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Do you feel overwhelmed by how much you have to do?

I’m writing this because this is me this week… totally, 100%. Every little thing is bothering me and feels like a huge mountain to climb… how much decorating needs doing, what I need to do to hit my sales target for May, how much work I need to do on my fitness to get back to where I was in 2020, how many orders I need to finish before I go on holiday, oh yeah about that… how much weight I want to lose and how many pairs of shorts I need to buy! And this is the crazy thing… I’ve recently started to learn to play the drums, which I’ve wanted to do for ages and I’m really really enjoying it. Yet now I’m watching videos of drummers in my ‘spare’ time (i.e. wasting time on Tik Tok) and telling myself that I’ve got so much to learn before I’ll ever be as good as them.

Why is this happening and why am I sabotaging my personal development in this way??!!

I suppose the good thing is that I’m aware of it. I’m aware that this is what happens whenever I feel stressed and who knows when and why that one decides to rear its ugly head? Stress usually starts to creep in when you are worrying too much about events that will take place in the future rather than focussing on the here and now and reflecting on your achievements in the past. Maybe, if I’m honest, there’s a bit more than usual going on this week, I’m not going to bed as early as I should, not practicing enough self-care and I'm allowing myself to say ‘yes’ a few too many times when I probably should be saying no to a few things. This is OK, this is life and it happens sometimes, being aware of it is the thing and having some strategies in place to manage it is crucial.

This week, here are some thoughts that have genuinely gone through my head:

  • “I’ve only got 4 months before the London Marathon and I’m still unfit and injured.”

  • “Typical how you book a last-minute holiday because you need a break and suddenly loads of orders fly in that need to be done beforehand.”

  • “I haven’t got enough stock for the fairs that are booked into the diary so why am I even considering taking on more shows?”

  • “I’ll never be able to speed up my arm and leg co-ordination to play anything anywhere decent so there’s no point me even entertaining the idea of buying a drum kit.”

  • “I haven’t found time this month yet to work on any Christmas designs and I’ll miss the boat and not have enough nice things to sell.” – yes really, unbelievably I allowed myself to worry over that one!

And the worst one for me is when I start comparing myself to other people who have ‘got their shit together’ and coming off worse. I do this with my running, with my work and also with my hobbies and it needs to stop! Because the reality is, nobody feels like they’ve got all of their shit together, all of the time (well maybe some people do, but it’s rare).

These are some of the replacement thoughts that I have tried to force feed into my head this week (and believe me, I’ve had to work hard on this but self-care is sometimes hard and that's OK too):

  • “Don’t worry about your long-term goals, just focus on what you can do today and chip away at that because the rest will follow.”

  • “Don’t focus on how much you need to do, focus on what you have done, take time to reflect on how much you have achieved.”

  • “You always do better than you expect you’ll do so what are you worrying about? And if you don’t then use it as an opportunity to learn so you can’t really lose.”

  • “Everyone else sees you differently to how you see yourself, they all think you’ve got your shit together so maybe you have.” (that one did make me laugh).

  • “Be grateful for the things you can do and worry less about the things you can’t”

Right, that’s my bit of self-talk for the day, I hope it helps you as much as it helps me. Now I’m off to prepare for my craft fair tomorrow and take some time out later to go and bang some drums 😊

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