Many of us sweat the small stuff on a daily basis, forgetting the more important things in life that should concern us. Well, I’ve decided enough is enough – and I’m asking you to join me.
Look at the bigger picture.
Location: Bluebell Woods, Gloucestershire
These thoughts kicked in last week as I was catching up with the latest episode of First Dates (anyone else’s guilty pleasure?). I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of emotion as one particular date played out…
A 21 year old woman had been diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 16, and as a result had to have part of her leg amputated. Her date lost his mother to breast cancer when he was just 17. It triggered something in my brain and I couldn’t help but stop to think about all the unimportant things that most of us worry about on a daily basis. Small, teeny tiny problems that aren’t really problems when you look at the ‘bigger picture’.
I suddenly felt thankful for being able to walk, talk and wash without any help, to be living somewhere I feel safe and happy and to be surrounded by people who love me. These are the important things. You begin to put things into perspective when a dramatic life event happens, even if it doesn’t affect you directly, and you start to appreciate aspects of your life that you may usually take for granted. Life’s too short, right?! We all strive to live a more stress-free life and by making small changes to our daily routine, we can all feel a little happier and fulfilled.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
That’s the idea, anyway, so on the off chance that you’re reading this and need a little help in worrying less about work, social media pressures and just life in general – I have some advice for you…
Switch off for a few hours
The internet can be a crazy place, right? As much of an advocate I am for being present online, I also believe in the importance of turning your mobile data/WiFi off for at least a couple of hours every now and then.
Just ask yourself, ‘what will I actually miss?’
The honest answer? Probably nothing. Well, you might miss what your favourite blogger had for lunch and a Kardashian selfie or two, but will those moments make you feel better about yourself? Probably not. I find it crazy that so many of us rely on our phones and digital devices now to make it through the day – I’m certainly guilty of scrolling with no particular purpose. Disconnecting from the online world will not only have substantial benefits for your wellbeing, but for your productivity too.
Recently I found myself starting to fret about losing followers for not posting 3 times a day on Instagram, how ridiculous does that sound? As much as I love being a blogger, it can be exhausting at times – so I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry if the image I share doesn’t ‘fit my feed’ nor will I panic about not sharing every detail of my day. Neither should you. Make plans to do something fun with friends, start a new hobby (offline), get creative in the kitchen and do some baking or simply take a stroll in the (bluebell) woods…
Stop comparing yourself to others
How much time and energy do we waste every day on this? Try and focus on just how awesome YOU are. Write a list of all your accomplishments – no matter how big or small.
Talking from experience, comparing yourself to others gets you absolutely nowhere! It might be your best friend or a fellow blogger, whoever it is, will no doubt have their own issues and struggles that a perfectly posed image will never tell. I know people who ONLY share their ‘best life’ on social media,
boasting posting where they’re off to on holiday, birthday gifts galore and how much their partner loves them. It can make you feel inferior for a moment or two, sure, but perhaps we all focus too much now on other people’s lives.
We feed off other people’s likes and comments, but it’s not reality. My work colleague and I have discussed a couple of times now about the frustration when a friend admits to seeing and liking your Instagram photo, but didn’t physically tap the ‘like’ button.There are clearly two types of people in this world – the ones who click the ‘like’ button when they actually like something, and the ones who don’t. Does it matter if the person has told you they like it, but not boosted our social numbers? Not really, but it’s a good example of how we much rely on others (and social media) to feel better about ourselves.
It’s good to remember that we each control how we see things and how we process information, nobody else. Next time you start to compare your life to someone else’s, turn it around and big yourself up instead. Don’t waste precious time or effort in worrying about not being ‘perfect’ or the fact you’re not going on three holidays this year. Nobody is perfect. In fact, we’re all far, far from it – and that’s actually more interesting, don’t you think?
“There is no one you-er than you.”
Live in the moment
I don’t know about you but sometimes life feels like it’s going a hundred miles an hour. There are days, weeks, where I feel like I need to just slow down, stop for a second and catch up with life.
Stop to re-focus and gather my thoughts on how to get my shit together – because that’s what late twenty-somethings have to do. Squeeze in as many minutes as possible to figure out how to get the right balance of work and play. I’ve caught a few hours today to tick off about 5 or 6 things on my never-ending to do list and it feels flippin’ amazing! I’ve even managed to paint my nails this evening, I’m just bossing at life. Jokes, but it is amazing what you can get done when you let go of tomorrow’s ‘what if’s’ and live in the present.
Try it for yourself some time. Stop. Refresh. You can’t pour from an empty cup, as they say.
Do one thing at a time
I have a habit of opening too many ‘tabs’ at the same time, in an attempt to tick off a variety of chores all at once. I always start off feeling overconfident, and the next thing I know I’m failing miserably at every single job and don’t achieve anything!
I’ve started to focus on taking on one task at a time – at work and at home. I find writing a weekly to-do list at the start of each week, sharing tasks over 4 or 5 days really help. I’ve discovered that if I schedule more than 5 tasks a day, I simply won’t finish them.
The same is to be said for social occasions. I’ve explained in a previous post here about how I used to be a ‘Yes Woman‘ and would always squeeze in several social events in one evening. I burnt out and had to force myself to be a more ‘choosy’ Yes Woman. Over 8 months on and I’m reaping the benefits of not feeling the pressure to see 2 or 3 friendship groups all in one evening – as are they!
It’s all about getting the right balance, prioritising what needs to be done today and what can be pushed back a day or three.
If all else fails, go for a walk.
Switch off, live in the moment… ^^
The weather was so beautiful on Sunday that I couldn’t resist going for a sunny stroll in the woods. A sea of bluebells greeted us as we carefully tried to avoid squashing any on our way through. I feel very lucky to live in the Cotswolds, where I’m spoilt for choice on picturesque places to visit. Nothing beats a long walk to clear the cobwebs – it almost felt like I had hit the ‘refresh’ button in my mind, suddenly able to see things a little clearer again.
On a side note: I wouldn’t recommend wearing sandals when walking through woodland…
What do you do to gain perspective? I’d love to hear your thoughts!