compassion. A score of 2.5-3.5 indicates you are moderate, and 3.5-5.0 means you are high. It is all well and good knowing a score but the key question is how do we develop more self-compassion? 

Cultivating Self Compassion

  • Practice Mindfulness/Meditation: This is linked to the three elements of self-compassion above; if you find yourself listening to your inner critic and telling yourself stories about your own inadequacies, this is known as over-identification. Be mindful and aware of these thoughts. Acknowledge them and just push them away. The below video is a little exercise you can try for yourself and for those who would like to learn more about standing up to your inner critic, please see this article here
  • Give yourself permission to be imperfect: Stop punishing yourself for your mistakes. It is totally acceptable to fail. You need to accept this feeling, giving yourself the permission might make it easier to accept how you are feeling
  • Express gratitude: I think this is also a topic that is big enough on its own, but feeling a sense of gratitude is very powerful. There is a lot of strength in appreciating what we have right now and who we are right now. Embrace that and you may notice you will develop a gentler voice and move the focus away from our shortcomings.
  • Work with a supportive therapist or coach: Remember my tips are from my own research if you feel that you need extra help, always go to a professional! They are trained to see through all the negative beliefs and can help you find your way back to the amazing person you are and always have been.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post. As always I would love to hear from you, so leave a message below or on other social media channels. Remember you are awesome and worthy, so be kind to yourself and others.

With Sweet and Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken x

Thought of the Day: Change

Hi Everyone!

How has your weekend been so far? I am taking a chilled Sunday today, originally I had planned to go to the Science Museum, but I had recognised that I have done a lot of socialising this week and it was starting to take a toll on me. For those who have followed me for a while are aware that I am an introvert (it is also in my tag line!). I love seeing my friends and I live for genuine and deep meaningful conversations. However, eventually, I crash and need time to recover and recharge my batteries.

As mentioned in my previous post, I have moved in with my boyfriend, and I have started to find alternative ways to get “alone time” as I no longer have my own room. Today, I wanted to write about change and how that can impact one’s mental health. The below is purely my experience, but I wanted to share how I didn’t manage the big change of moving with a significant other, and how I think I would have done it better (if there was a next time). Today’s post will be a long piece, so sit back and relax 🙂

Change (2)

Change Management – why is it all business?

I recently completed a people manager course for the company I work for. It was very interesting because we spent half a day on just the topic of managing change. If you google “managing change” there are 6.13 billion search results but if scan the first page – it is all in relation to organisations. I can understand why organisations/psychologists have spent so much time and effort in developing theories in this area. However, if you try to google “managing personal change”, you will find that it is all about how to change behaviours or skills.

This is disappointing/frustrating because I strongly believe that big changes in my personal life have a larger impact on my personal wellbeing and mental health than compared to work; such as moving away from family, a heartbreak, a loss of someone close to you. Do you feel the same?

Therefore, I want to explore whether these “change theories” are applicable to my scenario: moving in with my boyfriend and whether this can be helpful for you for any future changes in your life.

Change Curve

Copyright Moss Warner
Copyright Moss Warner https://newsfeed.mosswarner.com/change-management-communications/

This might be quite familiar to most people;  the change curve was originally developed by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross for grief, but this has been applied to change management in organisations. I believe that this can also be applied to other forms of change in our personal life:

