Women are wired to feel guilty.
We have an innate need to be productive.
…..checking things off on our lists.
…..moving on to the next thing.
Yesterday, one of the lovely women in my Facebook community, the Women Who Spark Tribe, posted this inspiration:
Go easy on yourself. Whatever you do today, let it be enough.
One of the other women commented, “Boy did I need to see this today. I felt like I got absolutely nothing accomplished today. I was hard on myself. Then I saw this, and I’m feeling better now.”
It’s okay. It’s okay to have days where you do absolutely nothing. Give yourself that permission.
Six Ideas to Let It Be Enough
#1. Acknowledge this time for what it is.
We are in the midst of an unprecedented time in history. Our world is on lockdown. For the first time ever, we are being told to stay home. If this time is 30 – 60 days, then we have 30 – 60 days to be off of the hamster wheel of life. Do you recall the phrase, “Stop the world, I want to get off?” This is exactly what has happened. Find the blessing in this moment.
#2. Focus on today.
What can you do right now to take care of yourself? What you would most enjoy doing? Would you like to read a book? Put together a puzzle? Try a new recipe? Settle in on your couch with a cozy blanket, cup of tea…to binge watch a tv series everyone is talking about? You will likely never have a time like this again—a time when the world is shut down— and I suggest you give yourself permission to do today what you would love to do. Guilt free.
We will have things to figure out for the future. Let’s address that when that time gets here.
#3. Draw strength from others.
One of the inspirations that has circulated goes something like this, “Your grandparents were called to the front lines of war. You’re being asked to stay home and sit on your couch.” Right? Or what about the holocaust? Or Nelson Mandela’s 27 years in prison? Or your years-long battle with cancer? Or your friend’s battle? Many people have coped with isolation, difficulty and fear…and emerged stronger than before.
This won’t be an easy recovery, but we will survive.
#4. Create a Do Today list of three things.
I’ve lived my entire adult life as a list maker. I imagine the likelihood is high that you’re the same. But a Do Today list is a new idea for me. When you wake up in the morning, write down the three things you will accomplish that day:
- Do the laundry
- Write a card to each of my grandchildren
- Write a blog post
- Clean out the junk drawer
- Experiment with bread baking
- Make a meal for my neighbor
- Put all of my winter clothes in storage
- Dust the furniture in the living room
My list for today is 1) Write this blog post; 2) reach out to my friend to get some of her sour dough bread starter, and 3) make a meal for one of my neighbors.” Then tonight I will be binge watching Downton’s Abbey with my husband….guilt free. What is your list? If you accomplish your three things, the rest of your day is yours. Three things a day X 365 days a year = 1095 accomplishments in a year.
#5. Organize the space around you.
Create peace around you. If you haven’t yet tackled the clutter and the piles and the too-much-stuff situation, perhaps you could add this to your Do Today lists for the coming several days. If your surfaces are free of clutter, and if you have taken the care and attention to create a peaceful space, it will help to minimize your anxiety and create a sense of calm.
This is a perfect time to get to some of these organizing projects that you can’t get to. One drawer at a time. One closet at a time. One room at time. Make a bit of progress every day.
#6. Have a long-term perspective.
I realize this may feel like a contradiction to #2. You can do both: 1) focus on today AND 2) keep a long-term perspective. The long-term perspective is so important. In the long term, it will be okay. I encourage you to remember this. Every crisis our country has ever experienced…not only have we have recovered, we have gone on to have health, vitality and prosperity. The great recession of 2008, the great depression, the Spanish Flu of 1918, World War I, World War II, 9/11. We survived. Now, in fairness, this doesn’t mean it will be easy. And, it will be months and months before we settle in to our new normal. The old one isn’t coming back, but there will be a new one.
Whatever you do, give yourself a break. Do your best, and let it be enough.
FREE: During the quarantine, I’m giving away copies of my book, Women Who Spark: 12 Steps to Catapult Happiness, Cultivate Confidence and Discover the Purpose of Your Life. You only pay shipping and handling. To order, visit https://aletanorris.com/shop/women-who-spark-book/order/