As I mentioned yesterday, my friend Katie and I had a nice long dinner on Sunday night. She also made the big move across the country (Ohio to California) a few months later than I did, settling in Costa Mesa in August. We actually went to the same high school in Toledo, but I graduated a year prior. It has been amazing having her here, since we both know what the other is dealing with and are both totally new to life in Orange County.
I was sharing with her Sunday how I’ve been feeling extremely and almost uncontrollably anxious. It’s hard to describe, but the last few weeks I’ve been overly emotional, but I can’t seem to control it or explain why I feel that way. (Which drives me nuts, and makes it worse). I’m anxious about the future, and what is in store for me. And I feel like the changes I want to make aren’t happening quickly enough.
Will I stay here? Will we move when the lease it up? Where should we go next? What kind of job do I want? What are my career goals? Do I even have career goals? Why haven’t I been better about my nutrition? Why did I skip two workouts last week?
The list goes on.
As I’m explaining these feelings to her she told me that she was also having similar feelings, and what she finally realized was that she needed to cut herself some slack. Katie looked at me and said (something along the lines of) “You’re 24, you moved across the country, you’re supporting yourself, you run a blog, have good relationships with your friends and family and are committed to your health and fitness. You’re doing it and you need to cut yourself some slack.”
When she gets down she has been reminding herself of everything she’s done and accomplished this year (similar list to mine) and it has been helping her to relax and reduce the anxiety.
I, like most people, am my hardest critic. I want to be better at everything I do and believe there is always room for improvement. But sometimes this drive to be better can manifest itself into anxiety and paralysis. Do you ever have so much to do that you have no idea where to start, so you don’t?
In college when this happened we would lie on the floor and call it pancaking. It still happens to me – but oftentimes it’s now my bed instead of the floor.
Since Sunday I have been working to “cut myself some slack.” This doesn’t mean becoming a lazy slob that doesn’t care, but rather not worrying if its 9:52 am and I’ve already had two Christmas cookies at work (right now), or if I didn’t get a job I applied for, or if I’m not sure where I’ll be living come June. It’s okay. I have time. And I’m still moving forward.
With the end of the year comes reflection for most people. This year, reflect on both the good and bad, but don’t forget to look at all you’ve accomplished. Even if you didn’t get engaged, married, buy a house, adopt 7 dogs, have a kid, save the world, take 4 service trips and land your dream job (like everyone on Facebook seems to do haha). Celebrate what you learned and accomplished, and set goals for the New Year. But don’t let society tell you what your goals should be.
I’ll be over here trying to find that beautiful balance between giving myself a break and getting sh** done.
Thanks for reading today & everyday. I appreciate you.
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