Sometimes life throws curveballs at you. Things pick up at work, there are sudden family commitments, things that you can't plan for. I try to set goals for myself, try to commit time to my writing and to reading more, but sometimes those plans are unattainable.
I'm a perfectionist and something of a people-pleaser. When things pick up at work, I work overtime to try to keep pace. When I don't have the time I want to write, I cut into the time I'm supposed to be sleeping. It feels easier for me to disregard my health or mental wellbeing to try to keep up with everything I should be doing, or think I should be doing. We hear so much about the hustle, the grind. I mean, everyone else is able to function on five hours of sleep, can dedicate themselves to pursuing their dreams with abandon, why can't I?
It has been a really hard lesson to learn that sometimes I can't do everything. Pure perfectionism and a bullish refusal to quit has buoyed me through a lot of challenges, but I'm finding that trying to maintain that level of effort is just not sustainable. It is okay to admit that you can't do things, to readjust your goals, to shift your deadlines. The goal isn't worth attaining if you are sleep deprived, stressed, sick, and anxiety-ridden.
This post may sound familiar to you. I've written about topics like burnout before, but it is something I need to keep reminding myself of. I catch myself pushing a bit too far, sleeping too little, trying to jam in too many things at once and have to force myself to step back. It is something I am constantly working on.
So, if you feel like you aren't writing enough, aren't doing enough at work, aren't active enough on social media, aren't maintaining your relationships the way you want to, take a step back. You can't do it all and it is okay to admit that. Dial back your time at work, make sure you are eating and sleeping enough. Don't feel bad for making the adjustments you need to. I usually find that the person with the highest expectations is always me. I'm trying to be kinder to myself, but it is a process. For everyone else out there feeling stressed out, like they are never doing enough, just remember that there is only so much that you can give to your work, to your side hustle, to your family, to your friends. Give a little bit of time to yourself too.