Have you ever felt that you’re being pulled in all different directions and find it difficult to handle? That’s been me these past few days and I wanted to do a nice little post about prioritising yourself because after all – you can’t pour from an empty cup.
A couple of weeks ago I was worry-free in our wooden cabin, secluded in the Suffolk countryside. Then the snow came and disrupted plans, made getting to work difficult (and scary at times) and I seemed to have a lot of people and things demanding my attention. Not to mention that my car started overheating and dying on me 5 minutes from work yesterday so I’ve been relying on the bus and my sister to get around this week. It’s safe to say it’s not been my time of late.
One of the things I’ve been finding tougher than usual at the moment is living at home. I find it hard to not have complete independence from my parents and I have found myself withdrawing from evenings spent in the living room and retreating upstairs to the safe haven of my bed with a good book and endless cups of tea. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with my Mum and Dad, we get along well and it’s nice that I still feel able to live at home without ripping my hair out every day. But sometimes, it can get a bit much. I feel that I’m still at school, leaving in the morning, coming home at night. Yes, I cook, clean, do my own thing, but living under the same roof as your parents can feel a bit claustrophobic and like you’re not moving on with your life. I know it’s only a phase, but that’s why I wanted to write this post. To remind myself that it’s completely fine to prioritise myself and tuck myself away on my own to read, write and watch what I want.
If people are demanding your attention, it can be very draining. They may not know you have your own demons at that particular point in time which is fine, you may not want to share, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for others to drain you of the strength you might need to pull yourself out of a bad patch. Ultimately, if someone has a problem, only they can solve it. Yes you can offer support from the sidelines, reach out with advice and suggestions, but it’s them and only them that can work it out for themselves and actually implement changes to make them feel better. It’s not up to you. This definitely applies to living with parents – you won’t agree on everything and they won’t listen to you about lots of things (mainly because of the generation gap) so that’s why you should just prioritise you first and not feel the need to be helping everyone else all of the time.
But in all realness, how can you expect to help someone when you’re not feeling 100%? Terms like ‘self-care’ and ‘self-help’ are swimming around the book shops and online and for good reason. Mental health affects 1 in10 children and young adults today. Chances are you know more than one person who has suffered with some form of mental health problem. Sometimes it’s all you need to step back and look at you and your lifestyle and prioritise what makes you feel happier, healthier and makes the day easier to get through. And if that means shutting yourself away, pampering yourself or going for a run, those should be top of the list.
It’s easy to spread yourself too thin, accept invites to everything and want to be everywhere. But that’s exhausting! I am 100% convinced that staying in is the new going out. If prioritising number one and not pleasing others is classed as selfish then so be it. I think it’s a worthwhile investment.
This post is a little reminder that it’s more than okay to say no, it’s fine to not be around friends or family of an evening and it’s completely normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by others demanding your attention, when all you really want for now is to be alone and catch up on what you want to do. Be a little selfish every now and again, reboot your mind and stay positive.
With love and not feeling guilty about being in bed watching Bake Off, alone, at 8.30pm,