02/03/2019

Five Things You Should Stop Feeling Guilty About


Sorry, not sorry.


These photos were taken in St Albans, on a weekend day out with friends. We had a glorious day. We had nice lunch, good cake, walked around loads and spent time together, which is one of the best things in the world. When I came home in the evening, I was knackered and all I did was get a takeaway KFC, eat it and get into bed. I did not work out, I did not prepare lessons for school, and I did not work towards any of my daily goals (blogging, writing, growth.) And this sparked a thought in me: we often feel too guilty about taking time for ourselves and listening to what we want, there and then. I know I do. Guilt is the worst, because it can bring you down and make you forget all the amazing things you do. Do you ever feel like that? If so, this post is for you. Here are the things we should stop feeling guilty for, now and forever.

Stop feeling guilty about...

SKIPPING A WORKOUT
... Because you're not gonna gain ten pounds by missing a workout once.
As someone who takes working out very seriously, and whose life and mind has thoroughly improved since I started working out (years ago, now) I can sometimes be a little too strict with myself. I have a workout calendar that I follow as much as I can, and I hate missing a day. This has sometimes resulted in me working out even though I was very tired, even though my body hurt that day, even though I wanted to do anything but a workout. Of course, I still got the satisfying feeling of achieving the workout, but when I look back, I think that I have been way too hard on myself. Why force it, if everything tells me to skip it that day? Why not giving myself the break I want? 
Don't feel guilty about listening to your mind and body. You are allowed to let go sometimes. It's not because you skip a day that you are going to lose all the muscle you've built, or that you are going to put on some weight. Let go of that pressure, especially if it leads you to exhaust your body. You will do the workout tomorrow.


HAVING JUNK FOOD THAT YOU KNOW IS BAD FOR YOU
... Yes, McDonald's is crap, but having a BigMac every so often won't clog your arteries.
Sometimes our cravings are stronger than our good will, and that's how you end up eating junk food after a long and busy day. More often than not, I feel super guilty after I eat junk food. The guilt overcomes the immediate (and, let's be honest, short-lived) satisfaction of treating yourself to that burger you've been craving all evening. But really, why should I feel so guilty for giving myself this treat? I want the burger, I get the burger, I feel happy eating the burger, and I move on. Does that mean I am going to die at 50 from a heart disease? Unless I have junk food every other day, probably not. If I am going to enjoy the ten minutes I spend eating the greasy chips, just that once in a while, then I should not beat myself up for it afterwards. And you know what? It's too late anyways. It's done and done, so the best you can do is be happy that you treated yourself. Food for the soul! (... If not for your cholesterol levels.)

SAYING NO TO PLANS AND SPENDING THE DAY AT HOME
... Your friends are not gonna hate you for it. (But if they do, change friends.)
We want to do it all. We work during the weekdays, never saying no to a coffee catch-up at 5pm; then we spend the weekend running around: going for brunch, lunch, coffee; watching a film at the cinema, checking out a new exhibition, doing some shopping, planning trips and travels. In today's world, the fear of missing out is real. And with all these blog posts reminding yourself that you only live once (unless you're a cat) it puts even more pressure to accomplish a lot of things, socialise 24/7, and get out of the house to see the wider world. And I'm all about that, all about travelling, meeting with your friends, going on adventures - you name it. But all these things drain up your energy, whether you want it or not. It gets tiring to travel and commute, it costs money to visit all these cute Instagrammable cafés, and, if you are anything like me, social interaction can be exhausting and you need some time to recharge.
I am always torn between going out and having fun, saying yes to all the plans I get invited to, and planning as many outings as I can, and the feeling (guilty, guilty feeling) that actually, what I really want sometimes is just to stay home and enjoy my own company. Whenever I stay home for a weekend - two whole days! without going anywhere! - I often feel guilty. I wonder why I am not like other people, meeting up every day with a different friend and in a different place. This year, I am staying stop to this bad habit. Staying home to recharge is important, and no one but you can bring you this element of balance in your life. So if this weekend, you're not doing anything major, remember that it is O.K. You won't miss out on the fun: the fun will just happen another day.


PRIORITISING YOURSELF OVER YOUR JOB
... Your job is important, but so if self-care. So leave that laptop alone now!
This is important whether you do a job you love or not. It may be even more important if you absolutely live for your job - because if you do, you can easily be consumed by guilt whenever you do something that is not beneficial for the said job. 
One thing my university tutor often said in my teacher training last year, is that being a teacher is not just a job. It is what you become. And I get why he said that: being a teacher can be exhausting. If you're not careful, you can find yourself working during the week, working before the children come into school and long after they are gone in the afternoons. You can spend your free time outside of school marking books, tests, preparing PowerPoint presentations and planning your next few days of content. I have seen many people work long until late at night, and spend their weekends planning lessons. Last year, if I didn't plan at least two or three lessons on a Saturday or a Sunday, I would feel very guilty and disappointed in myself. Luckily, now I know better. I will not let my job dictate my life, and I have set myself boundaries so that when I don't work as much at the weekends, I do not feel guilty anymore. And trust me, it is liberating! The fact that you realise that your life and well-being are so much more than who you are when you work. Give yourself time out, time to express yourself through other things that make up your personality and your life. Not everything should be defined by your job, in my opinion - unless said job is paid hundreds of thousands of $$. Then maybe, keep working. (I know, money can't buy happiness and all that, but still...)

What is one thing you want to stop feeling guilty about?
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11 comments:

  1. Yes to everything you say! I honestly think we're both on the same page with a lot of things you post about! I love a good treat and I just had a huge slice of chocolate cake and I didn't feel guilty because my excuse was that it's my time of the month haha

    franalibi.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. You don't even need excuses Fran - have that slice of chocolate cake, yum! haha xx

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  2. Pretty much all of the above. I like staying at home too, I tend to give my everything to my job, I have intense junk food cravings and I am very rigid with my workout schedule. Cutting myself some slack is not my forte, but something I am working on.

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    1. It definitely is something to work on, so hopefully you can give yourself more flexibility - and feel great about it! xx

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  3. I totally relate to the point on prioritising yourself over your job! I have definitely turned down opportunities in my career that would have put personal strain on me, however things always seem to work their way out in the end :)

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. It is true that things just end up working out! xx

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  4. Aw I love this!! Feeling tired and ill most of the time, I am so hard on myself too, I think I must keep up with absolutely everything or I am a waste of a person >< I find it hard to get out of that mindset but sometimes I do and I just feel such a relief and a lot of freedom :D I feel so much pressure from society to be and do things a certain way, I end up feeling like I'm falling behind. I am practising choosing a quiet life and things I enjoy, even though I feel guilty or society says I am wasting time. But like the post above, things still end up working out when you embrace a quiet kind of life! Like spending time with friends and KFCs, those things are also good things :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara

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    1. As long as you do what feels good to you, you're doing things right! xx

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  5. These are such insightful and important things to remember! I often feel bad for cancelling plans, but it can be such a help to stay at home and relax. I love this post xx

    Sending light & love your way,

    My Lovelier Days

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    1. It really is the best thing sometimes. I'm glad you enjoyed Diana! xx

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