Well-being and Guilt

As people we all want to do everything.  We fill our days with activity and are determined to make everything work well. We give it our all.  Life is great. Until it isn’t.

The diary gets full, we start to run on empty.  We begin to feel overwhelmed and suddenly an occasion comes up that we regardless how long we spend rearranging or we cant make it work out.

For me its usually arranging my kids sports- 3 boys, three matches/events and one mummy means even if transport can be arranged for everyone I’m only physically able to be with one person.  And guilt hits!

Maybe for you its juggling family commitments, friends arranging social events or work expectations that you cant meet.  Sooner or later most of us reach a point where being everything to everyone is no longer an option and it hits us- guilt!

Guilt can raise its head in many ways.  It makes us feel small, inadequate and unworthy.  We feel that somehow we should be able to make things work, or push through or magically come up with a solution that keeps everyone happy. Instead we find ourselves getting stressed, anxious and completely burnt out. 

In my practice as a Integrative Life Coach and Wellbeing Therapist I work so many clients who come to me in this state.  Battling and juggling a feeling that they should be better, know better, do better and somehow life would just all fall into place and work out. 

Here are some tips we work on to help let go of the guilt and find the joy in life again:

  • Firstly let go of your idea of perfect– striving for perfection is an ever moving goal and we will never get there. LET GO OF SHOULDs and live the life you have.
  • Stop comparing– comparing ourselves to others we know personally or thru media is damaging and unfair.  It creates an atmosphere of competition.  Instead lets try to celebrate our own achievements and those of others with support and build up amazing women we know.  Everyone had their own struggles, everyone has strengths- no exceptions.
  • Recognise you get a say.  Its your life and your opinion matters.  Find the courage to speak about  what really matters to you and let the rest go.
  • Learn to say no.  If you don’t want to do something say no.  Dont feel obligated to do something you cant or don’t want to.  Dont feel you have to give an explanation.  Kindly refuse and if you’re in the position maybe suggest an alternative time, person or service if you know of one.
  • Find some self care practises that help.  You need to look after yourself to look in order to look after others.  Simple daily self care- a bath, some meditation, a walk, a massage acn all help with stress, anxiety and frustration.
  • You matter as much as your kids/family/friends/employer. Your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing is as important as everyone else.  If something is affecting your wellbeing you need to seriously examine why and look at ways to manage it.
  • Learn to ask for help.  It is hard for most of us to ask for help.  It takes courage to say to someone ‘i cant do this alone, can you help?’.  Most people love to help, allow them the chance to help you.
  • Be realistic . Recognise what you can do with the time and resources you have and make your peace with it.  Looking at situations you know are coming up and planning for them helps with this.

We cannot give what we don’t have. Simple.  Recognise where you are and the resources you have available. Gradually implementing the above steps is empowering and positive in our lives.  Everyone around us benefits from us doing less  but doing what we choose with full attention and commitment.

Giving from what we have allows us to give freely and expect nothing back.  It brings joy and a feeling of abundance which nourishes us.  Instead of our diary being full, we feel full. 

So when it comes to juggling my boys matches, I accept I can’t make them all.  I prioritise special games for each, ask for help when I can… and sometimes, if I need it, I don’t go to any. RESULT!