Do you fall into the trap of needing to completely occupy your time, or feeling like you're not successful unless your day is jam-packed with running all over the place?
You wake up at the crack of dawn to work out, quickly run home to shower and get ready before class, rush to work, and then afterward still have to do homework or go food shopping. But you get this overwhelming sense of feeling like you are so successful because you just stretched yourself so thin, yet somehow got it all done.
That has summed up my life for the last four years. Having my day completely booked is almost a distraction for me. I'm running away from my thoughts, my problems, my feelings. So, when I'm busy, I can't think about those things.
I have a deep-rooted sense of never being enough, whether that be for myself or for everyone else. I'm terrified of letting others down. "Disappointed" is a word I never want to hear from others, but somehow, I always end up disappointing myself by pleasing them. I'm left overstretched, stressed out, and holding onto my sanity by a thread.
But that's okay because everyone is happy. I made it to class on time, to work on time, to my appointments, to get dinner with my friends. I did it all. I feel a sense of fulfillment of knowing that I'm doing everything I possibly can.
The days I rest are a different story. The days that I decided to not work out, I don't have class or work, the days when I can just completely veg out, are the days I feel like a failure. I feel lazy. I feel like I'm wasting a perfect day to get stuff done.
I'm only going to say this once, but some days not doing anything, is doing more than enough. Mental health is so crucial for your physical health as well. I've made myself sick over how stressed out I was. By putting so much on my plate, barely sleeping, drinking too much caffeine, eating snacks, and not having enough water and meals, I got sick because of the stress I thought I could handle.
The truth is, I was trying to prove to everyone and myself that I can do X, Y, and Z and do it damn well. I could handle anything and everything that was thrown at me, and even when I did it all and did it right, I still felt like I could do more. Or that what I was doing wasn't enough. There was always one more mile I could've run or one more thing I could've done; nothing was ever good enough.
When, in reality, the thing I wasn't doing enough of was self-care and self-compassion. I was doing enough, way more than enough, and I didn't realize that until I had finally broke. My body gave up on me. It physically stopped me from doing what I wanted. It told me no, for the first time in a very long time.
Sitting with that feeling was extremely hard. Knowing that you can't do the things you want and having to face not doing a million things is so uncomfortable. That's when the quote, "Life starts at the end of your comfort zone," really comes into play.
Being tied to doing too much is never a good thing. You are putting yourself last. You are losing pieces of yourself every single day in order to make others feel whole.
Taking care of yourself is enough. Laying in sweats all day and eating ice cream is enough. Simply just breathing and putting one foot in front of the other on really bad days, is enough.
I can promise you that, sometimes, the littlest things can make you feel the most successful and fulfilled. You just have to find what those things are for you.