In the past 18 months I’ve rarely had an evening where I’ve just let myself relax. I’ve always had a to-do list ten miles long, and I’ve always felt like I needed to be doing something. I’ve always tried to cram so much into every evening, and I’ve always felt too guilty to stray from the plan. I’ve always been trying to do something or learn something or achieve something, and I’ve always put my goals first. But it’s coming at a cost. I’m putting so much pressure on myself to do something useful that I’m forgetting to take care of me.
Which is why I’ve made this list of changes that I will be making to make me a calmer, happier and more fantabulously amazing person. Because being fantabulously amazing is super important.
Have at least one evening a week “off”
I’d love to have one evening “off”, where I don’t work on the blog, or my novel, or coding, or housework. One night where I can just lounge about and read and watch the Inbetweeners without feeling guilty for neglecting my to-do list. One night where I can snuggle under blankets and play Pokemon for hours on end…
This is sounding great already!
Turn the laptop off at half past ten on work nights
Because I’m always trying to use every minute of the day to catch-up on things, I’ve gotten into the really bad habit of trying to finish things off in bed and it’s not a great way to wind down. Some nights I find myself staying up way later than I should to finish a blog post or fill in forms, and it just leaves me feeling tired, drained and very stressed out. So, from now on, I’m aiming to switch my laptop off at half past ten every night and have a relaxing night’s sleep!
Have an “easy meal” night
A lot of the meals I make involve a lot of prep, so it’d be so lovely to have a quick meal one night a week. Coming home from work and spending half an hour chopping vegetables is so tiring and I love to have one night where I can just fling myself on the sofa (in a non-sofa-breaking way) and chill. Hopefully I can find an easy meal that’s reasonably healthy. And one that can be eaten straight out of the box. No washing-up for me!
Organise my time better
I want to start dedicating specific times to specific things, rather than writing two lines of a blog post an hour while procrastinating on the Internet. Although I do really love procrastinating, doing things this way just results in me getting more stressed and having less “free” time to read, game or watch TV. It’d be nice to have a set stopping time for tasks, so I can waste less evenings unsuccessfully trying to do something. No procrastination! More relaxation!
I’ve always been an overly ambitious person, which means that I sometimes (always) set myself ridiculously difficult goals. The to-do lists I make myself are usually way too excessive, and often leave me feeling stressed to the point where I feel guilty for relaxing, which is ridiculous. I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself to do everything. I don’t NEED to write four blog posts a week, or 10,000 words of a novel, or clean every single area of the house. It’s just not realistic. Plus, it’s way more fun to take your time doing something. Rushing to meet a deadline is never fun.
So that’s my plan. Hopefully this will make my evenings a lot more enjoyable and reduce my stress levels. And hopefully it’ll give me more time to binge-watch Game of Thrones and yell at Littlefinger for being the single most annoying character in any TV programme ever. Because that sort of stuff is important.
Do you think it’s important to relax? How do you make things easier for yourself?