  • Shock – when we first discussed the topic of moving in, I definitely went through a stage of shock. I was extremely excited by the thought, but it is so different to how I was living, and there was a shift towards panic  – what if it doesn’t work out? what if we break up from this because we actually can’t stand each other? Do I want to give up what I have now? Am I prepared to commute? 
  • Denial – There was a period of time where I dragged my feet. Given we had talked about it for so long, my boyfriend was wondering why I had not moved in 2018, he kept asking when are you moving in? Give me a date. I was in a state of denial.
  • Acceptance –  Despite loving the idea of moving with my other half, I recognised that it was the right choice and also inevitable if we want to positively move forward in our relationship (marriage, building a family together, buying a home etc.). When I set the date – 1st Feb – it was clear the change was real. Looking back, I did not realise that I was very frustrated by the whole process of moving. I didn’t even know how to begin packing. The constant dread whilst going through my stuff and wondering whether it will fit in the flat. During this time my boyfriend was completely supportive and just said pack everything and we will worry about where to put it later. This added to the frustration because I was not wired that way – I want a place for everything. I didn’t want clutter. I had accumulated a lot of stuff in my lifetime and I knew that I had to #konmari my belongings and truly ask myself what I loved and should bring. There was A LOT of tears and worry.
  • Experimental/Decision – There was no experimental part to the move given that I had set a date and everything just got moved in. There really wasn’t an opportunity to put my “toe in the water”. I think this added to the shock, however, I think I am comfortable in the Decision stage where I have accepted the reality of living without my sister and with my boyfriend and we are slowly finding the right rhythm between us.
  • Engagement – onward and upwards! (Hopefully!)

The change curve is important because I think it is necessary to recognise the various stages of change and the emotions that come with it. Before, completing this exercise, I did not appreciate the significant impact of the change on my emotional/mental health.

If I had an opportunity for a “do over” I should have taken time to understand my feelings and not try to power through it all. Understanding that I did not need to feel guilty when I had become “frustrated” or “angry”.

Communication is key with change and I should have worked with my boyfriend to manage this change properly.

If you are interested to learn more, here are a few more links on the Change Curve:

Implementing Change

John P Kotter is a name you will hear often on the topic of understanding and managing change. He developed an eight-stage change model and written books – ‘Leading Change’ (1995) and the follow-up ‘The Heart Of Change’ (2002). Let’s see if it is useful for my situation and whether I could have managed it better.

  1. Create Urgency – the idea is to develop a sense of urgency around the need for change. In my example, I believe that this was created and this was through communication with my boyfriend and him giving me pressure that this is something that has to be done quickly for the good of our relationship. What is important about this stage is the need for communication – you need to get all parties involved to start thinking and talking.
  2. Building a guiding team – get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills and levels. For my example, I believe that my boyfriend and I did have the right emotional commitment, but not necessarily the right mix of skills.  I should have considered hiring a “professional” man in a van and moved everything at once, rather than driving and doing it all in bits and pieces, which added to my frustration with the change.
  3. Create a vision for change – When you first create change, everyone will have an opinion or idea. It is important to create an overall vision and strategy. Everyone needs to understand why they are doing something and their role in the change process. This was a particularly easy stage for my boyfriend and I given that we know the ultimate goal was to move in with each other.  However, I don’t think I communicated that I required emotional support from my boyfriend. Unfortunately, during this time there was a lot going on his personal life as well and I did not want to add to his list of things to do. However, it is important that I need to also recognise my needs. I think it would have been useful to involve him in the process of integrating (i.e. my stuff in his space and him knowing what I have done to change in his home) so he was part of the “vision”.
  4. Communicate the vision – Talk about the vision and address peoples’ concerns and anxieties, openly and honestly. This ties very closely with Stage 1 of the process, people need to understand the change and it is communicated where the end goal in. As you can see, communication continues to be important throughout.
  5. Empower Actions – remove obstacles and enable constructive feedback. Again, communication is key. Having those open conversations on what you think is working and not working was extremely important for my boyfriend and I. By actively asking him how he felt about me moving in, what he has liked so far, what has annoyed him and what could we compromise on, has made this process a lot easier to navigate. He did the same with me, so we can try and reach a point of equilibrium asap!
  6. Create short term wins – set aims that are easy to achieve. I think this is very dependent on the situation, but measurable targets are important and tracking against those targets gives a sense of satisfaction that progress has been made. I definitely need to think this through a bit more: potentially making a meal together at home together and spending a day together at home could be my next targets.
  7. Build on the change – real change runs deep. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change. I am currently in only week 1 of living together. The long term change is ultimately living together in harmony before we move again to an eventual family home (fingers crossed).
  8. Anchor the changes – Last, but not least, make continuous efforts to ensure that the change is seen in every aspect of your life. I have not yet told all my family about the move in (do they really need to know?). Though this is daunting, I think it is important as this will embed the change and people around me understand the change. As communication is key, it is important to talk about the change and process to others.

