The other week I was having a difficult time. I couldn’t stay focused on anything. I was grumpy and easily pushed into anger. I felt stressed and overwhelmed. I just couldn’t get myself grounded to take care of what I needed to. And I completely ignored it all until I had a mini-breakdown and just snapped.
The problem is I don’t listen to myself.
I have issues with procrastination. I always have, and honestly, I probably always will. It is something I work hard to overcome. So more often than not, when I get signs that I need to slow down and take a break, I ignore them. I ignore them because I don’t want to procrastinate and because I feel like I wasted a lot of time in my short life already, and I don’t want to waste any more of it.
The truth is this is not a healthy way to live life though. Ignoring my warning signs, ignoring upcoming mountains, and just charging through with life and trying to make myself do more constantly.
Sometimes when my mind is saying “stop,” it really is me just wanting to play games and faff about.
Often, however, it is my mind telling me that I have had enough or am moving towards a breakdown if I don’t slow down.
I need to learn to listen to myself. Learn the difference between “okay you just want to be lazy” and “holy crap Megan if you don’t remove something from your plate, you are going to drop everything.”
And it is not just a matter of “do I need to slow down or am I procrastinating?” but other aspects of my life as well.
Am I just being emotional because of my mental health issues, or is something wrong that I need to process and work through?
Is this just anxiety, or am a nervous for an actual reason I can address?
Am I feeling anti-social, or am I avoiding a situation because it is best for me? Or even if it is just being anti-social is it me saying that I need a break from other people to recharge?
Am I being lazy, or do I really just need an honest watch Netflix all day self-care day?
I tend to automatically assume the worst about myself and just push myself to deal with it and do what I have to do. Sometimes you do need to do that by the way. Sometimes I need to make myself go out, sometimes I need to make myself do work.
But constantly having the standard of “no you are being dumb, just do it” is not healthy for me. I again ignore myself screaming, “hey we need a break just for a moment” and then end up making things so much worse for myself.
It happened again more recently. I was trying to decide which days to stream one week, and I kept wanting to make myself do it earlier in the week. Finally, though I stopped, I slowed down, and I listened to myself. The message I got was “not today, you are not in a good place today.” It wasn’t “you are just avoiding streaming” it was that I needed to spend that evening doing other things and tackle stream on a later day.
It was good to hear that. It was good to listen. And it was good not to assume that my motivations were bad ones. I just needed to hear that it was not the right day.
I want to work on that. I want to work on understanding better when I am giving myself signs that something is coming so that I can actively work to avoid major blow-ups. If I can look out for a roadblock in the distance, then I can stop myself from ever hitting it. Instead, I live life just powering through until I hit it full on and then stop.
I don’t imagine it is an easy skill, but it is an important one and one I want to strive for.