Self-compassion in 2018
I came into this holiday season ready for a break. It's been a challenging year, and I was feeling burnt out. This was due to a combination of factors: my first year back at work as a mom, returning after a six month leave, not taking enough vacation, a host of scary things happening in the world and close to home (natural disasters, violence, politics, etc.), and honestly, I spent a lot of this year being hard on myself. In addition to being a new working mom, I took on a new role at work mid-way through the year. In the midst of this newness, when I probably needed self-love most, I spent my energy focusing on the things I don't yet know or I'm not yet good at. This mindset challenged me to try new things, but I put pressure on myself to do each of these things well from the start, and not let cracks show. I wouldn't expect this of others, and it wasn't fair or realistic to expect this of myself. As I left work for the year, I realized I was feeling depleted and anxious, rather than feeling accomplished for the risks I've taken and the new things I've tried. I also didn't feel connected to the things I know I’m great at or I love doing.
So looking towards 2018, I want to return to a place of compassion for myself and to the things that make me feel like me.
At work, this means making more space by doing less and leveraging my team more. Venturing to say "no”. Putting less pressure on myself when I take on new or ambitious things. Stop expecting I need to get it “right,” or worrying about the small misses that probably aren’t a miss at all. Focusing on progress over perfection, and accepting that learning is inevitably messy.
This also means prioritizing the things that ground me. Taking all my vacation. Giving myself creative outlets through classes offered at work or doing a 100 Day Project. The output could be crappy and quick, but it's still something I've made with my own hands and imagination. Using the resources I have like prioritizing yoga classes, evening talks with Greg which give me perspective and connection, and carving out time to meet with my therapist. I adore her, and she helps me find my way back to what’s true to me. And perhaps most important, getting the sleep I need to keep perspective and a positive attitude, by going to bed early and not getting that last thing done.
Here’s to the beauty of a fresh, new year. What’s on your mind going into 2018?