It probably doesn’t seem like much or like it could possible be enough but sometimes all you need is 5 minutes.
So often we tell ourselves that we don’t have the time for certain things. They could be things that take minutes not hours or days but somehow we still find a way to make excuses.
Perhaps you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. A thought comes to you that maybe meditating might help but you push it aside because you feel as though you don’t have the time.
But what if you just gave yourself 5 minutes.
I’ve found that more often than not, the act of slowing down to meditate even just for a little while works wonders. And other times, I am reminded of the importance of making time to slow down and so I give myself 20 minutes, half an hour or even an hour.
The problem is rarely that you don’t have time but instead that you aren’t willing to make time for the things that will actually benefit you.
I recently unsubscribed from an email list. Afterwards, I got thinking about why I did it for that particular brand and why I’d do it in general.
We all already get way too many emails and so an additional 5 a week from a company you bought hair products from once and don’t plan to buy from again is just too much.
Just because we place one order with a company, doesn’t mean we’re interested in their email marketing. We might want updates on sales or new products they come out with but everything else is just annoying.
And lastly, we want to feel respected. Just because someone now has our email when we’re being bombarded with emails every few days or even weekly it feels like excessive. I think we’d all much rather read emails that feel important to us (not just to the person sending them) even if their intention is to get us to buy more stuff.
But the more emails we get the less helpful it feels and so we decide that we’d rather have no emails at all and we click unsubscribe.
For those that consider themselves to be awkward and those that are self conscious of how they appear to others, being yourself can be difficult.
However, it turns out that the only way to overcome it is to embrace yourself with open arms.
Awkwardness is always amplified when you focus on it.
On the flipside, if you just focus on being yourself and provide a soft and gentle space where you let go of this idea of everything being perfect, it makes things easier.
It could be stumbling over your words when you approach someone new, your idea being shutdown in a meeting, being rejected, falling over in public or someone not getting your humour.
Nobody wants those things to happen but they’re not as bad as we make them out to be.
We can get so caught up in how we feel about ourselves and wanting to be seen a certain way that we assume things matter so much more than they do.
Your new idea might get shut down and whilst you’re now letting your inner monologue play out and tell you to never contribute again, someone else is thinking it was great idea or wishes that they’d had the confidence to contribute or even just come up with an idea.
This post is titled embracing awkward but you’re probably better off letting go of the labels and instead just embrace being yourself.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are all so heavily integrated into our daily lives that to be without them (even just for a few hours) is difficult.
Suddenly, you’re having to figure out what to do with your time instead of spending it scrolling.
Conversations that have been going for days or even weeks have now come to a standstill but you still have so much to say.
And now, you have no idea what the the people you are connected to online are doing, eating or wearing.
Somehow all of this stuff seems important yet at the same time, when those 3 apps went down on Monday 4th October 2021 you also realised that none of matters as much as you often think it does.
It could be considered strange that we know that life is finite yet we choose to focus so much on the things that bring us the least joy.
We spend our time doing things that take us further and further from our core selves and then wonder why there is so much emptiness within.
Often we choose to try and enjoy life from the perception of outsiders. We focus on doing things that will look good to other people rather than simply trying to please ourselves. And it’s not that you do things that make you miserable but that you place the perception of others above your own joy.
It could be choosing to do something because you know that other people will be impressed or even jealous. Meanwhile you’d have been much happier doing something else.
But all that stuff about other people doesn’t matter as much you might think it does. It feels important because you choose to make it so. When it comes to enjoying your life focus on you, the things that you like and the things that bring you joy.
Sometimes things that aren’t that important get dressed up to be the most important thing in the world.
You react by getting overwhelmed and stressed. This effects you’re sleep, general mood and how you interact with others.
As much as you want to feel good within you’re body, you can’t help but sacrifice that for the sake of the thing that is important.
But then you might find that the deadline you’d been proiortising was much more flexible than you thought.
And so, even though you rushed about trying to get things finished, it turns out it was pointless. You were much better off making yourself priority.
We might not like them but we have to have them.
We put off difficult conversations because they make us nervous.
We’re worried about how our words will come out, how our words will be perceived, how the person on the receiving end will feel, we’re scared of being vulnerable and we worry that we might regret it.
The list goes on.
Unfortunately, no matter how you might feel, the conversation still needs to be had. You can have it now or you can have it later.
As much as it is difficult it is also important. I think that’s the bit worth focusing on and is much more of an incentive to get yourself talking. Don’t focus on the nerves or hoping you can control how the other person will react. Just remind yourself that the conversation is important and worth having.
It’s important to show up for the things that you care about and for the things that matter. It doesn’t need to be for praise and attention, simply do it for yourself.
This can be applied to so many things. Maybe you’re passionate about the environment, you might even have lots of good ideas or thoughts worth sharing. However, you don’t share about it online, you don’t volunteer and you don’t talk to your friends about it.
I think all the reasons to not show up stem from fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of being judged even a fear of being seen.
It’s okay to feel all those those things but don’t let that stop you from showing up for the things that you care about.
Sometimes when it comes to doing what’s best for you, you don’t consider yourself to be important.
And so, instead of making a decision based on what’s best for you and your wellbeing you put other people first.
You make choices based on people pleasing and fear of letting people down or having them be disappointed.
When you do that continuously, you’re the one that ends up feeling disappointed. Meanwhile, everyone else is totally oblivious to the fact that you’re over extending and on the brink of being worn out.
You have to learn to set clear boundaries such as not over working yourself to please people and being okay with saying no when you know you don’t have the time or energy.
As we go through life we develop ideas of what freedom would look like or feel like for ourselves. It may come from how you were brought up, the career aspirations you have or maybe just how you feel in particular moments.
If the idea of feeling liberated matters to you then it’s worth while creating a life that aligns with that.
Maybe for you liberation comes from being able to have last minute getaways a few times a year. It could be a day in a new city or a week somewhere far away. What matters is that you have the choice to do it.
It could be that freedom for you comes from being able to speak your mind without worrying about what other people will think.
Or perhaps you feel free when you don’t have to explain yourself to other people, as in you’re free to make choices without having to justify them.
Choosing a life that conflicts with what makes you feel free only leads to frustration. Frustration towards those that have become a barrier to your freedom and frustration towards yourself for ending up in these circumstances.
In all this, one of the most important things to remember is that freedom is a feeling. You might not feel free right now but you can always feel differently tomorrow (or a few months from now once you’ve made some changes in your life).