Thursday, August 1, 2013

Self-care strategy #3 -- be more forgiving to self

I am the type who likes to write a list of plans for the next day, and then 70% of the items on the list don't get done. Then I get very frustrated with myself and give up. Typical perfectionist-procrastinator-self-destructive behaviour. This habit lowers self-esteem and doesn't get me anywhere.

Change of strategy:

- Still make lists, but don't feel bad when I don't accomplish things. Focus on the 30% that I did manage to accomplish. One might suggest that I list less things, but I'm an obsessive planner and I will write up things that needs to be done within 10 years if it comes up on my mind. So, before I master my skill for prioritization, I need to be more forgiving to myself.

Counterintuitively, being more self-forgiving releases my frozen/giving up behavior, and allows me to continue getting things done.

Another strategy:

- Schedule breaks and "do-nothing" tasks into my daily to-do items. Otherwise I will feel bad whenever I relax because there's still a gigantic list of things that needs to be done. Unlike many of my friends who seem to be comfortable scheduling a million activities (Drinking with friends! music concerts! Hiking, biking, learn a new sport! Writing classes! Language classes! All in one weekend!) into their lives whenever they don't have obligations, I feel like I seriously need a lot of down time.  I am happy if I do one extra-curricular activity on a weekend rather then ten things, even if they are all supposed to be fun. I don't know why I am so mentally exhausted, but I am, and I need to be firm about the type of lifestyle that suits me rather than to follow the paths of my seemingly more accomplished friends. I'm really hoping one day I will overcome my psychological fatigue and be more motivated again.