For more information, here are some handy links:

Personal Change Management

Thank you for reaching the end of this long read. I hope you have enjoyed the post but please note that what I have written is no substitution for professional help if you are dealing with a significant change in your life. I just wanted to discuss and consciously understand the change that is happening in my life.

Do you think you can apply the change curve and change management models to your personal life? As always, I would love to hear from you.

With Sweet & Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken x

For those are looking for another deep read, my boyfriend has posted a deep and meaningful post here.

 

Thought of the Day: Art & Wellness

Hi everyone,

How is everyone doing? I hope you have had a wonderful weekend. Today’s post is going to be a long one, so sit back and relax with a nice warm drink. I have subscribed to the Art Pass for about two years now and because I am able to get discounts to exhibitions, it has meant that I have ended up visiting many more museums and galleries than ever before. The Art Fund has conducted a wellbeing report, which I want t share with you today 🙂

Stress and Anxiety

From the research, it has been found that people in the UK are anxious about their workload, financial situations, health issues, and social isolation etc. To be fair this is not a surprise and something I think about more often than I would like. It is also not surprising that many people struggle to find time for themselves and/or pursue activities that positively contribute to their own wellbeing, such as visiting museums and galleries.

Wellbeing

This is a topic I care passionately about, but I realised that if someone asked me – what exactly wellbeing is? I would not be able to give them a concise answer. This is probably something I should delve into more in the future. However, for the purposes of this post, I will use the definition from the report.

Wellbeing covers our happiness and our satisfaction with our lives, but stresses and anxieties are also central to our overall wellbeing.

It is too simplistic to believe that wellbeing is just absence of anxiety. It also encompasses how we feel about our lives in general. This would change depending on whether we are focusing on the present or the future.

Anxious society?

I think we can agree that we need a bit of stress in our lives. This just keeps us moving and helps us get things done, however, if is long lasting and persistent then this can have a negative effect on our wellbeing. I have certainly experienced this myself when my personal needs conflicted with my career. From the survey, it turns out that 45% of adults in Greater London say they feel anxious at least some of the time.

How do you de-stress?

I am really going to try and work out what my best ways are to de-stress this year. I have touched upon recovery, previously. During the early stage of my career my wellbeing was what I neglected the most and did not realise the impact it had on my mental health. For someone who likes to say yes to everything and do things that stretch me, it is an easy trap to fall into.

While it is not easy to do, the report recognises that making time for ourselves or taking time out with others can help build resilience against stresses and anxiety. Having my best friend return to London has done wonders to my wellbeing as I have someone to engage in deep meaningful conversations. I am grateful that I have a wonderfully supportive boyfriend who has helped me cope with whatever life throws at me/us. Having time for myself is very important and I really appreciate it. My favourite things are visiting museums and galleries; as well as reading and travelling – basically, anything covered in this blog!

Do we use our time wisely?

The survey found that when we do have time to ourselves participants use over 3 hours watching TV and nearly 2 hours a day on social media. Personally, I think there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it works for you. However, in the survey, these were not activities chosen by respondents to relax or deal with anxiety. In fact, 39% said staying away from social media was a way to de-stress!

screenshot_20190120-081825

Art and Wellness

We all understand the benefits of our wellbeing comes from doing the things we love. This really isn’t rocket science! The survey found that most of us (59%) understand the power of our leisure activities and we consider them as an important part of our lives as well as helping us feel more positive about life in general.

screenshot_20190120-082909

What I found fascinating was that over half (53%) of adults say their leisure activities help them deal with life’s up and downs, rising to 74% among those who specifically make time for these activities. Though especially for art, the survey responses found that 63% of participants have at some point used a visit to a museum or gallery to ‘de-stress’. However, only 6% of them had visited a museum or gallery at least once a month.

