I don’t know about you but when I need a break an inner voice buzzes around my head like an irritating fly, telling me all kinds of elaborate guilt-inducing comparison-laden stories.
“Bzzzz…A break from what? You get to stay home all day! Bzzzz… The house is a mess! You wanted kids! Bzzzz…The fridge is empty – you’re not even getting the basics done! Get all the jobs finished before you sit down! Bzzzz… there’s not many ticks on that to do list…Bzzzz…Everyone else seems to manage OK…"
What stories are YOU telling yourself?
Here are a few quick wins to use in combat (these are techniques I use with my coaching clients all the time):
Write it out
Put that thought down on paper. See how it looks. Ask yourself – what could I say to myself instead that is helpful and enabling?
Get Quiet time
Stop what you’re doing. Put your phone off. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in… breathe in calm… let a slow breath out… exhale all tension. Repeat as many times as you need to.
Repeat an affirmation
Have one to hand (e.g. ‘I can better take care of others when I take care of myself’ or ‘I am a priority’). Say it in your head, write it down, think of it during your quiet time, sing it out loud – whatever works)
Rethink your to do list. The feeling of being overwhelmed comes from a mismatch between the things we feel we ought to do and the things we have the capacity for. Pick 3 of them to be today’s to do’s, and leave the rest on a secondary ‘pending’ list somewhere else that you can pick from tomorrow. Delegate. Ask for help and be open to receiving it.
Make it non-negotiable
Don’t reason with your inner voice (or anyone else for that matter!). This is how it is, this is how it is going to be.
Can you flip the bird to your inner voice today to give yourself a break?