The July long weekend usually marks our official border crossing into summer time. Most of us are looking forward to some time off work this summer. But the reality is gearing up to leave work takes effort, and the time away goes fast. And for many, some of that vacation time is spent dreading coming back.
Vacation time is precious, and our desire to make it perfect can add even more stress. Moreover, for overworked, and stressed out multi-tasking women, spending time with family does not always deliver rest and relaxation.
Do you really want to rejuvenate this summer? Why not try lowering your expectations for a little while and give yourself a real break? Try pressing the pause button on your perfectionism – just until the fall.
Slow down and get a bit sloppy. Spend time embracing what you like about yourself, and your life. Say, “I am enough” out loud and as many times as you need to until it feels like you mean it.
Lower your expectations and give yourself some room to take a breath. Do it in the service of preserving your potential and ensuring you do not burn out.
I am prone to comparing myself to others, and I know I am not alone. Have you ever looked at someone else’s happy Facebook or Instagram post and found yourself feeling suddenly sad? Instantly the inner critic is ignited. You need to be more productive, skinnier, taller, smarter, richer and have a bigger house to be OK.
On low energy, painfully ordinary day seeing shiny, happy people, looking fabulous is demoralizing.
Moreover, it is rarely productive or accurate to compare your insides with other people’s outsides. What you are concluding about others lives often is not even real. I have cleaned up pretty well and looked good on some horrible and heartbreaking days.
A wise mentor once said to me, “When you find yourself comparing yourself to others know you aren’t in a spiritual place.” What a great perspective check.
What else is true is it is natural for our moods to fluctuate. Lately, so many people crossing my path are fatigued. A lot is going on in the world and in our lives that is out of our control.
Life is full of joys, sorrows, loss, and victories, and it keeps changing constantly. The high, lows, and lulls all take a toll on our energy and spirits.
Do something radical. Last week I cancelled some appointments to play with my Grandson. My day was unproductive by design. I watched my Grandson Rockwell slowly demolish a cookie and water our outdoor furniture for a couple of hours.
I said yes to everything Rockwell wanted and marvelled at what he sees in the world that I don’t normally notice. And why is his mother a girl? Good question Rockwell.
We capped off the morning racing down aisles at Safeway in a cart with a car while he squealed with delight. Once home alone, I wore my pyjamas for the rest of the day. I did not work on my book or even pretend to read a good one. I watched a TLC show called “Out daughtered,” and I don’t care if I ever see again.
That evening I had a Zoom conference call with my mentoring group. I changed out of my pyjama top but kept on my flannel bottoms. As my colleagues reported out success stories, I listened contentedly in my cozy mismatched outfit. That day, my job was only to rest in the knowledge; this was someone else’s time to shine.
Permit yourself a time out from “living your best life” and embrace your OK one. Let yourself know it is OK not to be a winner every day. This summer, allow yourself to be a little lighter, a little less focussed and let your humanness show.