This is one of the reasons for my blog. I have seen the benefits of seeing art for my wellbeing and it seems like others feel the same way! (It’s nice to know I am not the only one.)

screenshot_20190120-083159Per the report, they described museums and galleries as places which can offer an oasis of peace and tranquillity or an array of stimulating new ideas. I really agree with this, I find them such conducive environments – you learn so much and it is something we can share with others. I have definitely had more interesting conversations and the report said that it could potentially give one a sense of purpose (I have yet to experience this).

What do you think though, do you agree with the findings of the report? I have personally experienced the benefits of visiting museums and galleries and would love to encourage you to try the same and see whether you felt a bit better after 😊 Regardless, of whether you like art or not, be kind to yourself and make time for yourself to do something you love – you know you deserve it!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

With Sweet & Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken x

 

 

 

Thought of the Day: Recovery

Hey Everyone!

I hope you are having a wonderful start to the week. It has been a depressingly grey day in London; so this has resulted in me looking out the window, sighing and, having random thoughts.

Before I resume my usual blogs of travel and art, I wanted to share something I had learned at work and some counter-arguments to the lessons learned in the book Life Leverage from my previous post.

For those who have not read my ‘About’ page, I currently work in financial services which unfortunately is often associated with high stress and long hours. The concept of Life Leverage (not an ad) is to minimise time doing things you do not enjoy and maximising the time available to do complete an ‘income generating task’.

One criticism of this is that the theory does not really consider the concept of recovery. I work in a very forward-thinking and caring company. During my time at work, they have provided resources for my colleagues to manage work-related stress. I had an opportunity to go on a course held by Cognacity (not an ad) and they introduced me this concept of recovery.

This is obviously not new, athletes completely value and understand the importance of recovery for long-term performance. However, this is something that is not ingrained for people at a desk job.

  • How many of you check work emails after office hours? Or even on holiday?
  • Do you think about work when you have left the office?
  • Do you bring your stress and anger home to your loved ones?

I think society today expects you to perform at your maximum output consistently. Have you found that the better you do, the more work you are given? It is this endless spiral! The expectations are always higher. You can never reach your “full potential” and you can always be more “effective”.

From one of the quizzes, it was identified that I am a very “should” person. I wonder if any of you share this trait with me?

Do you feel guilty when you are taking some downtime?

This weekend I had to catch up with some household chores and self-care (my nails were looking hideous). After that, I spent most of the time relaxing. However, I had this nagging feeling that I should be doing more.

  • I should go to the latest art exhibition instead of watching TV so I can write about it on my blog
  • I should be doing the dishes and cleaning the house
  • I should be tidying my room in and continue my pursuit for a minimalist lifestyle (struggling)
  • I should be reading or thinking of ways to make money
  • I should be studying or finding something new to learn.
  • I should be… Etc.

I realised that I have been doing this a lot and this has caused me quite a bit of anxiety. The guilt I feel when I am not doing something “productive”. I have had instances where I have crammed so much in a weekend I am exhausted by Monday morning because I have done too much or socialised too much. As an introvert, a busy weekend with others can be extremely exhausting, no matter how much I love the company.

I am definitely struggling between being effective vs. feeling guilty when I need recovery.

Remember, recovery is just as important as being productive/effective. So next time, take time for yourself and put your feet up 🙂 do something that really relaxes you or whatever to energise yourself. You totally deserve it!

Have you ever thought about how you can incorporate recovery in your daily life? Are you are “should” person?

I would love to hear your experiences, whether you are a total zen yogi who has life sorted out to someone who struggles with the balance.

With Sweet & Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken x