The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Category: Self-care (page 1 of 21)

Perfectionism: Why It Isn’t Your Friend

A popular cop-out I have heard in personal and professional circles is the idea that “perfectionism” is healthy.

“What’s wrong with having high standards?  Isn’t perfectionism a better work ethic than laziness?”

I truly believe that perfectionism is the WORST form of self-abuse. In my history of working with addicts I understand that there is a “feeling” most substance users are trying to achieve. They want to numb out, have more energy, forget everything, be social or feel sexier, to name a few.

For perfectionists there is no high. There is no end result. IT IS A NEVER ENDING CHASE. A goal may be reached (entry into college, perfect grades, completion of a project) but a true perfectionist still won’t feel “worthy” after accomplishing goals. Just like a codependent person needs someone to fix, the perfectionist needs to feed their self-worth.

With this constant chase comes brutal self-punishment. Other dirty little words like “should”, “failure” and “ought to” keep our inner critic busy.

Rule #1: Don’t SHOULD on yourself.

perfectionism

When our personal demands (powered by brutal self-punishment), affect our self-worth, problems arise. Low self-esteem leads to……wait, I don’t have enough time to discuss what that leads to. You get the picture.

In my personal and professional life, I discourage the use of the word “perfect.” It’s unattainable. “Perfect” sets up unrealistic expectations. And we all know what happens when expectations are set too high. DISAPPOINTMENT!

So what are some solutions?

  • Take the word “perfect” out of your vocabulary. Now.  Thank You.
  • Think of what “perfect” used to mean to you. I understand that some projects for work and home need to be up to a certain standard. Are these projects now considered “up to your standards?” Could you say “I’m pleased with my work? I’m proud of how this project came out.” Isn’t that a more “loving” statement than “My work was perfect.”
  • Think of where you use this word? Do you use this with your spouse/partner? If so, please stop. Remember what I wrote earlier. Perfect is unattainable. It’s unfair to place that standard on someone as important as a spouse/partner. What is “perfect?” Someone who doesn’t cheat on you? State that as a boundary. (What are boundaries? I have a post for that too!)
  • Do you use this word with your children?  What type of pressure are you placing on them by asking them to do things perfectly? Is it more realistic to encourage them to “do their best?”  Most adults suffer with perfectionism due to demands placed on them as children. Click To Tweet

In summary, less pressure can be placed on us and people around us if we set reasonable expectations for behavior. Choose more loving expectations and prepare to receive more loving results!

 

 

3 Signs That Your Routine Is Sabotaging Your Life

Have you ever felt uncomfortable switching up your daily routine?

When I work with clients living with mental illness, setting up a realistic and healthy routine is important. Many parents live by routines to help teach their kids responsibility. Personally, I live and die by the clock. My client sessions are 50 mins long and I even schedule my blog work by the hour.

Productivity experts would vouch for setting up a routine, but let’s look at these routine errors that could be silently sabotaging your life.

Your Routine Doesn’t Include Self-Care

The common complaint I hear as a self-care blogger is, “I don’t have time for self-care.” You don’t have time because you don’t make time. If you automatically shut it down, you have assigned a negative label to it. Did you know that self-care consists of that paid hour lunch you receive? Self-care can occur on your way to work, while you’re in the shower and while you’re doing the normal things you already dread doing. One of my Pinterest boards includes a shower meditation, where you can envision washing off whatever you need to release for that day. On weekends I play music in the shower to signify a shift from the sleepy Monday-Friday showers. If your routine involves eating lunch at your desk, I would suggest taking your lunch elsewhere. You may surprisingly feel refreshed and ready to conquer the 2nd half of your day!

Your Routine Involves Too Much Multi-Tasking

I sometimes amaze myself at how much housework I can tackle all at once. Does it leave me exhausted at the end? Absolutely! I’m not suggesting taking away the multi-tasking but try to place a limit on it. When I feel overwhelmed between errands, housework and my blog schedule I use the Pomodoro technique. This is also a good tip for anyone with chronic pain. I break my tasks into hourly segments. I sit and blog for one hour. Then I take a break by completing housework for 30 min or 1 hour (depending on how my chronic pain is acting). I dread looking at an action list that involves a mix of all 3 responsibilities. When I break these tasks into hour or 30 min. segments, the tasks feel more realistic. Plus, this gives me a break from sitting or cleaning too long. These active breaks also help my creativity and allow me to put my work to sleep for a minute. Is anyone else a fan of the Pomodoro technique?

Your Routine Doesn’t Include The Important People In Your Life

How often do you get to text or chat with your best friends?

When was the last time you visited with family members or friends who are out of town? If our weekly schedules don’t include time for connections, what are we working so hard for? Click To Tweet Do we feel bad on the holidays because we don’t have the money to visit family members? Could we start saving money or vacation time at work for the holiday we really want? Weekly (and sometimes daily) group texts with my best friends in California are a life saver for me. We even have a Snapchat group list so we can send life updates or encouraging messages to each other.

(Recommended reading: Are You A Bad Friend?)

Personal connections can get lost in our daily hustle. Relationships take work. Our supportive people in our life can ground us, distract us from our daily struggles and remind us of our importance in their lives. Spending time with friends or loved ones (without drama or codependency) can help reduce burnout as well. If work/school/career is burning you out, you need that distraction, encouragement, laughter and connection with others.

Our lives can easily get controlled by the necessity to work, make more money and do that next thing. Auto-pilot is dangerous. Maybe your daughter is tired of playing that same sport every year. Who says you have to run that weekend program or coach that team again? If you keep signing up for the same responsibility with a tinge of resentment, that’s telling you something.

Spending quality time with quality people and adding self-care can only bring necessary benefits to your life. They shouldn’t be withdrawing from your valuable time but depositing instead.

Put the control back into your life, replace dreadful activities with elements of self-care and bring back that sense of belonging!

How has your routine sabotaged your life?

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